In Florida, not only vehicles owned or driven by a person required to register as a sex offender are on the registry, but so too are the vehicles of anybody living with them or visiting their homes for 5 or more days. That means your spouse, your driver-age children, even your roommate will have their cars registered and identified as being associated with a sex offender.
That’s a scary premise when they get pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation. We’ve received dozens of complaints from family or roommates of registrants who were harassed because of this. But it’s an even scarier premise to have your vehicle flagged when you are doing nothing!
The city of Davenport, Iowa just approved a contract that will give their law enforcement officers license plate scanners – high-speed cameras mounted on police cars that capture thousands of license plates per minute, convert each license plate number into machine-readable text and check them against databases. According to this article, one of the express purposes of the readers is to “monitor that registered sex offenders are not violating restrictions that dictate areas where they cannot be”.
If your spouse is a teacher or your children drive themselves to high-school, they can be quickly flagged and it’s not arrest that we’re concerned about, but the humiliation and embarrassment that comes from being called out in front of co-workers and classmates.
License plate readers might be a bad idea, but being forced to register family members or roommates cars is a horrible and unfair.