About the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate for a term of four years to run concurrently with the term of the Governor.
The Original State Constitution
This historic document was adopted in Guthrie at the Constitutional Convention on July 16, 1907 and ratified by the citizens of the State of Oklahoma on September 17, 1907. Oklahoma was admitted into the Union on November 16, 1907. This constitution was then placed in the office of the Secretary of State where it is currently preserved.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is required by law to attest to the Governor's signature and to file all official acts of the Governor. Executive orders, appointments and proclamations signed and issued by the Governor are certified and distributed by the Secretary of State.
Original certificates of pardons and paroles are recorded and filed in the Office of the Secretary of State. Foreign and domestic extraditions are also recorded and maintained in this office.
Court on Judiciary
Under the provision of the Oklahoma Constitution, the judges of any court exercising judicial power shall be subject to removal from office, or to compulsory retirement from office by the Court on the Judiciary.
The Secretary of State is required to determine and designate five (5) district judges to serve on the Appellate Division and eight (8) district judges to serve on the Trial Division of the Court on Judiciary.
Every odd-numbered year this office is responsible for organizing the meeting for the Court on Judiciary to make or amend their rules of procedure as mandated by the Oklahoma Constitution.
All legislation passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate that is approved by the Governor is filed and recorded in the Office of the Secretary of State. Each act is designated a chapter number and published in the Oklahoma Session Laws and the Oklahoma Statutes. This office is also required to distribute copies of all new laws, as soon as possible, to each of the seventy-seven County Court Clerks. The original acts and resolutions are bound into volumes and then preserved by this office.
Initiative and Referendum Petitions
Through the initiative and referendum process, the citizens of Oklahoma reserve the power to propose laws and amendments to the state Constitution. They also reserve the right to approve or reject certain laws, amendments and acts of the Legislature through this process.
Statewide initiative and referendum petitions are filed in the Office of the Secretary of State. After circulation of the petition, this office counts and binds the signature pamphlets. If the signatures are sufficient, the state question is placed on the ballot for a vote of the people. New laws adopted by the people are published in the Oklahoma Statutes or Oklahoma Constitution.
Office of Administrative Rules
As required by the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act and Executive Order 88-16, the Office of Administrative Rules files state agency rules, rule making notices, and executive orders This process includes the following:
compiling rules, rule making notices, executive orders, and local project announcements for publication in The Oklahoma Register;
publishing The Oklahoma Register semi-monthly;
compiling and codifying permanent rules and executive orders for publication in The Oklahoma Administrative Code;
publishing The Oklahoma Administrative Code and annual supplements.
Corporate Filing/Records Functions
In order to form a business entity, individuals must register in the Office of the Secretary of State. Foreign Corporations (those formed in other states or countries) intending to transact business in Oklahoma must also file in this office. Additional documents processed for these entities are amendments, trade names, mergers, withdrawals and dissolutions.
Information relating to established business entities is available. This information includes correct name, date of registration, status, service agent and registered office address.
A proposed name can be checked for availability prior to filing.
The Oklahoma Secretary of State appoints and commissions notaries public. These commissions are valid for four years. An applicant for a notary commission must be eighteen years of age or older, a citizen of the United States, and employed within Oklahoma or a legal resident of this state.
The main purpose of this department is to copy and/or certify documents filed by the Corporate Filing Department in the Office of the Secretary of State.
This department also authenticates the county court clerk's signatures on documents and certifies signatures of public officials by affixing an Apostille, a standard certification provided under the Hague Convention of 1961 for the purpose of authenticating documents.
Central Filing System
The Central Filing Department files and publishes information that allows buyers, commission merchants or selling agents to identify farm products that are subject to a security interest. This system applies only to crops, livestock, or an unmanufactured product of such crop or livestock that is used or produced in Oklahoma by a person engaged in farming operations.
The Central Filing System affects three (3) groups:
Persons or businesses who buy or sell farm products on behalf of others;
Persons or businesses who lend money using farm products as collateral, and;
Persons or businesses engaged in agricultural farming operations in Oklahoma.
The Trademark Department files Applications of Trademarks and issues Certificates of Registration. A trademark shall be deemed to be "used" in this state when (1) it is placed in any manner on the goods or their containers or on the tags or labels affixed thereto and such goods are sold or otherwise distributed in this state, or (2) it is used in any manner in connection with the sale or advertising of services in this state.
Trademark emblems include any badge, motto, button, decoration, charm, rosette or other such insignia. This department also issues trademark renewals, assignments and cancellations.
Oaths and Loyalty Oaths
Before entering upon the duties of office, every officer of a state agency, board, commission, court, institution, and the state legislature is required to file an oath of office and a loyalty oath with the Secretary of State.
Public Meeting Notices
All state agencies, boards, commissions and public trusts are required to file all meeting notices in the Office of the Secretary of State. This includes cancellations, postponements and rescheduled meetings. This requirement is in compliance with state open meeting laws.
Athlete Agent Registration
An athlete agent is a person who recruits or solicits an athlete to enter into a professional sports contract.
This office is required to file athlete agent registrations.
The Secretary of State acts as registered agent for all business entities unless an additional agent has been appointed. The Secretary of State also acts as registered agent for any domestic corporation whose agent has resigned.
Transmitting Utility and Railroad Mortgages
Every mortgage, deed of trust, and instruments supplementary thereto of a corporation which is an interstate gas pipeline company, or any public service corporation, or a rural water, gas or sewer district, or any nonprofit rural water, gas or sewer company, or any public trust for water, sewer or gas purposes shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State with a $25.00 filing fee.
Invention Developer Bonds
Every invention developer rendering or offering to render invention development services shall maintain a surety bond equal to either ten percent (10%) of the invention developer's gross income from the invention development business in this state during the invention developer's preceding fiscal year, or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), whichever is larger. A copy of the bond shall be approved by the Attorney General and filed in the Office of the Secretary of State before the invention developer renders or offers to render invention development services in this state.
Surface Damage Bonds
Every mineral owner or lessee who is engaged in drilling or preparing to drill for oil or gas is required to file a corporate surety bond, letter of credit from a banking institution, cash, or a certificate of deposit with the Secretary of State in the sum of twenty-five thousands dollars ($25,000). The Secretary of State is required by law to file and record each bond filed.
Required by the Office of the Secretary of State are to file and/or certify policy statements of each public institution of higher education. Personality rights as successor-in-interest, public trust indentures and amendments thereto, preliminary and final official statements, facsimile signatures, bonds of public officials and employees are also filed in this office.