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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are all FAQs. To select a specific topic click on the down arrow under "Please Choose a Category."

How does a person become a candidate to be chosen as a presidential elector in Minnesota?
How do candidates for president and vice president get on the ballot in Minnesota?
Is there a statewide primary for president and vice president in Minnesota?
How do I update my account delivery information?
How can I see the state redistricting plans?
How do I pay for my online filings and orders?
How do I pay for my online filings and orders?
How do I pay for my online filings and orders?
How do I reset my password?
Do I need to create an account to file online? Do I need an online account to file any type of filing?
What is the difference between an Effective Financing Statement and a CNS Statutory Lien Notice?
How do I know you have received and filed our document?
Where can I get UCC forms?
Does a UCC-3 Termination change the status of a UCC filing?
How long will my transaction history be available?
What are the system requirements for MBLS?
How will I know when my online filing is processed?
What are the copy and search fees?
Where can I get CNS forms?
What is the logic used for an online secured search?
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Q: How does a person become a candidate to be chosen as a presidential elector in Minnesota?
A:

Major political parties: Minnesota's major political parties (currently the Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor parties) nominate candidates for presidential elector by delegate conventions called and held under the supervision of the party’s state central committee. The state chair of a major party must certify to the Secretary of State the names of the persons nominated as presidential electors and the names of the party candidates for president and vice-president on or before the day of the primary. Minnesota Statutes 208.03

Minor political parties: A minor political party may nominate candidates for presidential elector by circulating a petition. The petition must list the names of the presidential elector candidates and the names of the candidates for president and vice-president. This petition must be signed by at least 2,000 individuals eligible to vote in Minnesota. Candidates for presidential elector must file their petitions on or before the day of the primary. Minnesota Statutes 204B.07, 204B.08, and 204B.09. In 2012, the Libertarian, Socialist Workers, Constitution, Constitutional Government, Green, Grassroots, Socialism & Liberation, and Justice parties filed petitions for presidential electors and candidates for president and vice president to be placed on the general election ballot.

Write-in candidates: An individual may file a "written request by write-in candidates for federal and state office." This form requests that all write-in votes cast for the candidate be counted. A write-in candidate for president must also state the name of at least one, but no more than ten, candidates for presidential electors. Minnesota Statutes 204B.09, and 208.04.

Q: How do candidates for president and vice president get on the ballot in Minnesota?
A:

The method for gaining ballot access for president and vice president depends on whether the candidate is affiliated with one of the two major parties in Minnesota. For major party presidential candidates, their ten electors are to be nominated at delegate conventions under the supervision of the party’s state central committee. At least 71 days before the state general election (August 29, 2016), the chair of a major political party shall certify to the secretary of state the names of persons nominated as presidential electors and the names of the party candidates for president and vice-president. (M.S. 208.03)

Minor party and independent presidential electors must be nominated by petition. The names of the candidates for president and vice-president must be added to the political party or political principle stated on the nominating petition. (M.S. 204B.07, subd. 2) At least 2,000 valid signatures of eligible voters are required on the petition. Signatures for the nominating petition may not be gathered until the first day of the filing period (May 17, 2016). (M.S. 204B.08) Nominating petitions with the required signatures must be filed with the Office of Secretary of State at least 77 days before the state general election (August 23, 2016). (M.S. 204B.09, subd. 1(c) )

-Nominating Petition (Presidential Electors) (print on 8.5" x 14" (legal size) paper)
-Example Nominating Petition (Presidential Electors)

See Filing Periods for specific dates for a given year.

Q: Is there a statewide primary for president and vice president in Minnesota?
A:
No. The presidential primary law was repealed in 1999. At the state political party precinct caucuses, participants may vote on a preference ballot for presidential candidates. (M.S. 202A.18, subd. 2a.) The 2016 precinct caucuses are currently scheduled to be held on March 1, 2016.  (M.S. 202A.14)
Q: How do I update my account delivery information?
A:

On the MBLS portal, click 'Sign In'.

  • Click on 'Account' in the upper right hand corner to view your current delivery information.
  • Click [Edit] to make changes.
  • Click [Save].
Q: How can I see the state redistricting plans?
A:
The congressional and legislative plans are available from the Legislative Coordinating Commission-GIS.
Q: How do I pay for my online filings and orders?
A:

Payment must be made by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Debit cards must have a Discover/MasterCard/Visa logo.

