The State of California is taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and Secretary of State Alex Padilla is encouraging all California residents to use the Secretary of State’s online services or contact staff by email or phone for assistance. Public counters at our Sacramento office will be closed as of March 20, 2020, but drop-off boxes will be available in the first floor rotunda. Our Los Angeles public counter will remain open, but with limited staff and services.
During this challenging time, we urge all Californians to continue to take all recommended public health precautions, including:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
If you need to go to a government office:
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Stay six feet (three paces) away from other people.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Online Resources and Information
The Archives Research and Reading Room is currently closed to the public. Archives staff are available to assist with your research request via phone, email, or mail. For assistance with research, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view digital collections and online exhibits: www.sos.ca.gov/archives/california-digital-archives.
For information about statewide records management, including filing Records Retention Schedules or guidance, you can visit: www.sos.ca.gov/archives/records-management-and-appraisal or email: email@example.com.
Business Programs Division
Anyone with questions about business filings or about dropping off a document at the Business Program Division offices during the closure of our Sacramento public counter and limited service in Los Angeles can learn more at: bizfile.sos.ca.gov.
Whether you are filing a financing statement pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code, searching for a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership filing or confirming the standing of an immigration consultant, the Secretary of State's bizfile portal has all your online filing and search needs in one location. Over 140 business transactions are available at bizfileOnline.sos.ca.gov.
Resources for Businesses:
- The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled helpful information for employers, employees, and all Californians: https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/
- The US Small Business Administration has a disaster assistance page with helpful information: www.SBA.gov/disaster
All California voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election.
Voters who can vote by mail will help ensure safe physical distancing at voting locations. County elections officials will begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots to all active registered voters in California by October 5, 2020. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by November 3, 2020; ballots returned at a secure ballot drop box must be deposited by 8:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020.
Voting locations will be available in all counties before Election Day.
One or more early voting locations will be available in many counties for at least four days beginning the Saturday before the November 3, 2020, election. Voting locations will offer voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines, and language assistance.
The Secretary of State’s Office, in consultation with California public health officials, developed the Health and Safety Guidance Election Administration Guidance under COVID-19 (PDF). This guidance is directed toward California county elections officials and their workers as they prepare safe, clean environments for employees, election workers, volunteers, election observers, and voters to ensure the November 3, 2020, General Election can be conducted during the current COVID-19 pandemic without creating new health risks. For any updates information, please visit the November 3, 2020, General Election website.
Cal-Access provides financial information supplied by state candidates, donors, lobbyists, and others: Cal-Access.sos.ca.gov
Power Search provides quick and easy access to the source, recipient and amount of state campaign contributions and access to independent expenditures data. Campaign contribution searches provide useful summaries of information at the contributor, candidate, ballot measure and campaign committee levels with options for sorting and further exploring the data. To visit the PowerSearch website: PowerSearch.sos.ca.gov/quick-search.php
Safe at Home
Locate the enrollment agency for the Secretary of State's confidential address program nearest you by visiting: www.sos.ca.gov/registries/safe-home/where-find-enrolling-agency/
Please note, not all transactions can be conducted online.
Individuals needing to conduct a transaction that is not available online and have concerns about visiting the Secretary of State's office in person can call or email the following Secretary of State Divisions:
Phone: (916) 657-2166
Phone: (916) 653-6774
Safe at Home:
Toll-Free: (877) 322-5227
Political Reform Division:
Phone: (916) 653-6224
For information on how the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom is protecting Californians from COVID-19, visit: covid19.ca.gov
For the most up to date information on COVID-19 from the California Department of Public Health, visit: cdph.ca.gov/covid19
For the most up to date information on COVID-19 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
Feeling Stressed or Anxious About COVID-19?
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis many of us may experience anxiety about the uncertainty of what is happening. You may be wondering if the virus will come to your community, how you can protect yourself and your family and how to prepare as we continue to adapt to changes in the normal course of daily life. It is normal to feel anxious, unsettled, distracted, scared and/or overwhelmed by COVID-19. Some people may be more vulnerable if they already have a health or anxiety disorder. Feeling stressed can affect your immune system and increase the risk of getting ill in general. That is why it is important to take steps to manage your anxiety and how you react to the situation, so you can keep yourself as safe as possible.
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself during the situation:
- Seek health information from trusted resources like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) , The World Health Organization and the California Department of Public Health.
- Plan ahead to feel more in control. Go food shopping and make contingency plans for work, childcare or travel if they become necessary.
- Take good care of yourself. Wash your hands often, get plenty of rest, exercise, eat well, don't smoke and limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Put things into perspective. Most people who contract COVID-19 recover. Those who are at the greatest risk are seniors and people with existing health conditions. The virus is highly contagious and there is no known treatment yet, but public health officials are working to limit and contain the spread of it.
- Stay informed, but don't overdo it. If you do consume media, do so thoughtfully.
If you find that you are having difficulty managing stress, help is available. If a household member is hypervigilant, obsessively reading about the crisis and worrying about the effects, you can call Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long.
SAMHSA provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call:
- SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517) to connect with a trained crisis counselor.