Law enforcement officers may encounter Safe at Home participants when performing routine traffic stops or when responding to an emergency call or incident. Survivors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault enroll in the Safe at Home program to protect their residence address on court documents, restraining orders, police reports and with various state and local agencies. Some Safe at Home participants are eligible to change their names, driver's licenses and social security numbers. They may also be eligible to apply for the Confidential Records Unit DMV Suppression Program to protect their address information with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is recommended that law enforcement officials contact the Safe at Home program at (916) 653-1769 with questions about the use of Safe at Home benefits or to verify an individual's enrollment. The Secretary of State's office greatly appreciates the continued cooperation, sensitivity to victim needs, and ongoing information exchange we have with California's law enforcement agencies.
- The Secretary of State designated Safe at Home P.O. Box address, when used by a program participant, shall be accepted by the courts and law enforcement officials.
- When a program participant requests that the court or a law enforcement officer use his or her Safe at Home mailing address, the participant should present his or her Safe at Home Authorization ID card.
- The ID card is a laminated card (view sample ID card) which contains the participant's name, the Safe at Home P.O. Box address, the enrollment date, the expiration date, the participant's signature, and the Secretary of State’s toll-free number (877) 322-5227.
- Please call the Safe at Home program if you need to verify a participant’s active enrollment or have inquiries about the program benefits.
- If a police or investigative report pertaining to a Safe at Home participant is written and filed, the Safe at Home address must be listed in the report rather than participant's residence address.
- Note: Enrollment in the Safe at Home program does not constitute evidence of domestic violence or stalking for the purposes of making custody or visitation orders.
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- The Secretary of State may not provide the confidential address location of a Safe at Home participant to anyone, with the following exceptions:
- If the address is requested by a law enforcement agency, to that specific agency;
- if directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order; or
- after the participant's termination or withdrawal from the program, at the discretion of the Safe at Home program manager.
- Requests for Information - Agency Exemption Requests:
- A law enforcement agency may request for the confidential address of a Safe at Home participant to be released under the following circumstances:
- If a law enforcement agency has a bona fide statutory or administrative requirement to use the participant’s actual physical address, which is confidential under Safe at Home; and
- the physical address will be used by that agency solely for those statutory or administrative purposes; and
- that agency shall not publicly disseminate the address information; and
- the agency has submitted a written request and/or completed the Agency Exemption Request form; and
- the Secretary of State has determined the request is acceptable.
- Requests for information must be made in writing on agency letterhead and faxed to: (916) 653-7625.
- If the information requested is for a closed case, the following information must be provided:
- The participant's name,
- The law enforcement officer's name and badge number,
- The statutory purpose for the request, and
- The signature of the law enforcement officer making the request.
- If the information requested is for an active case, the Agency Exemption Request must be submitted with the request.
- The Agency Exemption Request form must be signed by the head of the law enforcement agency.
- To obtain an Agency Exemption Request form, contact the Secretary of State’s office at (916) 653-1769.
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Mailing to Safe at Home Participants
The Secretary of State serves as the legal agent to accept and forward mail and service of process on behalf of all Safe at Home program participants.
- The Safe at Home P.O. Box addresses are shared by many participants.
- The participant's four digit ID number serves as the sole identifier to expedite the processing of thousands of pieces of participant mail daily.
- Please be sure to include the participant’s four digit ID number when addressing mail to the participant at his or her Safe at Home P.O. Box.
- If possible, the ID number should be placed adjacent to the participant’s last name or in a separate "attn" line.
- Service of Process:
- If it becomes necessary to execute a service of process, please prepare two copies of each document being served.
- Hand deliver the documents, as required by law, to the Secretary of State, 1500 11th Street, 4th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except state holidays.
- One copy is immediately forwarded to the program participant and the other copy is retained in the participant's file for reference.
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Reasons for Termination
Program participation may be terminated for any of the following reasons: (per Government Code 6206.7)
- The participant requested to withdraw from the program and returned his or her Safe at Home ID card.
- It was discovered that false or misleading information was provided in the application process.
- It was discovered that the participant 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 the participant's current California mailing address was returned to Safe at Home, marked as undeliverable, or indicated that the participant moved to a new address without notifying Safe at Home seven (7) days prior to moving.
- A service of process document sent to the participant was returned as undeliverable or refused.
- There was a change in the participant's current residence address information and he or she did not provide the required seven (7) day notice to Safe at Home.
- The participant completed a legal name change or confidential name change process and did not notify Safe at Home within (7) days, as required by law.
- The participant's four-year certification period expired and his or her renewal was not completed and submitted to Safe at Home.
- The participant turned 18 and did not renew his or her certification within sixty (60) days of turning 18 years old.
- The Secretary of State may refuse to renew a participant's certification if he or she has abandoned his or her domicile in California.
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