A. Form 400
1. Does my Agency Head need to digitally sign the Form 400 or is an electronic signature acceptable?
OAL’s emergency regulations originally approved in July of 2020 required the Form 400 to be signed with a digital signature, as defined in Government Code section 16.5(d) and implementing Secretary of State regulations in chapter 10 of division 7 of title 2 of the California Code of Regulations. In OAL’s certificate of compliance action to make the underlying emergency regulations permanent, OAL expanded the list of allowable signature methods. As of April 18, 2022, the Form 400 must be signed electronically with either: 1) a digital signature, as defined in Government Code section 16.5(d), or 2) an electronic signature, as defined in Civil Code section 1633.2(h).
2. My Agency Head digitally signed the Form 400. Can I print the digitally signed Form 400 and submit my rulemaking action in hardcopy?
No, OAL is not accepting “hybrid” submissions at this time. If the Form 400 is signed with an electronic signature, the rulemaking action must be submitted electronically.
3. When I combine a signed Form 400 with the proposed regulation text, the digital signature on the Form 400 in the resulting .pdf is rendered invalid. What do I do?
Try combining the two .pdf documents into a .pdf “Portfolio” instead.
4. Where can I find a current version of the Form 400 online?
The latest version of the standard, statewide form STD. 400 is available in .pdf format from the Department of General Services at https://www.dgsapps.dgs.ca.gov/osp/StatewideFormsWeb/Forms.aspx
B. Attachments to Electronic Submissions
1. I submitted my rulemaking action to OAL in a single email, but it was rejected. Why?
OAL’s emergency regulations originally approved in July of 2020 required electronic submissions to be contained within a single email. In OAL’s certificate of compliance action to make the underlying emergency regulations permanent, OAL expanded the allowable size of an agency’s electronic submission. As of April 18, 2022, each electronic submission must include two emails, neither of which may exceed 25 MB in size. The first email must include seven identical electronic files, each of which includes one electronic copy of the regulation text and one electronic Form 400. The second email must include all documents and information comprising the rulemaking record.
2. Do I have to submit seven copies of the Form 400, regulation text, and every document in the rulemaking record?
No, the requirement to submit seven copies only applies to the .pdf containing an electronically signed Form 400 and the regulation text.
3. Why do I have to submit seven identical copies of the Form 400 and proposed regulation text?
OAL cannot deviate from this statutory requirement established in Government Code section 11343.
4. Can our electronic rulemaking record include .mp4 files?
Yes, the documents and information comprising the rulemaking record may be submitted in any commonly available file format.
C. CCR, Title 1, Section 101 Certification
1. Do OAL’s digital signature requirements apply to all electronically submitted documents?
No, section 101 only applies to the use of digital signatures on the Form 400. Government Code section 16.5 and implementing Secretary of State regulations impose certain requirements and conditions on the use of digital signatures by state agencies that do not extend to other electronic signatures. Since OAL does not need to ensure statutory or regulatory compliance for non-digital electronic signatures, the certification requirement in section 101 does not encompass other electronic signature methods.
2. Does the certification described in section 101 have to be made in a certain format or on a particular form?
No, there is no form. A certification will be accepted in any format as long as it includes the applicable language from section 101 and is signed and dated by the Agency Head.
3. What kind of signature is needed on the certification described in section 101?
A section 101-compliant certification may include a wet, digital, or other electronic signature.
4. Do I have to include a section 101-compliant certification with each electronically submitted rulemaking action?
No, you must provide OAL with a section 101-compliant certification prior to or at the time of submitting your first electronic rulemaking action that utilizes a digital signature on the Form 400. We will keep the certification on file for our reference. Unless revoked or superseded, the certification is valid during the term of office of the Agency Head and will be invalid when the Agency Head leaves office. A section 101-compliant certification is not required if the Form 400 is signed with an electronic signature, as defined in Civil Code section 1633.2(h).
5. If necessary, how do I provide section 101-compliant certifications to supplement or replace the initial certification OAL already has on file?
Email all subsequent certifications to the OAL Reference Attorney at email@example.com.
6. OAL already has my Agency Head’s delegation of authority to sign the hardcopy Form 400 on file. Will that satisfy the requirements of section 101?
No, the certification required by section 101 is specifically for the use of digital signatures on the Form 400.
D. Form 399
1. Can we electronically sign the Form 399?
The Form 399 is a Department of Finance (DOF) form. For information regarding electronic signatures on the Form 399, please contact your DOF budget analyst.
2. Do the signatures on the Form 399 need to be the same signature method? For example, what if the Fiscal Officer signed the Form 399 with an electronic signature and the Agency Secretary signed the Form 399 with a wet signature? Is that acceptable?
The Form 399 is a DOF form. For information regarding electronic signatures on the Form 399, please contact your DOF budget analyst.
E. Electronic Notice Submissions
1. Do I submit electronic Notices of Proposed Action (NOPAs) and electronic rulemaking actions to the same address?
No, submit electronic NOPAs to NOPA@oal.ca.gov and electronic rulemaking actions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Do I have to submit seven identical copies of the Form 400 and proposed regulation text for electronic NOPA submissions?
No, the copy requirement only applies to final rulemaking actions. Only one copy is required for electronic NOPA submissions.
F. Alternative Submission Methods
1. Do I have to file electronically with OAL?
No, OAL also accepts mailed or hand-delivered submissions during normal business hours (8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday).
G. Questions Regarding Electronic Submissions
1. Can I email questions to email@example.com?
No, that account is for submission of proposed rulemaking actions only. You may email questions about the electronic submission process to the OAL Reference Attorney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. How do I know that OAL received and accepted my electronic submission?
After your submission is reviewed for compliance with our regulations, you will receive an email informing you that the submission was accepted and providing the OAL matter number, or informing you that the submission was rejected and explaining the reason(s) why the submission was not acceptable.