The FPPC is dedicated to ensuring that candidates, public officials, and campaigns have resources available to help them comply with the Act. The FPPC offers email and telephone advice for the regulated public to have basic questions answered by experienced staff regarding their responsibilities under the Act. Please note informal advice does not provide immunity from prosecutions by the FPPC and does not qualify as legal advice.
Third party questions, hypothetical questions, and enforcement related matters will not be answered through the advice service.
The FPPC is here to help you with your questions, but some questions may be for other departments and agencies. Please review our list of common questions handled by other agencies and departments below.
Members of the public may submit questions regarding compliance with the Act to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the benefits of email advice include:
- emails may be submitted at any time (24/7!) and are not limited to a timeframe for submission;
- most emails are responded to within 24 to 48 hours, though depending upon the nature of the question some may take longer;
- receiving a written response on the advice given to keep with committee or filer records; and
- opportunities for helpful fact sheets, guides, manuals, and other written materials to be provided to the requestor for additional guidance.
Email advice provides the opportunity for the regulated public to receive timely written responses on their obligations under the Act. Questions with specific sets of facts such as gift reporting, reporting travel, use of campaign funds, conflicts of interests are better suited for email advice.
Members of the public may call the FPPC advice line for help with basic questions regarding compliance with the Act. Please note that questions on reporting on campaign statements, filing schedules, the Form 700, lobbying reports are best suited for telephone advice.
The phone advice hours are provided below. The FPPC also offers extended hours of operation in the days leading up to filing deadlines.
Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Adjusted Telephone Advice Hours on Commission Meeting Days:
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m and 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
If you happen to miss our telephone advice hours, you can send an email at any time to our email advice at email@example.com for help with your question!
Common Questions Handled by Other Agencies & Departments
The FPPC is here to help and answer your questions on the Political Reform Act and FPPC Regulations, but there are some things that are not within our agency's jurisdiction, or not something that the Advice team handles. Below you will find ways to get in touch with those other departments or agencies to get the assistance you need.
To look up your committee identification number and to verify if your Form 410 has been received, please contact the Secretary of State's Office Political Reform Division. The FPPC does not issue committee identification numbers and cannot provide a status on the Form 410.
Phone: (916) 653-6224
Search for your Committee ID number on SOS's website.
If you have received a letter or email from the FPPC's Statement of Economic Interests Unit indicating that you file your Form 700 using the FPPC's electronic filing system, please use the email below for help with your password or login issues.
FPPC Statement of Economic Interests Unit
The FPPC does not administer local or other state agencies electronic filing systems for the Form 700. If you are unsure if you file with the FPPC, contact your agency's filing officer.
Please contact the FPPC's IT Department for your login information, to reset your password, or to retain a copy of your certificate.
Electronic Filing Issues
For Secretary of State electronic filing issues and password help, please contact the Secretary of State's Office at the email below.
Online Filing and Access
For general issues with online filing or access on the Secretary of State's electronic filing system, please contact the Secretary of State's Office at the email below.
Lobbying & Registering as a Lobbyist
For help registering as a lobbyist and electronic filing with Secretary of State's system, please contact the Secretary of State's Office at the email below.
The FPPC does not administer the Secretary of State's electronic or online filing systems.
Please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Review the IRS website for more information on obtaining an EIN number.
The FPPC requires that committees have a designated campaign bank account, but does not provide or issue EIN numbers.
Please contact the vendor directly, or your local filing officer for assistance with their electronic filing system.
Please note the FPPC does not administer electronic filing systems for campaign filings, or local agencies Form 700s.
Required Information for Advice Request
You will need to provide the FPPC with all of the information below to get an answer to your question. Please read these instructions carefully.
- State your name, telephone number, and position.
- List the public official, agency, candidate or committee that is related to your question.
- If asking a question on behalf of another, state the capacity in which you are authorized to represent the official, agency, committee or other organization (e.g., city attorney, candidate's attorney, committee officer, campaign consultant).
- Articulate your question with as much specificity as possible.
- If you have a question about Form 700 disclosure, include your disclosure category.
Gift & Travel Questions
For questions about gifts and travel, also include the following information:
- Identify the source of gift or travel and whether the source is a governmental agency or a 501(c)(3) organization.
- If the source of the gift or travel is reimbursed, provide details on who is making the reimbursement.
- Date(s) gift received or date(s) of travel.
- Describe gift (i.e., meal, sports or entertainment event tickets) or travel (i.e. airfare, other transportation, meals, lodging).
- Include whether or not the public official is making a speech or performing a ceremonial role.
- Describe how the travel is reasonably related to a legislative or governmental purpose, or to an issue of state, national, or international public policy
Helpful Hints for Requesting Advice
Campaign Questions: Different types of committees have different filing deadlines and reporting obligations. Identify the committee's jurisdictional status (e.g., candidate, general purpose, ballot measure). The committee ID number is also helpful.
Form 700 Disclosure: Identify your position, agency and disclosure category, if any. The disclosure category is in your agency's conflict of interest code. See your supervisor for assistance. The FPPC has information for state agencies and certain multi-county agencies, but does not have the disclosure categories for most local officials and employees.
If you are any other individual or organization with obligations under the Political Reform Act: Provide your name or the name of the organization, and the capacity in which you or the organization are regulated under the Act (e.g., lobbyist, campaign contributor, major donor). If you are a representative, provide your name and the capacity in which you are authorized to represent the individual or organization (e.g., attorney for the organization, employee of lobbyist employer).