NOTICE: Digital Signature Campaign and Lobbying Filings

Digital Signature Filing Instructions for Campaign Filings
Digital Signature Filing Instructions for Lobbying Filings
Digital Filing Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning January 1, 2023, filers required by the Political Reform Act of 1974 to file a report or statement by paper with the Secretary of State may instead file the paper report or statement by email. Additionally, the requirement that a copy must accompany an original report or statement filed with the SOS in paper format has been eliminated.

All statements must be signed using a verified digital signature consistent with FPPC Regulation 18104(b) (2). To comply with this requirement, see​​​​ FPPC guidance.

**IMPORTANT: If you are required to file electronically or online, that obligation and method of filing remains unchanged. This guidance pertains only to filings previously required to be filed by paper. Filing statements by email does not satisfy the online filing requirement under GC 84605 (Political Reform Act) to file electronically with the Secretary of State in CAL-ACCESS. If your filing is received and filed by email, it only fulfills your obligation to file a report or statement by paper.

Filings received with a scanned copy of a signature or without a digital signature that qualifies as a “secure electronic signature” pursuant to the FPPC regulation and guidance referenced above will not be processed. 

Q: What is electronic filing?

Although there are many views of what is considered an electronic transmission, the Secretary of State considers a document to have been electronically filed if it successfully comes in through the available port using a TCP/IP method of uploading into the specified filing server. The filed document must be in the Secretary of State's current version of the Cal Format. (You can find a copy of the current version of the format at the Electronic Filing Information page.)

Note: The following methods are not considered nor accepted as electronic filing with our office: fax, email, floppy diskettes or CD's.

Q: Where on your web site can I look up my I.D. number?

Once an I.D. number has been issued, you can look it up on the Cal-Access website. Simply start by clicking in the Cal-Access "search field" at the upper left-hand portion of the screen, type in the name you would like to look up and click "go". A page will then show the results with the name and its assigned I.D. number.

Q: Who should I contact if I have a question or concern?

You should always first contact the electronic filing vendor that provides you with your filing software. If your filing vendor cannot assist you with your questions or concerns, you should next contact the Secretary of State. Depending on the nature of your question, Secretary of State staff will determine who can best respond to your needs. Please call the Political Reform Division at (916) 653-6224 and explain your problem. Your question will then be assigned to the appropriate person.

Q: Who should I contact if my electronic filing is being rejected?

If your problem has to do with your electronic filing being rejected and your vendor is not able to correct your filing, please call the Cal Online Help Desk at 1-877-745-3453.