Frequently Asked Questions



For questions regarding specific subjects, click on the appropriate category below:


Forms

What UCC forms are acceptable for use in California?


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Where can I obtain these forms?

The acceptable filing forms can be found on the UCC Forms & Fees page under "Mail/Counter Submissions." These forms have been designed for you to complete online, print and submit to our office. The forms also may be downloaded for future use.


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What are altered forms?

Forms are considered altered if the forms differ significantly from the preferred California forms created by the Secretary of State or the national forms created by the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA). A form that is two–sided is considered altered and will be rejected. For quicker processing, it is also preferable to keep attachment pages one–sided; if attachments are two–sided, each side will count as a page and may be subject to additional fees.


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Can I file online?

Yes, UCC Connect provides online services for customers to submit UCC filings, conduct a variety of inquiries and place orders for copies and debtor search certificates on records filed with the Secretary of State’s office.


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What is the National Financing Statement Additional Party form?

This is a corresponding form for use with National Financing Statement and National Financing Statement Amendment. The sole use of the form is to add additional debtor or secured party names and addresses.


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Does California require a barcode on any of our forms?

No, California no longer requires the barcode patch on any forms. Forms containing barcodes that otherwise qualify will continue to be accepted.


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I have created my own version of the national form. How can I get my form approved?

In order to maintain consistency and ensure the use of the correct version of the Form UCC1 and Form UCC3, a nationally centralized forms approval process has been created. The Texas Secretary of State’s office has taken on the responsibility of working with companies who wish to create or produce the national forms for use in UCC filing offices. The process and contact information can be found on the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) website. A list of approved companies that have completed the approval process also can be found on the IACA website.


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Services

What is the fee for filing?

For documents submitted on paper the number of pages in the filing submittal determines the fee. For documents containing two pages or less, the fee is $10.00. For documents containing three pages or more, the fee is $20.00. These fees apply to all original and change documents filed with our office (UCC Forms, Judgment Lien Forms, Attachment Lien Forms, and Tax Liens).

Search copies accompanying the filing are not considered part of the submittal for determining the appropriate fee.

An additional fee of $6.00 per document applies to documents submitted for processing at the UCC public counter in Sacramento.

Filings submitted electronically are $5.00 per record. A complete list of fees related to electronic transactions can be found on the UCC Forms & Fees webpage.


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To whom do I make my checks payable?

Checks may be made payable to the Secretary of State.


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How can I get my documents processed quickly?

Special handling may be requested by delivering forms to the UCC public counter at the Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento for an additional fee of $6.00 per document. Filings and requests also can be submitted online using UCC Connect.


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Where can I file and mail my UCC forms?

Documents may be mailed to:

Secretary of State
UCC Section
P.O. Box 942835
Sacramento, CA 94235–0001

Documents also may be delivered in person at our UCC/Statement of Information Public Counter at:

Secretary of State
UCC Section
1500 11th Street, Room 255
Sacramento, CA 95814


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How will I know you have received and filed my document?

If the document was submitted on paper, you automatically will receive an acknowledgment copy of the accepted filing and an acknowledgment letter showing how the Secretary of State’s office indexed the names.

If the filing was submitted online, you will receive an email with a link to an electronic briefcase. In your electronic briefcase will be a packing slip, an image of your filed record indicating the file number, file date and time, and an acknowledgment letter.


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Filings

Are social security numbers and federal identification numbers required in California?

Social security numbers and federal tax identification numbers are not required on any filing form in California. Pursuant to revised California Uniform Commercial Code section 9526.5, any social security number contained in a UCC record will be redacted.

The Secretary of State’s office used an automated redacting program to find and remove social security numbers, and as a consequence of the programming, federal tax identification numbers also may be redacted.

The revised California forms have removed the fields for debtor SSN/EIN information. We ask that filers use these new forms, but we still will be accepting the approved national forms.

UCC filings are public records. Please do not put people at risk of identity theft by including social security numbers on any documents for filing with the Secretary of State.


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How do I complete the debtor information fields?

The debtor information fields on the filing forms are specifically formatted for ease in completing and meeting Article 9 requirements. Be sure to read the instructions on the forms for helpful guidance.

