We Don’t Do That!
We Don’t Do That!
What the Secretary of State does NOT do.
There are some things you may think we do, but that we do not do because the General Assembly has not authorized us to do them. And, if we are not authorized to do something, we also cannot help you with it. We may be able to point you to other places to get help. Click here for information on some other places you may be able to get help.
No Legal Advice to the Public
The office also provides information in response to questions from agency staff, other government agencies, and the public. However, neither the office nor any of our employees can provide legal advice to members of the public.
The North Carolina State Bar is the agency that regulates attorneys. The State Bar’s standards for lawyers state that lawyers can only give legal advice in an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, we only provide legal advice to the Department and its staff regarding official business. If you need legal advice, please go to the “Where can I find other help?” page.
We do not handle homeowners’ association issues. We do not have any authority to help if there is a disagreement between an association and its members. We also can’t help if there is a dispute between an association and its paid managers.
Click here for some FAQs about homeowners’ associations.
There is one thing we do with regard to homeowners’ associations. The associations incorporate as nonprofits through our office.
We do not handle Elections. The NC Secretary of State's Office does not have jurisdiction over elections and voter information. Those duties are administered by an independent board of elections. To voice your concerns or questions about any election-related issue:
NC State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement
Mailing Address: PO Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255
Physical Address: Third floor, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27603-5918
Phone: (919) 814-0700 or (866) 522-4723
Fax: (919) 715-0135
We do have some, limited responsibilities with regard to elections. For example, the State Board of Elections forwards certified copies of documents like elections abstracts to us. We maintain those documents. We make them accessible to the public in response to public records requests. As another example, the Secretary of State is also responsible for making the arrangements for the quadrennial meeting of the Presidential Electors. We do not pick the presidential electors and we do not have anything to do with who they vote for when the Electoral College meets.
We do not handle business disputes. There are two kinds of business disputes: disputes inside the business and disputes between businesses.
We do not have the authority to intervene in internal business disputes and disagreements. For example, we cannot get involved in disputes about how a business is being managed. If there is a dispute and people start filing competing changes to our records about the business, there is a point at which we will stop accepting the changes. We will then tell the people they will have to go to the judicial system to get the dispute resolved.
We do not handle most disputes between businesses. For example, if one business says that another business has not paid its bills or provided bad goods, we cannot help.
We do investigate certain kinds of fraud that may be related to business disputes. For example, we investigate securities frauds like Ponzi schemes. For more information about our Securities Division, click here. We also investigate Notary Public misconduct. For more information about our Notary Enforcement Unit, click here.
If a business involved in the dispute may have been committing fraud, there may be another government agency that can help. Click here for more information about other places to get help.
We do not accept or file documents renouncing U.S. citizenship. Only the U.S. Department of State can accept documents renouncing U.S. citizenship.
We cannot file a document unless there is a North Carolina General Statute or rule in the NC Administrative Code that authorizes us to file it. Even if there is such a law or rule, we will not necessarily file the document. That is because we have to review the document to see if it fully complies with the law.