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  • Writer's pictureAbby Nelson

How to Become a Notary Public in California

You must complete all of the following requirements to become a notary public in California:

● Be at least 18 years old (there is no maximum age set by statute)

● Be a legal resident of California

● Finish a course of study that the Secretary has approved of State

● Complete and pass a written examination set by the Secretary of State in a satisfactory manner

● A background check must be passed.

Finish Your Course Study

Before being appointed as a notary public, all applicants must finish a six-hour course of study recognized by the Secretary of State. Please note that all appointed persons must complete the six-hour course of study, regardless of how many notary public commission terms they have previously had.

Current California notaries public who hold a valid notary public commission and have completed at least one approved six-hour course of study must complete an approved three-hour refresher course before being reappointed. Important: A three-hour refresher course approved by the notary public is only permissible if the notary public applies for reappointment before the present notary public commission expires.

If the notary public commission expires before the course is completed and a completed application is received, the person must reapply and take another approved six-hour course. The Secretary of State reviews all courses of study submitted by notary public education providers for approval. The Secretary of State reviews all courses of study submitted by notary public education providers for approval.

Take the State Exam

If you took an online program or if your in-person class, the next step is to take the state exam. You must submit the notary application in person when you take the exam. You'll pay both the state filing fee for the notary application and the fee for the state exam at that time.

If you're interested, we've created another post outlining the overall cost of becoming a notary public in California. There you will find information about the state filing fee, exam fee, and other charges.

CPS HR Consulting is the only organization authorized by the state to administer the notary exam. On their website, you can get information about upcoming tests, including dates and venues, as well as fees.

If you aren't prepared, the state exam can be difficult. That is why you should opt for a notary school that supplies you with study materials and allows you to take practice exams. It's critical to test your knowledge before taking the exam to become a notary public.

Some of our clients have told us that one-day in-person courses might sometimes miss this crucial exam experience and that they have failed the exam as a result. As a result, they came to us for notary public practice exams and ended up paying for two notary public courses.

Please keep in mind that practice examinations should cover the same topics as the state exam. The questions should differ from those asked by the state for you to be prepared to become a notary public, to know all of the information the state requires, and to be an expert in completing notarial actions.

If the questions were the same, it would be immoral and illegal. If you come across a product that claims to state exam questions, flee! That's a clear indication that you shouldn't put your faith in that company. Furthermore, if you only prepare for the test, you risk getting into legal trouble if you break the notary law and commit a crime because you never studied how to become a notary public.

Because they wish to safeguard both the public and the notary public, California requires a notary training and exam.

Submit Your Live Scan Fingerprints

You must submit your Live Scan fingerprints to your county and undertake a background check after receiving your letter stating that you have passed your California Notary test. The cost of fingerprinting varies by county.

Wait For Your Commission Packet To Arrive.

The notary public commission packet will be mailed to you once your application has been approved and you have passed the background check.

● Instructions in a cover letter

● Instructions for filing

● A certificate of commission as a notary public

● Forms for a Notary Public Oath and a Certificate of Filing

● A Notary Public Seals Manufacturing Authorization Certificate; and

● A list of Notary Public Seals Authorized Manufacturers

Renewals: Your new notary public commission will not be given to you more than 30 days before the expiration date if you take the exam at least six weeks before the expiration date on your present notary public commission.

Once you've received your notary public commission packet, you'll need to send a copy of your commission certificate and an original letter of permission to

The Purpose Of Public Notary Education Is To:

● Give sufficient training to all public notaries;

● Offer a thorough grasp of a notary public's duties and responsibilities;

● Standardize knowledge across all public notaries; and

● Reduce the number of complaints and lawsuits filed due to a notary public's negligence or wrongdoing.

How Much Time Does It Take To Become A Notary Public?

Depending on the volume of applications presently being handled, receiving your commission can take anywhere from two weeks to six months after you take the exam. The exam results will be accessible 15 business days following the exam date. The California Secretary of State's office updates their commission processing timetable on their website.

Do I Need To Take A Notary Exam In California?

Yes, all new and renewing applicants must pass a written, proctored exam conducted by Cooperative Personnel Services, a commercial company (CPS). To pass, you must get a score of 70% or above. The CPS website has notary exam scheduling, registration instructions, and other testing information.

Why Becoming A Notary In California Is An Excellent Idea.

Many different documents must be notarized by law each time they are made, allowing you to succeed in any economy. Documents must be notarized regularly, even daily, by lenders, law offices, employers, hospitals, schools, and government bodies. You can work whenever and wherever you want, and there are no limits to your earning potential.

Boost your resume while also serving as a community leader and assisting others. Many people in your nearby vicinity could benefit from your Notary services, with a population of approximately 40 million people.


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