  • Your order is not completed until payment is submitted using the US Bank process.
  • Your MBLS Sign In is not your US Bank Sign In.
  • The US Bank website allows you to pay without registering.
  • US Bank will provide a payment confirmation.
Q: How do I pay for my online filings and orders?
A:

Payment must be made by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Debit cards must have a Discover/MasterCard/Visa logo.

  • Your order is not completed until payment is submitted using the US Bank process.
  • Your MBLS Sign In is not your US Bank Sign In.
  • The US Bank website allows you to pay without registering.
  • US Bank will provide a payment confirmation.
Q: How do I pay for my online filings and orders?
A:

Payment must be made by credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Debit cards must have a Discover/MasterCard/Visa logo.

  • Your order is not completed until payment is submitted using the US Bank process.
  • Your MBLS Sign In is not your US Bank Sign In.
  • The US Bank website allows you to pay without registering.
  • US Bank will provide a payment confirmation. 
Q: How do I reset my password?
A:

On the MBLS Portal, click 'Sign In' and then "Forgot your Password?'.

  • Enter the Email address you used to create your online account and click ‘Request Password Reset’.
  • Wait for the confirmation email from business.services@state.mn.us.
  • If you do not receive an email it may indicate you have not created an online account. You will need to follow the MBLS Create Online Account instructions.
    • Note: If you receive the message ‘Email address is unavailable’, this indicates the email already exists and you'll need to reset your password.
    • Note: If you receive the message ‘Email address or password is invalid’, you'll need to reenter your email address and password. If the error message continues to display, it may indicate you did not create an online account.
Q: Do I need to create an account to file online? Do I need an online account to file any type of filing?
A:

Yes. Yes.

  • The creation of an online account is a one-time process.
  • Complete the online account process (email and password).
  • Wait for the confirmation email from business.services@state.mn.us (link valid for 24 hours).
  • Click the link within the email or right click the link and select 'open hyperlink'.
  • Next enter your email and password.
  • Once the online account is confirmed you will be required to Sign In.
  • Your online account allows you the ability to complete filings and orders for Business, UCC, Tax Liens and CNS online.
  • The delivery information entered at the time of creation will auto-fill.
Q: What is the difference between an Effective Financing Statement and a CNS Statutory Lien Notice?
A:
An effective financing statement (EFS) subjects farm products to a security interest. The security interest may or may not be related to the farm products. The party completing the effective financing statement is responsible for selecting the farm product and county codes to be listed as part of the EFS in the CNS online filing system.

A statutory lien notice is filed by an already existing lienholder (i.e. veterinarian, crop sprayer, landlord) to protect their interests in services or materials already rendered or provided. A statutory lienholder has the right to put conditions on the release or waiver of the lien which the lien notice represents. The party completing the statutory lien notice is responsible for selecting the farm product and county codes to be listed as part of the statutory lien notice in the CNS online system.
Q: How do I know you have received and filed our document?
A:
We will return an acknowledgement copy to you that will be file stamped.
Q: Where can I get UCC forms?
A:
Go to our Form and Fees page to access the National Forms for UCC filings.
Q: Does a UCC-3 Termination change the status of a UCC filing?
A:
No, the UCC-3 Termination does not change the status of a filing in the Minnesota Business and Lien System (MBLS). The UCC filing remains in the active database until it has lapsed.
Q: How long will my transaction history be available?
A:
The transaction history retains online filings and orders up to 90 days.
Q: What are the system requirements for MBLS?
A:

The system requirements are provided on the MBLS Portal.

Note: Please use the 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons when navigating in the MBLS system and refrain from using the Back and Forward arrows in your browser.

Q: How will I know when my online filing is processed?
A:
An email notification will be sent when your order has been processed. The email will include a link to the filed document. You will be able to view the filing in your “Download Inventory” located in the Minnesota Business Lien System (MBLS).
Q: What are the copy and search fees?
A:
Please see the Fee Schedule.
Q: Where can I get CNS forms?
A:
CNS Forms can be obtained from the Minnesota Secretary of State's web site.
Q: What is the logic used for an online secured search?
A:
See the Secured Search Logic Implementation Guide for further information.
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