How to Transfer to/from Colorado and another State while on Probation

The Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS), or interstate compact, regulates the transfer of supervision of offenders from state to state. Probation transfers to or from Colorado are permissible but only under certain conditions and qualifications. It's also possible to apply to terminate probation in Colorado early.

Eligibility Requirements for Supervision Transfer

  • You have been in compliance with terms and conditions of your probation or parole; and
  • You have at least 90 days left of your probation or parole; and
  • You must be a resident of the receiving state, or
  • A family member is a resident of another state and that family member can support you, or
  • A family member is a resident of another state and you can live with that family member and get a job in that state, or
  • You live with a family member now whose job has been transferred to another state, and you still intend to live with that family member, or
  • Your employer has transferred you to another state and you must move to keep your job.
  • You are a member of the military, or
  • A family member is a member of the military with whom you live, or
  • You are a military veteran and your health services have transferred to another state.

Eligible Offenses for Supervision Transfer

You are eligible if you have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. Qualifying misdemeanors are those offenses that involved:

Supervision Transfer Process

To transfer your supervision from one state to another state, the process is as follows -- though each case is different and may have its own unique circumstances:

  • You advise your current parole or probation officer you need to transfer.
  • Your supervising officer confirms you are in compliance with the terms of your probation/parole.
  • Your supervising officer provides you with paperwork to complete and sign.
  • The transfer request is sent to the state where you need to move.
  • The receiving state investigates your case.
  • The receiving state either accepts or denies.
  • If the receiving state accepts your transfer, it sends reporting instructions.
  • You move to the receiving state and continue your probation or parole in accordance with the reporting instructions.
  • If the receiving state does not accept your transfer, you may be able to fight it -- contact an attorney if you have not done so already.

A probation transfer and the process itself can be overwhelming and confusing. It is important to be informed of the process and what to expect. At Colorado Legal Defense Group, we believe that informed clients are in the best position to make good choices that will enable them to complete probation or parole successfully. Below is detailed information on the interstate compact and what a probation or parole transfer may mean for you. If you still have questions, contact our office in Denver or Golden, Colorado to learn more.

Prisoner and guard
Probation transfer to or from Colorado are permissible but only under certain conditions and qualifications.

1. What are reasons a probationer or parolee may want to move to another state while still on probation or parole?

There are only a few reasons an offender can move from Colorado or into Colorado while on probation or parole. First, the offender must intend to make the receiving state the principal place of residence. Second, the offender must have a valid reason, which must include one of the following:

  • The offender is already a resident of the receiving state, which means he or she continuously inhabited the receiving state for at least one year before committing the offense that is the reason for the supervision.
  • The offender has a family member who is a resident of the receiving state and who is willing to help the offender and has the ability to do so.
  • The offender has a family member who is a resident of the receiving state and the offender will be able to obtain employment or has the means of support to do so.
  • The offender lives with and plans to live with a family member who is transferred to the receiving state.
  • The offender's employer has directed it as a condition of maintaining employment.
  • The offender is a member of the military.
  • The offender lives with a family member who is in the military.
  • The offender is a military veteran and his or her medical or mental health services were transferred to the receiving state.
  • Discretionary, which requires a reason that clearly justifies why a transfer would be in the best interest of the offender and will not pose a safety risk to the public.1

1.1 What does relocate mean?

Relocate means remaining in the receiving state for more than 45 consecutive days in a 12 month-period, but not necessarily in the same year.2

1.2 Who can be considered a resident family member for the purpose or relocation to a receiving state?

A resident family member -- as of the date of the transfer request -- must have resided in the receiving state for at least 180 calendar days. The resident family member must also have indicated a willingness and an ability to help the offender in accordance with the terms of the offender's plan of supervision.

A resident family member can include any of the following:

  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Adult child
  • Adult sibling
  • Spouse
  • Legal guardian, or
  • step-parent.3

2. What is the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision?

The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS), or interstate compact, was developed in 1937 (and revised in 2002) with the specific task to regulate probationers and parolees across state lines. This is a system that has been in place for decades and is well-developed and supported. 4

The interstate compact provides strict procedures and guidelines. All states are granted the authority, accountability, and resources they need to track the supervision of offenders who move across state lines.

The purpose of the ICAOS is public safety first and foremost, but it also indirectly allows probationers and parolees a chance at living their lives in the state they need to be in an effort to get back on their feet. The ICAOS allows states to readily cooperate and coordinate their probation efforts with each other while providing a single standard of supervision for participating offenders.

2.1 Which states have enacted the interstate compact on probation?

The ICAOS has been enacted in all 50 states and three U.S. territories -- District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

It follows that the interstate compact has the same authority as if it were federal law, and as such, it supersedes any state law that may contradict it. All state, federal, and administrative agencies -- including the courts, parole boards, and community corrections -- must adhere to the rules set out in the ICAOS.

The ICAOS does not, however, support a probation transfer from the United States generally or Colorado specifically to/from any other nation or country.

2.2 What types of offenses are eligible for transfer of supervision into or out of Colorado under the ICAOS?

It is not necessarily the type of offense that is eligible for transfer of supervision, but the classification of the offense.

  • All felonies where the offender is subject to parole or probation; and
  • Misdemeanors that involve physical harm, firearms, second or subsequent DUI, or sex offenses.

All infractions and civil offenses are not covered by the interstate compact.

2.3 Who is eligible for transfer of supervision into or out of Colorado under the ICAOS?

Eligibility is always at the discretion of the sending state. That said, there are certain criteria an offender must meet to qualify for transfer of supervision in order for the receiving state to accept the transfer. Regardless if you are an offender wanting to transfer supervision into or out of Colorado, the following qualifications must be met in accordance with the interstate compact.

