Temporary Suspension of Preclearance and Expedited Services
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary of State has been operating with limited staff in the office in order to preserve the health and safety of our customers and staff while still maintaining essential operations for businesses. In order to minimize delays in the processing of business entity documents, effective Monday, April 20, 2020, the Secretary of State will be suspending preclearance and expedited services until further notice (see Government Code section 12182(c)). Business entity documents submitted with a request for 24-hour preclearance or expedited services will continue to be honored until Friday, April 17, 2020. However, any documents submitted with requests for 24-hour preclearance or expedited services on Friday, April 17, 2020 will be mailed back to the customer upon completion of the review process rather than being available for pickup that afternoon in our Sacramento lobby. Customers that would like their submission returned via overnight mail should include a prepaid self-addressed envelope.
Los Angeles Services Currently in Effect
To help protect our customers and staff from the spread of COVID-19, in addition to closing our Sacramento public counters, effective Monday, April 6, 2020, the Los Angeles Regional Office will operate under reduced business hours and will serve the public from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. While the reduced business hours are in place, limited staff will be available to serve two customers at a time at the public counter. Customers must first obtain a number from the 12th floor counter and will then be directed to wait on the 2nd floor in the designated waiting area until their number is called.
In addition, all of the Corporation Registration documents dropped off at the Los Angeles Regional Office will be sent to our Sacramento office for processing. Once processed, documents will be returned by mail from our Sacramento office. Customers are strongly encouraged to use our online services or mail their documents to our Sacramento office directly for processing.
Extension of Notary Public Commissions
On May 8, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-63-20 (see paragraphs 6 and 7), extending commissions of notaries public for a period of 60 days for any notary public whose commission term has expired since March 1, 2020 or whose commission is set to expire over the next 60 days.
Notary public commission terms that expired anytime between March 1, 2020 and May 7, 2020, have been extended until July 6, 2020.
Notary public commission terms that expired after May 7, 2020 through July 7, 2020, are extended for 60 days on a rolling basis (i.e., someone whose commission expires on May 8, 2020, will have their commission extended until July 7, 2020, and someone whose commission expires on July 6, 2020 will have their commission extended until September 4, 2020).
This extension is valid provided the notary public whose commission term has been extended, maintains a valid surety bond during the extension, and annotates on each notarial act the following statement: “The notary commission extended pursuant to Executive Order N-63-20.”
Acceptance of Expired California Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards
As a result of Executive Order N-63-20, California Drivers Licenses and Identification cards that expired on March 1, 2020 or later, must be accepted for a period of 60 days by California notaries public to establish satisfactory evidence of the individual appearing before them. Our office recommends that notaries public annotate in their journal the expired Driver’s License or Identification Card was accepted due to Executive Order N-63-20.