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Number: DAO 201-17
Effective Date:  2008-03-17

Office name change update, effective 11-13-2014, per DOO 20-1, Director for Facilities and Environmental Quality.


.01 This Order describes the seal of the Department of Commerce The Department) and delegates authority to affix the seal to certifications and documents of the Department for individuals or organizations both inside and outside the Department.

.02 This revision updates titles of officials; replaces hard copies of the exhibits to the Order with electronic links; and provides a general update of the Order.


.01 The Act of February 14, 1903 (32 Stat. 825, as amended) (15 U.S.C. 1501), which established the Department, provided that "The said Secretary shall cause a seal of office to be made for the said department of such device as the President shall approve, and judicial notice shall be taken of the said seal." On April 4, 1913, the President approved and declared the seal of the Department the device that he described as follows:

"Arms: Per fesse azure and or, a ship in full sail on waves of the sea, in chief proper; and in base a lighthouse illumined proper.

Crest: The American Eagle displayed.

Around the Arms, between two concentric circles, are the words:


.02 The approved seals are found at http://home.commerce.gov/oas/doc_seals.htm

.03 The official symbolism of the seal shall be the following:

The ship is a symbol of commerce, the blue denotes uprightness and constancy; the lighthouse is a well known symbol representing guidance from the darkness which is translated to commercial enlightenment; and the gold denotes purity. The crest is the American bald eagle denoting the national scope of the Department's activities.

(The above is a modification of the original symbolism issued with the President's approval of the seal, made necessary by changes in the functions of the Department.)


.01 Pursuant to the authority vested in the Secretary of Commerce by law, the chief administrative official of each operating unit, and the Deputy Director, Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality (OFEQ), Office of the Secretary, are hereby authorized, without power of further re-delegation, to sign as Certifying Officers attesting to the official nature of copies of correspondence and records from the files, publications, and other documents of the Department; and to affix the seal of the Department to such certifications for all purposes, including the purpose authorized by 28 U.S.C. 1733(b).

.02 Requests for delegation of Certifying Officer authority to officials other than those specified in paragraph .01 above, shall be submitted in writing to the Deputy Director, OFEQ, who shall act for the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA) in ruling on such requests.

.03 The chief administrative official in each primary operating unit is responsible for monitoring all delegations of Certifying Officer authority granted for that operating unit, under paragraph .02, above. An annual survey shall be conducted to ensure that all delegations of authority are still required. The Deputy Director, OFEQ, shall be requested to revoke those no longer required.

.04 Each Certifying Officer is authorized to acquire one embossing die for impressing the Department's seal on copies of documents. The die shall be obtained through the primary operating unit's chief administrative official or the Deputy Director, OFEQ.

.05 Certifying Officers shall take necessary steps to prevent the misuse, loss or theft of embossing dies. Should such an event occur, it shall be reported immediately to the chief administrative official in the primary operating unit, who shall provide a written report to the Deputy Director, OFEQ. Unserviceable or unneeded embossing dies shall be sent to either the operating unit's chief administrative official or the Deputy Director, OFEQ, for disposal or reassignment.

.06 Nothing in this order shall affect the acquisition, use, or control by primary operating units of seals authorized by law, as covered in DAO 201-1, "Approval and Use of Seals, Emblems, Insignia and Logos."


.01 Form CD-64, http://ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/Electronic_Forms/index.htm, has been designed for use when the custodian of the records certifies material as a true copy of the record and the Certifying Officer certifies that the official named in the certification is in fact the custodian of the records.

.02 In instances when the Certifying Officer may certify material as a true copy of the record, the language shall be the same as the custodian's certification and, added thereto, the statement "For the Secretary of Commerce," the signature and title "Certifying Officer," and the imprint of the seal of the Department. The certification may be made on a separate sheet of paper for attachment to the material to be certified or typed on the first page of the material to be certified.


.01 A request from an individual or organization outside the Department to use the Department seal, or any request by an operating unit proposing to use the seal in a manner not covered by this Order, shall be approved by the Deputy Director, OFEQ, with the concurrence of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration.

.02 Requests to use the seal shall be directed to the Deputy Director, OFEQ, who will coordinate the necessary reviews and concurrence on behalf of the CFO/ASA. The review of the Deputy Director, OFEQ, shall ensure that any request for the use of a Department seal shall meet the following criteria:

a. use of the seal by the outside party must satisfy some interest of the Department;

b. the use may not result in embarrassment to the Department;

c. there must be no conflict with trademark rights; and

d. there can be no endorsement, favoritism, or other appearance of impropriety toward the entity using the seal.

.03 To support the need for complete and considered review, all requests to use the Department seal shall include the following information:

a. a specific description of how the Department seal will be used, including its location, size and proximity to the seals, logos, emblems, or banners of other organizations, agencies, businesses or corporations. When available, the request shall be accompanied by a draft document (representing the final product), which clearly demonstrates where the Department seal will be placed;

b. a specific description of the Departmental interest(s) that will be satisfied, supported, or fulfilled through the requested use of the seal;

c. a description of the Department's relationship, if any, to the requesting party; and

d. operating unit requests shall be accompanied by a brief statement explaining how the use of the seal in the given circumstance will not result in embarrassment to or a perception of favoritism or endorsement by the Department.

.04 The Deputy Director, OFEQ, will approve or disapprove the proposed use of the Department seal. The operating unit receiving a request from an outside party will notify that party of the Department's determination. If the request is originated by an operating unit, OFEQ will notify the operating unit of the determination.


This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 20l-17, dated June 7, 2004.

Signed by: Secretary of Commerce

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

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