As of July of 2011, Maryland complied with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which was passed by Congress in 2006. In order to become compliant, Maryland made sweeping changes to its existing sex offender laws.
In Maryland, sex offenses are divided into 3 tiers with tier 3 offenses being the most severe and with tier 1 offenses being the least severe. Those who are convicted of a tier 3 offense must register every 3 months for the rest of their life. Tier 3 offenses include all degrees of rape, 1st, 2nd, and aggravated 3rd degree offenses; sexual abuse of a minor; kidnapping, incest, murder with intent to sexually offend, rape, or sexually abuse a minor; forcible sodomy; and all attempts, conspiracies and solicitations.
Tier 2 offenders are required to register every 6 months for 25 years. Tier 2 offenses include: abduction of a child for prostitution, distributing or manufacturing child pornography, and sexual solicitation of a minor, human trafficking, 3rd degree sex offenses, and crimes involving the sale or prostitution of children.
Tier 1 offenses require registration every 6 months for 15 years. Tier 1 offenses include 4th degree sex offenses, possession of child pornography, visual surveillance with lustful intent, various federal offenses that are not criminalized in Maryland, and all attempts, conspiracies and solicitations.
As of August 1st of 2012, there were 6,594 Tier 3 registrants, 538 Tier 2 registrants, and 869 Tier 1 registrants, thereby amounting to a total of 8,001 registered sex offenders in Maryland. Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, all registrants are required to report all places which they "habitually live." All registrants must provide notice when they plan on being away from their habitual residence for more than five days, and homeless registrants must register weekly unless their habitual residence can be verified such as a homeless shelter.
The numbers of registered sex offenders in Maryland have jumped from 3,200 in 2003 to 7,212 registered sex offenders in 2011 and 8,001 by August of 2012. As of the implementation of the Act, juvenile offenders are now required to provide a sample of their DNA and their fingerprints; juveniles must register every 3 months during their probation; anyone convicted of any felony on or after October 1, 2010 with a prior sex offense conviction must register; and, under the Act, the term of sex offender registration is now determined under the new requirements, the old requirements do not apply.