Program Policies


Changes of Address

Change of Address Packet

When you move, you must submit a change of address in writing seven (7) days prior to moving. (per Government Code §6206.7(b)(3)) You may complete the Change of Address Packet included in your Participant Packet to make the change. The Change of Address Packet includes the Change of Address Form (per Government Codes §6206.7(b)(3)), and the Confidential Voter Registration Card (per Election Code §2166.5).

Other Ways to Submit a Change of Address

You can also submit a change of address by submitting a signed written request by mail or fax at (916) 653-7625 that includes: your old and new address, your new telephone numbers, your Safe at Home four-digit Authorization ID number, the effective date of the change, your name, and your signature.

Do Not Submit Via Email

For safety and confidentiality purposes, please do not submit an address or telephone change by email. Also, because our staff is unable to determine the identity of an email sender, you will be required to submit the change of address in writing via mail or fax.

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Child Custody

Participation in the Safe at Home program does not affect custody or visitation orders in effect prior to or during program participation, nor does it constitute evidence of domestic violence or stalking for purposes of making custody or visitation orders. (per Government Code §6209.7)

Enrollment cannot be used to avoid establishing or following custody or visitation orders. A program participant, who falsifies his or her location, in order to unlawfully avoid custody or visitation orders, is subject to immediate termination from the program and is guilty of a misdemeanor. (per Government Code §6208.5)

Section Six (6) of the Safe at Home Application must be completed accurately. If you have minor children, the names and last known addresses of those minor children, the names and last known addresses of the other parents of those minor children, all court orders related to the custody, visitation or support of those minor children, and the names and addresses of the legal counsel of record in those cases must be provided with the application. Important: The addresses provided in Section Six (6) must be the last known addresses of the other parents of the applicant’s child/children. (per Government Code §6206(a)(4))

If you have a minor child or children, the law requires Safe at Home to send a letter, within ten days of your enrollment, to the other parent and his or her attorney (if they have one) specifying the Secretary of State as the legal agent to receive service of process and to receive and forward your mail. The letter will request that your designated Safe at Home mailing address be used to mail any correspondence intended for you or your children and tells them how to serve you with court documents at the Secretary of State's office. If there is a court order prohibiting contact, only the service of process information is provided. The notice shall be given by mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the other parent to be notified. A copy shall also be sent to that parent’s counsel of record, if any. Note: Mail received in violation of a restraining order should be reported to law enforcement. (per Government Code §6206(d))

How to execute a service of process: To execute a process service, the server must prepare two copies of each document being served. The documents must be delivered (Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.) in person, through a party at least 18 years of age and unrelated to the case, to: Secretary of State's office, 1500 11th Street, 4th Floor, Room 460, Sacramento, CA 95814. One copy is immediately forwarded to the participant via certified mail and the other copy is retained by Safe at Home. Service of process is accepted for active participants only. (per Government Code §6206(a)(5))

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Communication with Safe at Home

  • You can communicate with Safe at Home staff Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..
  • The Safe at Home office is closed weekends and state holidays.
  • All requests for a change to your information on file with Safe at Home must be submitted in writing and include your signature and the date signed. Requests must include the participant's full current legal name, four-digit Authorization ID number, and current addresses on file with Safe at Home, for verification purposes. (per Government Code §6209)
    • Call us toll free: (877) 322-5227
    • Mailing Address: Safe at Home, P.O. Box 846, Sacramento, CA 95812

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Reasons for Termination

Program participation may be terminated for any of the following reasons: (per Government Code 6206.7)

  • You requested to withdraw from the program and returned your Authorization ID card.
  • It was discovered that false or misleading information was provided in the application process.
  • It was discovered that you applied to the program to evade law enforcement or to avoid detection of illegal or criminal activity (including avoiding child custody, visitation or support orders).
  • Mail forwarded to your current California mailing address was returned to Safe at Home, marked as undeliverable, or indicated that you moved to a new address without notifying Safe at Home seven (7) days prior to moving.
  • A service of process document sent to you was returned as undeliverable or refused.
  • There was a change in your current residence address information and you did not provide the required seven (7) day notice to Safe at Home.
  • You completed a legal name change or confidential name change process and did not notify Safe at Home within (7) days, as required by law.
  • Your four-year certification period expired and your renewal was not completed and submitted to Safe at Home within sixty (60) days of the case expiration date.
  • You turned 18 and did not renew your certification within sixty (60) days of turning 18 years old.
  • The Secretary of State may refuse to renew your certification if you have abandoned your domicile in California.

