HOW TO ORDER A CERTIFICATE OF STANDING
What is a Certificate of Standing?
The State Bar issues a single-page Certificate of Standing to verify a member's name, bar number, admission date, current status, any number or status changes and any public discipline as of the date of the certificate. The ultimate recipient decides how long they consider the certificate "valid." The State Bar does not use the term "good standing" since what is "good" standing may vary by jurisdiction. This document is not the frameable admission ("wall") certificate issued by the admissions office.
PLEASE NOTE: Our printed Certificate of Standing Request Form has been replaced by our enhanced and easy-to-use online certificate ordering program, which now allows you to choose a payment with either a credit card payment OR by mailed check.
Order your Certificate of Standing online
After entering your online order for a standard, notarized and/or complaint check certificate for an individual member of the State Bar of California, you may either:
- "Pay Online" with either VISA or MasterCard (only) with a U.S. billing address (the fastest method) OR
- "Pay by Mailed Check," which will print out an order summary page to mail in (or deliver) with your payment check.
If you wish to pay using a credit card with a NON U.S. billing address, please enter your online order, click the "Mail Check" payment option and advise us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will email you the proper payment form to return along with your printed order summary page.
California Supreme Court Certificate of Standing
Some jurisdictions (such as the U.S. Supreme Court) require a certificate from the California Supreme Court. The requesting entity will usually use the term, “a certificate from the highest court you are a member of,” or indicate “not from The State Bar.” These are obtained directly from the Court with a written request and a fee of $1 (dollar bill or check payable to Clerk of the Supreme Court of California). Send your request, payment and self-addressed stamped envelope to:
California Supreme Court
350 McAllister St., Rm 1295
San Francisco, CA 94102
For questions call the court at 415-865-7000.
For a $25 fee, you may request up to a maximum of three (3) certificates per member, in any combination as listed below.
Certificates cannot be faxed, but will usually be sent out within three (3) business days of receipt of your request (regardless of shipping method selected).
Please do not send duplicate requests by different methods (online/fax/mail/email). This may result in duplicate charges.
If you choose to pick up your completed certificates (available only in San Francisco), DO NOT come for them until we notify you, by email or phone, that they are ready.
If you pay by check, please include all charges shown as your "Total Cost" in your payment check. Make it payable to "The State Bar of California" and note your bar number. Don't send a separate check for notarization or shipping.
The online ordering site allows up to nine (9) certificates to be ordered at a time for any one member, and will calculate the total cost accordingly.
You may enter separate certificate orders for more than one attorney, selecting "Mail Check" for each, then mail all their order summary pages together with one check covering their combined costs and listing all bar numbers.
Don't send FedEx, Norco or other courier envelopes or waybills. The State Bar uses its own shipping.
Important notes for ordering the Certificate of Standing online
- If you pay online, have your VISA or MasterCard (with a U.S. billing address) handy when starting your online order.
- Review your final order carefully since payment is non-refundable. Make sure you don't need the California Supreme Court's certificate of standing instead.
- Once you click "Pay Online," you will leave the State Bar website and enter U.S. Bank's payment site. Complete your order without delay. For security purposes, the payment site may time out due to inactivity and you will have to fill out the order application again.
- On the payment screen, under "Contact Information," enter either the name and contact information of the person placing the order OR (if different) the cardholder, so you don't need to re-enter the address. The email address entered here will receive a confirmation if the card was successfully processed.
- If you click "Mail Check," you will get an order summary page to print out and mail with your check. Keep a copy of this page as a receipt. If you have already selected a payment method and change your mind, return to the "Payment" page to select another option.
For questions or technical problems, call the State Bar Member Services Center at 888-800-3400.
Three types of certificates available
- Standard Certificate of Standing (most commonly required)
This certificate includes member’s full name, bar number and date of admission, name or status changes (dates of inactive, not eligible, etc. status), administrative actions, reportable actions and public disciplinary history.
- Notarized Certificate of Standing for Foreign (non-U.S.) Jurisdiction (rarely required)
This is a standard Certificate of Standing that is notarized, as is occasionally required by foreign country jurisdictions. It is NOT required by U.S. state bars or supreme courts. You DO NOT need a separate notarized certificate to accompany a complaint check or standard certificate to another U.S. state bar or supreme court. Please allow slightly longer processing time for certificates requiring notarization.
- Complaint Check Certificate of Standing (order only if it is specifically required by another jurisdiction)
This is a standard Certificate of Standing with the addition of any confidential complaint information that may have been filed against you(also called "grievance" or "disciplinary history" letter). This information is very often required if you are applying for admission to another state bar, so be sure to check the wording of the instructions you have received with your application so that you order the proper type of certificate.
We do not complete other jurisdictions' forms or questionnaires about complaint status or provide separate "disciplinary history" letters apart from our complaint check certificate of standing. So if complaint information is required for your application, order the complaint check certificate of standing(only).
A complaint check certificate already contains a standard Certificate of Standing. It does NOT need a separate standard or notarized Certificate of Standing to accompany it, and when sent to another U.S jurisdiction, it does NOT require notarization.
A complaint check certificate of standing may only be requested by the member who is the subject of the complaint check, and will be released only with his/her signed authorization and accompanying proof of identification (bar card, DMV driver’s license or ID card, or passport). When you place your order online, download the authorization form as instructed, and then either fax, email or mail it, as indicated, along with the required identification document.
Alternatively, you can follow the prompts to sign in to your online My State Bar Profile and sign electronically to authorize your complaint check certificate.
For security reasons the complaint check certificate may be sent ONLY to another state bar or supreme court's bar examiners/admissions office, OR to the member who is the subject of the complaint check at his/her official address of record at the State Bar. Please indicate the recipient and address on the request form or authorization form and allow extra processing time for a complaint check certificate.
For additional questions about the procedure for obtaining State Bar Certificates of Standing, contact the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400 or email@example.com.