Based on the legal name of the debtor, complete the appropriate name box – either organization or individual. Each part of the name should be clearly identified in its particular field. The filing office will index the information in each field exactly as it is presented. The filing office does not verify the correctness of the name. Names that are misspelled or with additional or misplaced data in the fields will be keyed as stated.

For each debtor name indicated, a complete mailing address must be provided. The form has been designed to indicate only one address as required by Article 9. Either a street address or a P.O. Box is acceptable.

If the debtor is an organization, additional information about the organization also must be provided on the form (see next question).


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If the debtor is an organization, which fields are required?

In California, one of the following is required if the debtor is an organization:


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What is an organizational ID number and how can I find out what the organizational ID number is for my debtor?

Many filing offices, including the Secretary of State’s office, issue a registration or file number when the formation document of a business entity is filed, such as the Articles of Incorporation. These numbers may be referred to as organizational IDs. Some filing offices do not issue ID numbers, instead referencing the entity by other means.

For business entities filed with the California Secretary of State’s office, the organizational ID can be obtained in different ways, depending on the business type. For corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies, this information can be accessed via the internet using our California Business Search.

For general partnerships, limited liability partnerships and associations that have registered with the Secretary of State, inquiries can be made through the mail or dropped off in person. Please refer to the contact information provided for each department.


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Where does the debtor sign on the National Form UCC1?

There is no signature requirement on any of the financing statement filing forms. Under Article 9, it is the responsibility of the filer to ensure the proper authority exists to submit and file the documents.


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There is only enough room for two debtor names on the filing form. Where do I list other debtor names?

Additional debtors may be listed on the National Financing Statement Addendum and/or the National Financing Statement Additional Party form. All of these forms can be downloaded from the UCC Forms & Fees page.

We do not recommend listing additional debtor names on exhibits or non–formatted pages, as these names will not be indexed.


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How do I get an acknowledgment copy of my filed document?

If the filed document was submitted on paper, you automatically will receive an acknowledgment copy of the accepted document, which will be time and date stamped. You also will receive an acknowledgment letter that will reflect how the record was indexed.

If the filed document was submitted online, you will receive an email with a link to an electronic briefcase. Printable documents in your briefcase will include a packing slip, an image of your filed record indicating the file number, file date and time, and an acknowledgment letter.


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My acknowledgment stated that “All debtors/all secured parties were not indexed.” What does this mean?

If the document had sufficient information to be filed and indexed, but included additional information that was either incomplete or not legible enough to index (usually debtor or secured party names and/or addresses), the acknowledgment letter will reflect the items indexed and will state that “all the debtors or secured parties were not indexed.” These filings often are referred to as “partial filings.” To add the information that was not indexed, submit a Financing Statement Amendment (Form UCC3). The Form UCC3 can be downloaded from the UCC Forms & Fees page. Read the instructions carefully when completing the form.


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How long does a financing statement remain active?

The duration of a financing statement is five years from the date of filing (with a few statutory exceptions). The filing is active in our database for an additional year after it lapses and will reflect on a search response for that additional year, then will be purged from our active database.


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Searches

How do I request a debtor name search?

A search report can be obtained in the following ways:


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What types of requests are available?

The following types of requests are available:

Please read all National Information Request (Form UCC11) instructions carefully.


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Can I search online?

Yes. You can conduct debtor name and other types of searches online using the Secretary of State’s UCC Connect website.


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How can I conduct a UCC search?

To request a search for information and/or copies of filings, use the National Information Request (Form UCC11), which may be downloaded from the UCC Forms & Fees page. This form has been customized for use in California.


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How many debtor names can I include on a request for a search?

Only one debtor name may be requested per search request.


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How can I get copies of filed documents?

Copies of documents can be obtained by submitting a National Information Request (Form UCC11) to our office including the appropriate fees. The form, which has been customized for use in California, can be downloaded from the UCC Forms & Fees page. It has been customized for use in California and includes important information on submitting the correct copy fees, which are based on the number of pages copied.


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What is the fee for a search?

The fee is $10.00 per debtor name searched. An additional fee of $6.00 per document applies to documents submitted for processing at the UCC public counter in Sacramento. See the UCC Forms & Fees page for a complete listing of fees for searches submitted in paper form or electronically.

If the search is submitted online at UCC Connect, the fee is $5.00 per name searched.


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