For over 150 years, the Office of the Secretary of State has been committed to providing the people of Minnesota with excellent public service. Under Minnesota law, the secretary of state is charged with performing certain duties including:
As keeper of the great seal of the State of Minnesota, the secretary of state files and certifies the authenticity of a wide variety of official documents. These include gubernatorial proclamations, appointments, and executive orders; the enrolled acts of the Minnesota Legislature; rules; and some municipal documents.
The secretary of state registers a variety of business organizations including corporations, nonprofits, assumed business names, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and limited partnerships. Other business-related filings include trade and service marks, legal newspaper registrations (.xls), international student exchange organization registration, among others. The secretary of state also accepts service of process on businesses under certain specific circumstances. Copies or certificates of status on any business record are available upon request for a fee.
Uniform Commercial Code
A statewide computerized network with county recorders is maintained by the secretary of state so that the public may search Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Article 9 records throughout the state from any county satellite filing office. UCC information is also available for a fee at any designated county satellite office through this communications network.
Since July 1, 1993, the secretary of state has had in place a Central Notification System (CNS) for Farm Product Liens. The secretary of state is responsible for processing all CNS filings and search requests; and is responsible for the production and delivery of monthly lists to registered buyers of farm products.
Notary Public Services
The secretary of state processes all notary public applications, renewals and changes, and maintains the notary database. A Minnesota notary can be located by name, commission number or county as well as by status. The Minnesota Legislature enacted electronic notary legislation effective July 1, 2006, allowing electronic notarization to be applied to a document so that the document can be fully processed electronically. The secretary of state has the function of e-notarization authorization for notaries public who wish to perform electronic notarizations. Authentications (apostilles and certificates of office) of notarized documents for foreign use are also prepared by the office.
The secretary of state is the chief election official in Minnesota and is responsible for administration of the Minnesota election law. In this capacity, the secretary of state operates the statewide voter registration system and prepares the official roster of voters for every election conducted in Minnesota. Other election activities include certifying voting systems, conducting administrative recounts, accepting filings by candidates for multi-county offices, and training of local election officials. The secretary of state chairs the State Canvassing Board, which certifies the results of state elections.
Safe at Home
The secretary of state administers Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program designed to assist Minnesotans who fear for their safety, such as victims of stalking, domestic violence and sexual assault.
The secretary of state serves on the State's Executive Council, the State Board of Investment and the Minnesota Historical Society. In addition, the secretary administers the open appointments process and publishes the Minnesota Legislative Manual, a collection of federal, state, and county government information.
Relevant constitutional and legislative citations include:
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