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 name or status changes and any public discipline. The information is only valid as of the date of the certificate. The recipient or recipients decide how long it is valid for (30 days, 60 days, etc.). This document is not the admissions office's frameable Admission ("wall") Certificate.

Ordering Online

  • The fastest way to get your form is to order your Certificate(s) of Standing online.
    You can order a certificate (standard, notarized and/or complaint check certificate) for an individual member of the State Bar of California, AND pay online with a VISA or MasterCard. It must have a U.S. billing address.

  • You can also order by check. Complete the online order review page, print it out and mail it in along with your check for the correct amount.

If you wish to pay using a credit card with a NON-U.S. billing address, send an email to to request a credit card authorization form. It will be  emailed back to you with your completed online order review page, which you can print out by clicking the "Pay by Mailed Check" option.

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

General guidelines

  • For a $25 fee, you may request up to a maximum of three (3) certificates for each member, in any combination (see types of certificates listed below). Certificates cannot be faxed, but will usually be sent out within three business days of receipt of your request, regardless of shipping method selected.

  • Do not send duplicate requests by different methods (online, fax, mail, email). 

  • Pickup service is available only in San Francisco. However, if you choose to pick up your completed certificates, do not come until you are notified that they are ready.

  • If you send a check, include all charges, including any notary fees or UPS shipping charges ($15 domestic or $30 international) in one check payable to the State Bar. Don't send a separate check for notarization or shipping.

  • Don't send FedEx, Norco or other courier envelopes or waybills. The State Bar uses its own shipping.

Important notes for completing the Certificate of Standing online form

1. Have your U.S.-based VISA or MasterCard credit card handy when starting your online order.

2. Once you click "Pay by Credit Card Now," you will leave the State Bar website and enter U.S. Bank's payment site. Please 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 application again.

3. When entering your payment information, under "Contact Information" enter the name and contact information of the person placing the order OR the name of the cardholder.

4. If you click "Pay by Mailed Check," you can print your completed form review page and mail it in with your check. Keep a copy as a receipt.

For questions or technical problems, call the State Bar Member Services Center at 888-800-3400.

Types of certificates available

  • Standard Certificate of Standing (most commonly required by other jurisdictions or employers)

This certificate includes member’s full name, bar number and date of admission, name changes, status changes (inactive, not Eligible, etc.), administrative actions, reportable actions and 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, but NOT by U.S.-based 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.  Allow a 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 (also called “grievance”) information that may have been filed against you.  This information might be required if you are applying for admission to another jurisdiction. Check the wording of any instructions you have received.

We cannot complete other jurisdictions' forms or questionnaires about complaint status or provide separate disciplinary history letters. If this information is required for your application, please order the Complaint Check Certificate of Standing.

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 check and will be released only with his/her signed authorization and accompanying proof of identification (bar card, state-issued driver’s license or ID card or passport). When you place your order online, download the authorization form as instructed and fax, email or mail it along with a copy of the required ID.

The complaint check certificate may be sent ONLY to another state bar or supreme court's bar examiners/admissions office, or to the official address of record at the State Bar by the member who is the subject of the complaint check. Please indicate the recipient and address on the request form or authorization form and allow extra processing time for a complaint check certificate.  

For questions about the State Bar of California Certificate of Standing, contact the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400 or email