Self-Registration Instructions for Special Mailing Groups

These instructions are for members of the press and public who would like to receive Notifications of Electronic Filing (NEFs) in a particular case as part of a Special Mailing Group (SMG).  These instructions are not for attorneys of record or for pro se (self-represented) parties in a case.

Step One

In order to receive NEFs as part of a Special Mailing Group, you will need to have a PACER account.​

Once you have a PACER account, open the PACER link below in a new tab by right clicking the link and choosing “Open link in new tab” :

After the tab is open, you can toggle back and forth between these instructions tab and the PACER tab.

On the PACER tab, click on the “Log in to…” on the top right corner. After clicking the link, you will have three boxes. Choose the box that says, “Manage PACER Account.”

Step Two

After you have entered your login, you should see tabs below your account information. Click on the tab that says “Maintenance.”

Choose the hyperlink that says, “Non-Attorney E-File Registration.”

Step Three

Choose court type as “U.S. District Courts.”

Choose court as “California Northern District Court.”

Choose role in court as “Party.”

Be sure to check the acknowledgement box.

Review your information to make sure it is correct.

Step Four

Under “Additional Filer Information,” in the box that says “Other Names Used,” type “SMG” (no quotation marks).

Choose your preferred delivery method and format for receiving notices of filing.

Click “next.”

Review the information on the following screen, then click “next.”

Review the information on the following screen, click the boxes to acknowledge that you have read the information, then click submit.

Step Five

Please wait for confirmation from the ECF Helpdesk that your application has been processed.


The ECF Help Desk can help answer your technical questions, but will not be able to help you e-file. The Help Desk is open from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and can be contacted at or (866) 638-7829.