On 16 December, 2013, the National Oversight and Registration of Mutant Abilities Law, more commonly known as mutant registration, passed into law. The newly created Mutant Affairs Division (a child agency of the Department of Homeland Security) had 60 days to design and implement the fiercely controversial mutant registration regulations.
On 14 February, 2014, the newly designed provisions of the Mutant Registration Act came into practice. Nationwide, /all/ US residents aged 18 and older (not simply citizens -- anyone staying on anything more permanent than a tourist visa, and upon turning eighteen there is a grace period of up to one month following their eighteenth birthday) must register, whether or not they are mutants.
Efforts have been taken to make initial voluntary registration as simple and accessible a process as possible. Locations where people can go to register are myriad -- Mutant Affairs Division offices are located in many neighborhoods, and registration forms can also be submitted at a wide range of locations such as RMVs, police stations, hospitals and clinics, fire stations, post offices.
Registrants need to provide proof of identity at the time of registration, and fill out the applicable forms to enter their information into the system.
All individuals registered in the system are processed with:
- Full name
- SSN, if applicable
- Home address
- Mutant/Human status
Registrants are welcome to provide corroborating documentation (genetic testing, clinical records) and the Mutant Affairs Division can help to set up, in many cases, appointments to verify the nature of many powers under controlled conditions though in the cases of some particularly destructive powers that may be unfeasible.
However, this is not in any cases required -- registrants can elect to simply disclose the full extent of their powers in verbal or written testimonial to two witnessing Mutant Affairs Division workers; such a properly witnessed disclosure will be considered a legally binding statement made under the pains and penalties of perjury.
Failing to Register
In order to encourage compliance with the new registration system, a number of steps have been taken. There are parts of life that will be more difficult for those who have elected not to register. Some of these will depend more or less heavily on what state you live in, but these will be New York specific.
If you are not registered, you will likely find it very difficult to:
- Find banks that will let you open new accounts
- Get a driver's license or passport
- Enroll in higher education
- Buy plane tickets
- Find legitimate employment
Additionally, while being unregistered may not necessarily have any reason to come up in daily life, it is a violation that may complicate life if it comes up during other violations. Getting arrested for a different crime, for example, and also being unregistered may result in additional penalization. While being unregistered is, itself, a violation, it is a civil and not a criminal violation, punishable only by fines (that are increasingly steep the longer a violator fails to register.)
Misrepresenting Information at Registration
While the consequences for failing to register can be a nuisance and a large complication in life, the consequences for misrepresenting yourself at registration can be severe -- lying on registration documents or in registration testimony is a criminal, not civil, offense, and is a federal crime that is considered a felony.
For everyone, regardless of whether they are human or any classification of mutant, the consequences for lying on any part of their registry information is a minimum of $1500 and up to $10,000 fine.
There is, additionally, a mandatory jail time, but this will be intensely variable depending on which part of the information you lied about and what the correct information was. The minimum jail term for lying about any part of registration is 30 days -- the maximum imprisonment can be a life term, if you lie about your genetic status. Note that this can go for humans as well -- if you are a human who says you are a mutant on your form; they take lying about genetic status on registration quite seriously.
The Mutant Affairs Division is aware that the nature of mutant powers sometimes changes and evolves. Having powers that are in a state of flux means that sometimes what an individual discloses at the time of registration will not remain constant throughout their lifetime. It is that individual's responsibility to keep their registry entry up to date, in the event of any changes in their ability.
There will be no penalties associated with voluntarily disclosing changes to mutant powers that have occurred or mutant powers that have been discovered since the time of registration (if the registrant believed themselves to be human at the time of entry into the registry). Simply stop by any registry office to fill out an update form -- the process is much the same, and can occur with witnesses or documentation -- and this new information will be added to the registration entry.
In the event of changes to registration status, registrants have a grace period of one month to update their registration entries without penalization.