Eligible Offenders

  • All felons (serving felony probation)
  • Certain misdemeanants5
  • Persons subject to eligible deferred sentences
  • Persons on unsupervised probation who require monitoring and who have special or standard conditions other than monetary conditions

Though you may be eligible on the outset, there are additional qualifications that must be met that will confirm your eligibility. These qualifications include:

  • Having three (3) months or more remaining of supervision; and
  • Being in substantial compliance in the sending state.

Ineligible Offenders

  • Certain misdemeanants
  • Offenders on work-release
  • Offenders released under furlough
  • Offenders on a pre-parole program
  • Offenders on a pre-trial intervention program
  • Offenders released on bail

2.4 Which misdemeanors are eligible for transfer of supervision?

Misdemeanants who are eligible for transfer of supervision are those who have been sentenced for one or more years of supervision and the instant offense includes at least one of the following:

  • An offense where a person incurred direct or was threatened with physical or psychological harm;
  • An offense involving the use or possession of a firearm;
  • A second or subsequent misdemeanor conviction of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs;
  • A sexual offense that requires registration as a sex offender in the sending state.

2.5 What are eligible deferred sentences?

You are eligible for transfer of supervision if you are subject to deferred sentences where:

  • you admitted guilt,
  • the court accepted the plea of guilt, and
  • the court defers or suspends sentencing in lieu of supervised probation.

You are not eligible, however, if your deferred sentence did not include a supervised program.6

3. How does the interstate compact work in Colorado?

You cannot report to a parole or probationer officer in Colorado if you live in another state. If you need to move to another state (or, likewise, need to move to Colorado), you must qualify for transfer and follow the procedures as outlined in the rules of the interstate compact.

The interstate compact is at work in Colorado as it is in all other 49 states and the three territories. The basic process is as follows:

  • The offender discusses transfer of supervision with his or her current supervising or release officer.
  • The officer reviews the offender's plan to ensure it satisfies the requirements.
  • The officer confirms the offender is in compliance with all terms and conditions of probation or parole.
  • If the offender (1) satisfies all interstate compact requirements; and (2) is in compliance with supervision, then the officer has the offender sign all necessary documents and forms.
  • The officer submits the transfer request through the Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System.
  • Upon review and discretion of the sending state, the transfer request is submitted to the receiving state for a decision.
  • The receiving state either rejects or accepts the transfer request upon the results of its investigation.

Colorado can be either the sending or receiving state and the process is basically the same.

3.1 How long does the process to transfer probation to another state usually take?

It is usually 45 days from the date the receiving state receives the request. But starting from the day you request the transfer from your current supervising agent, it can take 2 months or more total.

That said, even after those 2 months are up, the offender who wants to relocate cannot do so until he or she has been granted reporting instructions by the receiving state. This means that even if a court or paroling authority in the sending state authorizes an offender to move, the offender cannot relocate until the receiving state authorizes it. It is a violation of the interstate compact for a sending state to allow eligible offenders to transfer prior to the receiving state completing its investigation and accepting the transfer request. 7

3.2 If transferring in or out of Colorado, when can you move or leave?

Regardless if it is Colorado or another state, you can only leave one state for another state after (1) the sending state has completed the request; and (2) the receiving state has accepted the transfer and provided reporting instructions.8

4. What costs are involved in a probation transfer from one state to another state?

The amount of costs are on a state-by-state basis. In Colorado, as of July 2012, the fees are as follows:

  • Probation supervision = $50/month
  • Parole supervision = $10/month (C-WISE fee)
  • Probation application (outgoing) = $100.9

The fees in other states vary according to that state. Some states have no fees while other states can have fees totaling several hundreds of dollars.10

Also, it is worth mentioning, after a receiving state accepts you, only that state will impose and collect the supervision fee. So, if you are currently in Colorado and paying the probation fee of $50/month and move to Connecticut where there are no probation fees, you will pay no probation fees.

5. Will the same terms and conditions of probation remain the same once transferred into or out of Colorado?

Yes, generally speaking. The receiving state will provide supervision to the transferring offender as it does with other offenders in the state with similar offenses and sentences so long as it is in accordance with the interstate compact.

Also, offenders must comply with any registration and DNA testing that the receiving state requires.

If the offender violates the terms and conditions imposed by the receiving state, those violations will be dealt with in the same way that violations would have been if in the sending state.

6. Is there a similar transfer program for juveniles who are on probation?

Yes. The Interstate Commission for Juveniles serves juveniles in like circumstances who need to transfer supervision from one state to another state. There are some differences, however, and that's mostly due to the nature of being an adult versus a juvenile.

For example, juveniles are eligible to transfer for the reason to attend college in another state while that justification is not available to an adult.11

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Call us for help...

If you are on probation or parole or if you are about to be released on probation or parole and you need to transfer your probation or parole to another state, speak to an attorney to make sure you qualify and that the process is followed so that you do not risk being denied by the receiving state.

At Colorado Legal Defense Group, our legal team is experienced and will help you understand the probation transfer process. We represent probationers and parolees throughout the Denver metropolitan area. Contact us today to get started on your probation transfer.

In California? See our article on probation transfers.

In Nevada? See our article on the Interstate Compact.


  1. Rules 3.101, 3.101-1, and 3.101-2.
  2. Rule 2.110.
  3. Rules 3.101, 3.101-1, and 3.101-2.
  4. Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, About.
  5. Rule 2.105.
  6. Rule 2.106.
  7. Advisory Opinion 9-2006, Rule 2.110.
  8. Advisory Opinion 3-2004, Rule 3.102(b).
  9. Colorado Interstate Compact, Fee Information.
  10. Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, State Docs, Fees.
  11. Interstate Commission for Juveniles.

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