Terms of use

Main Content

Use policy

Thank you for visiting the State of California's website and reading our use policy. The State also has a privacy policy on this website. The State wants you to know about the collection, use, security and access to information that we may get when you use the State's web portal. By visiting this website, you are accepting the policies and practices in this policy.

This use policy reflects the State's current business practices. It is dated December 7, 2000. This use policy is subject to change without notice.

Each department in the State may have privacy and use policies specific to their mission and needs. Be sure to read those policies as you access other State sites.

The policy includes:

  • Personal information and choice
  • A special note about children
  • Information collected and how it is used
  • What happens to information you give us
  • Use of information
  • Surveys
  • If you send us email
  • Order forms
  • Public disclosure
  • Personal information
  • Automatic collection of information and “cookies”
  • Security
  • Links to other sites
  • Limitation of liability
  • Ownership

Personal information and choice

Personal information is information about a natural person. It identifies or describes the person including but not limited to name, Social Security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, and medical or employment history that is readily identifiable to that one person. A domain name or Internet Protocol (IP) address is not considered personal information. It is considered "electronically collected personal information."

According to Government Code § 11015.5., electronically collected personal information is any information kept by an agency that identifies or describes a user, including but not limited to name, Social Security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, medical or employment history, password, electronic mail address, and information that reveals any network location or identity. It excludes any information manually submitted to a State agency by a user electronically or in writing. It also excludes information on or relating to users serving in a business capacity, including but not limited to business owners, officers or principals of that business.

Electronically collected personal information that we collect includes your domain name or IP address and statistics about webpages you visit. We will collect more detailed data if you voluntarily take part in an activity that asks for specific information, such as requesting assistance, personalizing website content, sending an email, or taking a survey. If you choose not to take part in these activities, your choice will not affect your ability to use any other website feature.

If the user requests or volunteers any type of personal information on the website, State law, including the Information Practices Act of 1977, Government Code Section 11015.5., and the federal Privacy Act of 1974, may protect it. Once you give it, this information may be a public record. It may be subject to public inspection and copying if not otherwise protected by federal or State law. Under authority of the Governor, departments and agencies of the State of California must follow the privacy policy. You can read the privacy policy on this website.

A special note about children

Children cannot use services that require giving personal information. We require that minors under the age of 18 not submit any personal information to us. This includes submitting personal information to the State as part of a user or personalization profile. If you are a minor, you can use these services only with your parents or guardians. If you are a minor, you should seek guidance from your parents.

If the State decides to collect personal information from children, it will tell parents. The State will give the reasons for collecting the information and tell how we intend to use it. The State will ask for parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information. If the State does collect information, parents may ask about the type of data being collected. Parents may also view their child's information. Parents may prohibit the State from making further use of their child's information. The State will not provide personal information about children to third parties.

Information collected and how it is used

We do collect personal information from persons who volunteer to use some of our services. Collecting this information is required to deliver the specific services. Use of these services is voluntary.

If you only browse or download information during your visit to this website, we collect and store this information about your visit:

  1. The Internet Protocol (IP) address and domain name used, but not the email address. The IP address is a number assigned to your Internet service provider or your computer. We use the IP address to direct Internet traffic to you. We also get statistics we use to manage this site.
  2. The type of browser and operating system you used.
  3. The date and time you visited this site.
  4. The webpages or services you accessed at this site.
  5. The website you visited before coming to this website.
  6. The website you visit as you leave this website.
  7. If you downloaded a form, the form that was downloaded.

We use the information we collect or store to improve the content of our web services. It also helps us understand how people are using our services. This information does not identify you personally. It gathers website statistics. The information we collect and store in our logs about your visit helps us analyze our website and improve the available materials. Our website logs do not identify a visitor by personal information. We do not try to link other websites with persons who browse the State's website.

Government Code § 11015.5.(a)(6) prohibits all State agencies from distributing or selling any electronically collected personal information, as defined above, about users to any third party without the user’s permission. The State does not sell this information. We only distribute it for the purposes it was given to us.

The State may give or distribute certain lists and statistical reports of regulatory information required by law. We do not sell or distribute personal information. All relevant legal protections apply to the State's websites.

What happens to information you give us

Information you give us goes through secure lines to our department database. We will only use private information for the purposes it was given. We will not share it with another entity, except as required by law. To learn more, see our privacy policy.

