California Form 501 Candidate Intention Statement - Instructions

Who Files

A candidate for state or local office must file this form for each election, including reelection to the same office. Exception: Candidates for county central committee that do not raise or spend $2,000 or more in a calendar year are not required to file a Form 501.

When to File

File the Form 501 before you solicit or receive any contributions or before you make expenditures from personal funds on behalf of your candidacy. This form is considered filed the date it is postmarked or hand delivered.

Ensure campaign deadlines are met. Go to for most campaign disclosure filing schedules or check with your local filing officer.

Where to File

State Candidates (including Judges):

Secretary of State
Political Reform Division
1500 11th Street, Room 495
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 653-6224

Local Candidates

Generally your county election office or city clerk. Electronic filing may be required.

Bank Account

A separate campaign bank account must be established including for campaigns that are self-funded by the candidate. A bank account is not required if a candidate will not receive any contributions or make personal expenditures of less than $2,000 in a calendar year. The filing and statement of qualification fees are not included in calculating the $2,000.

How to Complete

All candidates: Complete Parts 1 and 3. Candidates for elective state office: Complete Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Exception: Candidates for an election to the California Public Employees’ Retirement Board, the State Teachers’ Retirement Board, judges, and judicial candidates do not complete Part 2.

Part 1. Candidate Information

Part 2. Voluntary Expenditure Ceiling

This section applies to certain candidates for elective state office, including State Senate and Assembly and statewide offices.

The voluntary expenditure ceiling applicable to your office is set forth in FPPC Regulation 18545. You must state whether you accept or reject the expenditure ceiling. Candidates who accept the voluntary expenditure limit will be designated in either the state voter information guide (statewide candidates) or the county voter information guide (Senate and Assembly candidates) and may purchase space for a 250-word statement there.

You may amend the Form 501 to change your acceptance or rejection of the voluntary expenditure ceiling only under the following circumstances:

Personal Funds Notification

You must disclose, if applicable, the date you contribute personal funds to your own campaign that exceed the expenditure ceiling. File an amended Form 501 within 24 hours by guaranteed overnight delivery, personal delivery, or, if applicable, by electronic means.

Part 3. Verification

The verification is signed under penalty of perjury. This form was prepared by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). For detailed information on campaign reporting requirements and the Information Practices Act of 1977, see the FPPC Campaign Disclosure Manual for your type of committee.

Fillable Form 501

If you still have questions, you can ask the FPPC for advice.

FPPC Advice Email:

FPPC Advice Phone: 866-275-3772

End of the Page, California Form 501 Candidate Intention Statement - Instructions