In the event of allegations of lying on registry entries, there is an initial investigation into the facts. If there is enough evidence that the Mutant Affairs Division deems the allegation to have sufficient weight, they will get a court order for genetic testing (if the allegation revolved around genetic status); there might be a trial if the allegation revolved around misinformation about the nature of the information in some other manner. If a genetic test is required, the Division will pay the cost; if the test determines that the Registrant had in fact been lying about their genetic status, the cost of the test will often be folded into whatever punitive measures are given them.
Anonymous accusations of lying are not allowed -- anonymous tips are simply discarded without weight. Accusations that are deemed maliciously or frivolously false will be punished with similar weight to lying on the Registry in the first place.
- 0 - Human
- 1 - Zeta. Zeta level mutants have such low-level mutations that, functionally, they will likely never even know they are mutants without actually getting a genetic test for one reason or other. Their X-gene has been gauged to pose no threat to self or society under any circumstances.
- 2 - Epsilon. Epsilon-level mutants have mutations that have been gauged to pose no significant threat to others or society; their powers, additionally, have been gauged to hamper their functioning in their own life to a significant degree. (Examples: Horus)
- 3 - Delta. Delta-level mutants have mutations that have been gauged not to pose significant threats to society, but may pose moderate to significant threat on individual or small group bases. Their powers may or may not confer personal benefits and do not likely hamper their lives in any real way. (Examples: Tag, Doug)
- 4 - Gamma. Gamma-level mutants have mutations that have been gauged not to pose significant threats to society, but may pose moderate to significant threat on individual or small group bases. Gamma level mutants, unlike delta mutants, have powers that hamper their lives in a far more significant manner. (Examples: Isra, Sebastian)
- 5 - Beta. Beta-level mutants have mutations that have been gauged to pose a moderate to significant threat on a wider societal level. While their mutations may confer them personal benefit as well, they also have significant enough drawbacks to hamper their use in some way. (Examples: Jackson, Hive)
- 6 - Alpha. Alpha-level mutants have mutations that have been gauged to pose a moderate to significant threat on a wider societal level. Their mutations additional confer them personal benefit, without the hampering drawbacks that come with Beta level mutations. (Examples: Emma, Xavier)
- 7 - Omega: The existence of this classification level is officially classified.
In addition to this classification, all psionics of any type are noted with an additional P denoting Psionic alongside their class marker.
Effects of Being On The Registry
This will depend on what tier of the registry you are determined to be on. It takes a little while for this to be determined -- you won't find out, immediately. After submitting paperwork, processing takes 3-5 weeks; registrants will receive a card in the mail (if they have no home address, they can pick it up at the Mutant Affairs Division office where they registered) certifying their registration and what classification they have been added to.
The database as a whole is not, on the whole, publicly accessible. By and large, the information in it is not put out there for most people's knowledge.
There is a count being kept on the registry website of how many people have been registered in each class, but this count is anonymized countrywide.
If the X-gene is detected in the course of medical testing, doctors are required to report their findings to the Registry regardless of patient consent.
Law enforcement can search the database during any interactions -- the information that pings varies. During arrests, they will turn up all registry information along with the regular information they get when they run checks on people. During other non-arrest routine stops, they will only return registry information on Alpha, Beta, and Gamma mutants, as well as any psionics of any type.
Unregistered convicted felons will be added to the Registry subsequent to their convictions.
Being on the registry, additionally, will turn up in now in many standard background checks when seeking things such as employment and housing. In such cases, the checks do not have access to the full detailed information in the registry, but simply the classification given by the Registry -- 0 for Human, 5 for Beta, 6 for Alpha, 2P for a very low-grade telepath, etc; they will have no further information to go on than that. Any immigrants seeking entry to the country are added to the registry straightaway; while there is officially no policy of discrimination based on mutant status, for those seeking permanent residency, finding anyone to sponsor visas gets exponentially harder when mutant status is known.
Past this, the effects of being on the registry are much as you might expect they are if someone at any of these stages of life were to find out if you are a mutant. There are no legal protections against anti-mutant discrimination, so while there is also no codified discriminatory effects as yet to the registry, in certain areas of life mutants might find it more difficult to obtain housing, employment, etc when their background checks come through and those little numbers start pinging.