Use of information

We will only share information you give us with entities involved in your case, as needed. We may include your information with other consumers' information. This is to report statistics or trending data, or for investigations. We may need to keep information that becomes part of an enforcement action or consumer complaint case. We will keep it for a period of time after the case closing date.

If you give us information about an issue that is not in our regulatory jurisdiction, we may refer your information for you to the right local, State, or federal agency.


If you take a survey or send an email during your visit to the State’s website, we collect this information:

  1. Email address
  2. Email contents
  3. Information volunteered in response to the survey

The information we collect is not limited to text. It may include audio, video and graphic information formats you send us. We keep the information in accordance with Government Code § 11015.5.

If you send us email

You may give us personal information in an email. We use the information to improve our service to you or to respond to your request. Sometimes we forward your email to other State employees who may be better able to help you. They may work for another State agency. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations or as required by law, we do not share our email with any other organizations.

We use your email to respond in the right way. We may respond to you to address issues you identify or to improve our website. Or we may forward your email to another agency for the right action.

Order forms

If you place an order with us, we ask for information on our order form. A user must give contact information such as name and shipping address. The user must also give financial information such as a credit card number and expiration date. We use this information for billing and to fill your order or request. If we have trouble processing an order, we use your contact information to contact you.

Public disclosure

The State of California has laws to make sure government is open. The public has the right to access records and information the State government has. There are exceptions to the public's right to access public records. State and federal laws have exceptions to maintain the privacy of individuals.

All information collected at this site becomes public record. It may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless there is an exemption. If there is a conflict between this use policy and the Public Records Act, the Information Practices Act, or other law governing the disclosure of records, then the Public Records Act, Information Practices Act, or other applicable law will control.

Personal information

Under Government Code § 11015.5., you may have any personal information collected about you discarded without re-use or distribution, as long as you contact us in a timely way.

Automatic collection of information and “cookies”

Cookies are simple text files. Your web browser stores cookies on your computer. The main State portal does not use cookies. Some departmental applications may use cookies.

The State makes every attempt to avoid the use of cookies. Where cookies are needed for functionality, the State only uses cookies during the session in which you access our interactive applications.

Cookies created on your computer when you use this website do not have personal information. They do not harm your privacy or security. We use cookies only to store a randomly generated identifying temporary tag on your computer. You can refuse the cookie. You can delete the cookie file from your computer using any of the widely available methods. If you turn your cookie option off, you may not be able to access some of the features in our interactive applications.


The State, as developer and manager of this website, has taken steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure. These steps include but are not limited to authenticating, monitoring, auditing and encrypting.

Security measures are part of the design, implementation, and day-to-day practices of the entire State operating environment. This is part of our commitment to manage risks. This information is not in any way giving business, legal or other advice. It does not guarantee that the security of information given on the State's supported website is fail proof. The Department of Finance enforces the technical security standards.

Links to other sites

Our website has links to sites we think might be useful to you and that may give services. When you link to another site, you leave our site. You are then subject to the privacy policy of the new site.

The State of California accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of the external websites or external documents linked to on this website.

This website and the information in it are given as a public service by the State of California. The system is monitored to make sure it operates properly, to verify that applicable security features work, and for other reasons. Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring. Unauthorized attempts to change any information stored on this system, to defeat or circumvent security features, or to use this system for other than its intended purposes are prohibited and may result in criminal prosecution.

Limitation of liability

The State tries to maintain the highest accuracy of content on its website. Any errors or omissions should be reported for investigation.

The State makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the absolute accuracy, completeness or adequacy of this website’s contents. The State expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this website. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed, or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this website or its hyperlinks to other Internet resources.

References in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name, are for the information and convenience of the public. They are not endorsing, recommending or favored by the State of California or its employees or agents.


In general, information presented on this website is considered in the public domain, unless otherwise indicated. It may be distributed or copied as permitted by law. The State does use copyrighted data, such as photographs, that may require other permission before your use. To use any information on this website not owned or created by the State, you must ask for permission directly from the owning or holding sources.

The State has the unlimited right to use for any purpose all information submitted through this site, free of charge. The one exception is those submissions made under separate legal contract. The State is free to use, for any purpose, any ideas, concepts or techniques in information given through this site.