SOS Changes Document Certifications

Historically, the California Secretary of State has certified copies of filed documents by attaching a separate cover page.  Last week, the Secretary of State announced that effective July 23, 2010 her office would stamp the back of the last page of the instrument being certified in lieu of providing a separate cover page.  The stamp will contain the date on which the document was certified, the signature of the Secretary of State, and the California State Seal.   Within the area of the stamp will be the handwritten number of pages being certified and the initials of the deputy certifying the document.  This change in procedure and appearance does not affect certified copies from the Uniform Commercial Code Section.  Certifications by that section are automatically generated by an automated system.

When the Secretary of State's office previewed this change with members of the bar, concerns were expressed about the placement of the certification on the back of the last page.   However, the new procedure does not address those concerns.