Frequently Asked Questions about Payments Issued by the State Controller’s Office
The State Controller’s Office (SCO) prepares and releases warrants (another word for checks or payments) and electronic fund transfers from the State Treasury.
SCO warrants are signed by Malia M. Cohen, and warrant numbers contain digits in the following format: 12-345678.
SCO tracks information by warrant number only. If you do not have your warrant number, contact the agency that initiated the payment for the following information prior to contacting SCO:
- warrant number,
- payee (person receiving payment),
- amount, and
- issue date
If you have this information, contact SCO’s warrant inquiry helpline at (916) 445-7789. To ensure timely customer service to all callers, warrant inquiries may be limited per call. Agencies and businesses with numerous inquiries can send email request to firstname.lastname@example.org, and list warrant information in the following format:
|Warrant Number||Payee||Amount||Issue Date|
How do I contact the agency that initiated payment?
Please visit the State of California’s Agency Search page to find contact information for the issuing agency.
Does SCO have information on my payment?
No. Specific payment records are provided and retained by the state agency that initiated the payment. The payee information is not retained by SCO once a payment is issued.
How long is a warrant valid?
State Controller’s warrants are valid for one year after the original issue date shown on the face of the warrant. If the warrant is older than one year it becomes stale dated and the funds are returned to the agency that initiated the payment. To request a warrant be reissued, contact the initiating agency to request a new payment.
Where can I send a change of address?
Inform the agency that initiated the payment of your updated address. Mailing addresses are maintained by the state agency that authorized the payment. SCO cannot change an address on a warrant or update payee address information. Only the agency that initiated the payment can change an address.
What if I lost my warrant?
To assist our customers during a declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, or other natural disasters, departments and agencies may sign on behalf of the payee for expedited processing of a request for a duplicate warrant (form STD 435). Departments/agencies must indicate the nature of the disaster on the top of the STD 435 (for example, COVID-19, Wildfire, Flood, etc.) and email the form to email@example.com. Once SCO receives the completed STD 435, it will take 7-14 days to reissue a duplicate warrant.
For Post Office Questions:
The State Controller's Office has been made aware that, due to wildfires, some United States Postal Service (USPS) offices in affected areas are closed. Click on the following link to confirm if there is a service disruption in your area https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/residential/welcome.htm. If you are not able to drive to the alternate post office location listed to retrieve your payment, please contact the agency that initiated your payment for help submitting a form STD 435 “Request for Duplicate Controller’s Warrant/Stop Payment.”
How do I get a photocopy of my warrant?
Contact the agency that initiated your payment.
What if my warrant is damaged?
If you have at least 51 percent of the original warrant and pieces you have, include the warrant number, tape the pieces back together. Prepare a written statement of facts about the damaged warrant – which includes the warrant number, issue date, and amount – and mail the warrant and statement to:State Controller’s OfficeAdministration and Disbursements DivisionAttn: Post IssuanceP.O. Box 942850Sacramento, CA 94250
Once we receive the warrant(s), it will take 7-14 business days to reissue a duplicate warrant.
If you have less than 51 percent of the original warrant, or do not have the warrant number, contact the agency that initiated your payment for assistance on submitting a form STD 435: “Request for Duplicate Controller’s Warrant/Stop Payment.”
What if my warrant was forged?
After the agency that initiated your payment has provided you with a copy of your paid warrant, and you verify the signature on the back of the warrant is not yours, send a Claim of Forgery to SCO. A Claim of Forgery is a written statement of facts, which include the warrant number, issue date, and amount of the warrant. The statement can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to (916) 445-5759, or mailed to:State Controller’s OfficeAdministration and Disbursements DivisionAttn: Forgery DeskP.O. Box 942850Sacramento, CA 94250-0001
Once SCO receives your statement of facts, we will open a forgery file and notify the State Treasurer’s Office. The forgery process can take up to 180 days to complete due to completion of affidavits, financial institution notification, and the recovery of funds before a new payment can be scheduled.
What do I do if the amount on the warrant is incorrect?
Contact the agency that initiated your payment. SCO is unable to change the amount of the warrant.
Why did I not receive my mail when it appeared on USPS Informed Delivery?
According to the USPS website, “mail pieces may arrive several days after you receive the notification. Please allow up to a week for delivery before reporting missing mail.”
What do I do if I did not receive a payment either in part or in full because of back taxes, unpaid parking tickets, child support, or other garnishments?
Contact:Franchise Tax BoardInteragency Intercept Collections MS A116P.O. Box 2966Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-2966By phone: 1-866-563-2375By email: email@example.com
Once your payment has been intercepted it can take up to four weeks to receive a new warrant (if applicable).
What if I am not entitled to the warrant?
Return the warrant and a note of explanation to:State Controller’s OfficeAdministration and Disbursements DivisionAttn: Post Issuance UnitP.O. Box 942850Sacramento, CA 94250-5871
What if the payee is deceased?
Contact the agency that initiated the payment and ask for their procedure to reissue warrant to payee’s estate.
Where can I obtain a duplicate Explanation of Benefits (EOB)?
SCO does not maintain copies of statements or EOBs. You must obtain a duplicate EOB from the initiating agency by contacting the phone number on the warrant statement.
What if my bank says the warrant does not have the correct account number on the bottom?
On a duplicate or replacement warrant only, the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition encoding line on the bottom of the warrant is missing. If the financial institution (e.g., bank, credit union) rejects your duplicate or replacement warrant, their Automated Clearing House (which facilitates the transfer of funds) should be able to manually process the item. Your financial institution can call the SCO Disbursements Division at (916) 445-7789 for further assistance.