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Release of Information

A confidential address can be released under the following circumstances: (per Government Code §6208)

  • If requested by a law enforcement agency, to the law enforcement agency
  • If directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order
  • If certification has been terminated as a result of false information provided in the application process or if enrollment in the program was used to avoid detection of illegal or criminal activity (including avoiding child custody, visitation or support orders) or to evade apprehension by law enforcement.

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Renewals

Participants who continue to live in fear for their safety may qualify to renew their certification at the end of their four year certification period. (per Government Code §6206(c))

  • Renewing your certification in the Safe at Home program is optional.
  • Participants are eligible for renewal 30 days before their four year certification period expires.
  • The Renewal forms will be sent to you 60 days before your renewal date.
  • All adult participants must complete their own renewal forms, including children who turned 18 while enrolled in the program.
  • Guardians and Conservators renewing their incapacitated adult child's enrollment must provide proof of guardianship/conservatorship and sign the forms on behalf of the adult.
  • All Renewal forms must be completed accurately, signed, dated and returned within 60 days of the participant's expiration date or participation in the program may be terminated. (per Government Code 6206.7)
  • Participants complete the Renewal Application under penalty of perjury and must be aware that providing any false or misleading information is grounds for termination.

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Requesting Documents from Safe at Home

After withdrawal or termination, a participant’s file is kept for a period of three years following termination or withdrawal and then destroyed. If the participant's file includes a confidential name change filing, the file is not destroyed, but is retained at the Secretary of State's office indefinitely. Confidential name change records can only be accessed by the participant or former participant, through a court order or law enforcement request. (per Government Codes §6206.4, 6206.5, 6208)

Should a participant wish to request copies of any documentation in their file, he or she must submit a written, signed and dated request (per Government Code §6209) to: Safe at Home, P.O. Box 846, Sacramento, CA 95812.

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Legal Name Requirement (per Government Code §6206(a)):

  • The applicant must use his or her legal name to enroll in the program and to receive mail.
  • If the applicant has had a legal name change, has been divorced or remarried and the name on the application does not match other documents he or she provides, proof of name change is required.
  • If, once enrolled, the participant has a legal name change or confidential name change, he or she may only receive mail in his or her current or former legal names on file with Safe at Home.
  • If a program participant obtains a legal name change and fails to notify the Secretary of State within seven days, his or her participation in the program may be terminated. (per Government Code 6206.7)

Using the Safe at Home Authorization ID(per Government Code §6207(a)):

Once enrolled, the participant must use his or her Safe at Home Authorization ID on all mail received at his or her designated Safe at Home mailing address. If the four-digit Authorization ID number is not on the participant’s mail, it will be returned to its sender(s). Mail must be addressed as follows:

Participant Name and SAH ID #
P.O. Box #
Sacramento, CA 95812

OR

Participant Name Attn: SAH ID # P.O. Box # Sacramento, CA 95812

OR

Participant Name
P.O. Box #, Box (SAH ID #)
Sacramento, CA 95812

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Withdrawals

Participants have the option to withdraw from the program at anytime during their four-year certification period. (per Government Code §6206.7(a))

  • Participants may complete the Withdrawal Form provided in their enrollment packet or may submit a signed and dated written letter requesting withdrawal. Withdrawals will be verified by telephone.
  • Participants must return their Safe at Home ID card and certificate(s) with their withdrawal.
  • If the participant's driving or registration records were suppressed, the participant should notify the Department of Motor Vehicles Confidential Records Unit of his or her withdrawal from Safe at Home. (per Vehicle Code §1808.21)
  • State and local agencies may be notified that the participant is no longer active in the program. (per Government Code §6206.7(e))

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