Frequently Asked Questions

What are the duties of the Secretary of State?
Pursuant to KRS 14.025, the Secretary of State directs the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The department is organized into three offices: the office of business, the office of administration, and the office of elections.

When does the Secretary of State use the seal of his/her office, rather than the Seal of the Commonwealth?
According to KRS 14.040, the Secretary of State "shall attest his own official acts under his official seal, and may also use the seal of the Commonwealth to attest any certificate by either himself or the Governor in cases where the seal of the Commonwealth is required to entitle the certificate or anything certified by it to be admitted to record or used as evidence or otherwise in any other state; but where the seal of the Secretary of State is required, the use of the seal of the Commonwealth shall not dispense with that requirement."

Has Secretary of State always been an elected office?
No. Until 1896, the Secretary of State was appointed by the Governor.

How does Kentucky compare with other states in the development and use of computer technology for records management?
Kentucky is among the top states in the development of use and technology. The Office of Secretary of State's website has been recognized by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, WebAward and Summit International Awards. It offers easy access to numerous online services and filing forms.

How long have Kentucky Secretaries of State had the right to succeed themselves in office?
Section 93 of the Kentucky Constitution, amended in 1992, states that all elected constitutional state officers "shall be ineligible to reelection for the succeeding four years after the expiration of any second consecutive term for which they shall have been elected. John Y. Brown, III, was the first to serve two consecutive terms as Secretary of State, from 1996-2004.

What is the "Governor's Journal," and where is it kept?
The Secretary of State is required to keep a register of all official acts of the Governor; this register is called the Executive Journal or Governor's Journal. The Executive Journal contains entries of all official acts of the Governor, such as pardons, restorations of civil rights, requisitions and extraditions, appointments, proclamations and reorganizations. Entries in the Executive Journal are made chronologically, but a subject-matter index is kept to aid in research. Selected executive orders and other official filings since Governor Ernie Fletcher's administration are now available and can be searched online. Many scanned images are also available.

The Executive Journals from 1792 to 1927 are housed with the Department of Library and Archives. The Executive Journals from 1927 to present are kept in the Office of the Secretary of State.

Are deeds filed with the Secretary of State's land office?
No. The Secretary of State is the respository for all records pertaining to Kentucky land patents, including those issued prior to 1792 when Kentucky was part of Virginia. Subsequent land conveyances, after patents are issued, are recorded with deeds and wills in the county clerks' offices.

Do I register my invention for a patent with the Secretary of State's office?
No. However, a person who uses a trademark or service mark in this state may file an application with the Kentucky Secretary of State for registration of such mark.

Where is the Office of the Secretary of State located, and what are the office hours?
The Office of the Secretary of State is located in suite 152 of the State Capitol in Frankfort. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EST.