(a) When not inconsistent with other provisions of law, in lieu of filing or recording documents presented in paper format, the Secretary of State may adopt rules and regulations to authorize the electronic filing, including filing by facsimile, of any document required to be filed with the Secretary of State under any act administered by the Secretary of State. The rules and regulations may set forth standards for the acceptance of a signature in a form other than the proper handwriting of the person filing a document that requires his or her signature. A signature on a document electronically filed or filed by facsimile in accordance with those rules and regulations is prima facie evidence for all purposes that the document actually was signed by the person whose signature appears on the electronically filed document or facsimile.
The filing or recording shall constitute a unique computerized informational record. The record need not be retained in the form in which it is received, if the technology used to retain the record results in a permanent record that does not permit additions, deletions, or changes in the original document and from which an accurate image may be created during the period for which the record is required to be retained.
The filing officer may employ a system of microphotography, optical disk, or reproduction by other techniques that do not permit additions, deletions, or changes to the original document.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 7550.5, the Secretary of State shall prepare and submit to the Legislature at the commencement of the public comment period required under Article 5 (commencing with Section 11346) of Chapter 3.5 of Part 1 a report of, and a copy of, any rules and regulations proposed pursuant to subdivision (a) to authorize the electronic filing, including filing by facsimile, of documents required to be filed with the Secretary of State.
(c) All film used in the microphotography process shall comply with minimum standards of quality approved by the United States Bureau of Standards and the American National Standards Institute. A true copy of the microfilm, optical disk, or other storage medium shall be kept in a safe and separate place for security purposes. A reproduction of any document filed, recorded, stored, or retained on microfilm, optical disk, or by other technology pursuant to this section shall be as admissible in any court as the original itself.
The Secretary of State shall obtain the approval of the Fair Political Practices Commission before applying this section to a filing or recording under the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000)).
(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1000, Sec. 45. Effective January 1, 2000.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018