A legal document assistant (LDA) is a non-lawyer authorized to prepare legal documents for people representing themselves in legal matters. Unlike paralegals or legal assistants, who perform substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney, only certain types of legal services can be performed by an LDA. They are prohibited from providing legal advice or opinion but may prepare legal documents in a ministerial manner; provide attorney-authored general information and published legal documents; and file and serve documents at the direction of the client.
Laws concerning legal document assistants are set forth in the California Business and Professions Code (BPC 6400-6415). For more information, read the Sacramento County Public Law Library’s article: Legal Document Assistants.
To file a complaint against an LDA, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs.
LDAs must register with the County Clerk in each county where they will provide services. To register as a legal document assistant in Sacramento County, you must appear in-person at one of our office locations and:
- Present valid photo identification (such as a driver's license, passport, or military I.D.)
- Present an LDA bond in the amount of $25,000 which names the registrant as principal and provides the term of the bond
- Prior to appearing at one of our office locations, please complete the online application form and submit it electronically (If renewing your registration, the completion of the online application is not required):
- Pay the appropriate fees*
A certificate of registration is effective for a period of two years or until the date the bond expires, whichever occurs first. Renewal can take place up to 60 days prior to the expiration date, and the effective date of the renewal will be the date the current registration expires. Upon renewal of a certificate of registration, the same number shall be assigned, provided that the applicant is renewing registration in the same county in which he or she was previously registered and there is no lapse of three or more years in the period of registration.
File registration: $175.00
File bond: $7.00
Record bond*: $20.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page (including any lead page)
Each additional ID card: $19.00
* When registering at our service center location or after 3:00 p.m. at our main office, the recording fee for the bond must be paid by a separate check or cash. Find out about acceptable forms of payment.