Public Records

The California Public Records Act (PRA) gives every person the right to access public records in the physical custody of the Secretary of State unless the records are exempt from disclosure by law. (Government Code section 7920.000 et seq.).

Public records are any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by the Secretary of State regardless of physical form or characteristics. (Government Code section 7920.530(a)).

The Secretary of State would only have records relating to Secretary of State duties or that have been previously transferred to the State Archives for historical purposes. Secretary of State duty areas include:

The Secretary of State does not oversee the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and does not have duties related to driver licenses, vehicle registration, and other duties performed by the DMV. In addition, the Secretary of State is only able to provide records related to our office and we are not the contact agency for records held by other agencies that have not been transferred to the State Archives due to applicable criteria including age or historical significance.

How to Request Records

Many records of the Secretary of State are already available online. Requesting a record through a public records act request that is already available online will result in delays in obtaining the record, as you will be redirected to the website where the record is available. (Government Code section 7922.545(a)). In addition, a lot of records that are not available online can be requested through an existing order form or process, which is often faster and more convenient than requesting the records as a public records act request. To expedite your request, please ensure that the record you are seeking cannot otherwise be obtained or requested from the Secretary of State outside of a public records act request. Some common examples are provided below.

Are you searching for any of the following?

Record Type How to Obtain
Business Entity Records

Certified copies, certificates of status and plain copies of business entity (corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships) records are available on the bizfile Online portal. 


To order certified copies of historical business entity records and other business entity types not available online, submit a Business Entities Records - Order Form (PDF).  


Please note that the Secretary of State does not collect ownership information for business entities and would not have records of this information.

Historical Records at the California State Archives

If you are looking for historical records at the California State Archives please use the State Archives Research Form for faster service. 


In addition, numerous public records, such as Agency reports on a number of the Agency's programs, or California Archives digital collections and exhibits, are posted on the Secretary of State website.

Oaths of Office Oaths of office for certain officers, superior court judges, and notaries public are filed with the Secretary of State. To obtain a copy of an Oath of Office, submit a Special Filings Order Form (PDF) and request the oath on page 2 in the section labeled “Misc. Filings Only.”
Bond Information Surety Bonds are filed with the Secretary of State for the following 15 professions only:
  • Auctioneer/Auction Company
  • Credit Service Organization
  • Dance Studio
  • Discount Buying Organization
  • Employment Agency
  • Employment Counseling Services
  • Foreclosure Consultant
  • Guaranteed Traffic Arrest Bail Bond
  • Health Studio
  • Immigration Consultant
  • Invention Developer
  • Job Listing Service
  • Nurses Registry
  • Seller of Travel Business Discount Programs
  • Seller of Travel Discount Programs


To obtain a copy of a Surety Bond on file for an individual practicing one of these professions, submit a Special Filings Order Form (PDF).


Note: The Secretary of State does not have bond information for any other professions. If you are seeking a copy of a bond for a California commissioned Notary Public, please contact the county clerk’s office where the notary public is commissioned.

Uniform Commercial Code Records Certified and plain copies of Uniform Commercial Code financing statements and other lien documents including notices of judgment liens, attachment liens and federal and state tax liens are available on the bizfile Online portal. 
Political Reform Division

In addition to providing assistance to individuals who file campaign and lobbying disclosure statements and otherwise must comply with provisions of California's Political Reform Act, the Secretary of State's Political Reform Division makes this information available to the public in a variety of ways.


Campaign registration and disclosure activity can be viewed on our Campaign Activity website and/or the Power Search website.


Lobbying registration and disclosure activity can be viewed on our Lobbying Activity website. Go to the Lobbying Directory (PDF) to download or view the lobbying directory.


Most records can be accessed electronically on the Cal-Access website. Printouts or custom data exports may be requested by following the instructions found on our Data Processing Service Request web page.

Domestic Partnership Records To obtain a copy of a domestic partnership record, submit a Special Filings Order Form (PDF).

National Voter Registration Act Reports / California's Election Administration and Voting Survey



The Secretary of State is responsible for responding to Election Assistance Commission (EAC) surveys by gathering, from the 58 counties, voter registration data such as the number of voter registration applications received and processed and where those applications came from (e.g., Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices, public assistance agencies, agencies providing services to people with disabilities, and armed forces agencies). If you are looking for California’s Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) reports to the EAC, they can be found on our NVRA Reports web page.
Voter Records Voter records are exempt from public disclosure pursuant to Government Code section 7924.000 and Elections Code section 2194. The Secretary of State is not authorized to provide these records pursuant to a Public Records Act request. 
Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment (OVSTA) Records The Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment (OVSTA) is responsible for the testing and certification of voting technology used in the State of California, including voting systems, electronic poll books, remote accessible vote by mail systems, ballot printers and ballot on demand systems. The following records and documentation are available online regarding voting technology:

For public records filed with the Secretary of State's office that are not otherwise noted above, submit the PRA Request Form. 



PRA Request Form




Visit our Frequently Asked Questions website for guidelines and questions regarding the PRA and record requests. The guidelines are posted at the public counters located at the Secretary of State Office, 1500 11th Street, Sacramento, California, and the Secretary of State Office in Los Angeles, 300 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California. A copy of these guidelines will be made available at no charge to any person upon request.