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Become a California Notary Public

The Notary Public Section of the California Secretary of State's office is the one responsible in appointing and commissioning qualified applicants as notaries public.

To become a Notary Public in the state of California, one is required to meet all the  required qualifications below:

  1. Must be 18 years old and above
  2. A legal resident of California
  3. Completed the Secretary of State's approved course of study
  4. Completed and passed the Secretary of State's prescribed written examination
  5. Passed the background check

Steps to become a California Notary Public:

1. Complete the six-hour course approved by the Secretary of State. To locate notary public education vendor in your county, you can use the approved vendors list.

2. Register for a written examination. To register, visit http://notary.cps.ca.gov or call (916) 263-3520. Prior to the exam, obtain the following: Notary Public Handbook, Notary Public Application Form, and Testing Information.

3. Take the examination. Don't forget to bring the following items:

  1. An updated or current photo identification
  2. A completed Notary Public Application form
  3. A color passport photo (2" x 2")
  4. Your certificate of completion for the approved education course
  5. The letter confirming your registration
  6. $20.00 application fee and $20.00 exam fee. Both fees must be paid via check or money order made payable to "Secretary of State"

4. After passing the exam, submit your fingerprints via Live Scan. To find Live Scan locations, visit http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.php.

5. Wait for the commission packet to be mailed to you by the Secretary of State.

Term of Office

A California Notary Public is appointed and commissioned by the Secretary of State with a four-year term.

California Notary Fees

As a California Notary Public, these are the fees for notarizations and other notarial acts:

Acknowledgments

$10.00

Oath or Affirmation for a Jurat

$10.00

Certified Copy of Power of Attorney

$10.00

Proof of Execution

$10.00

Administering an Oath for a Witness

$5.00

Taking a Deposition

$20.00

Protest

$10.00 & $5 for recording it

Serving notice of nonpayment of a promissory note or bill of exchange

$5.00

Find a Notary in California

All active notaries public in California are listed on the Secretary of State's online notary public listing page. You can download the compressed file, which is updated daily, or you can go to FindNotary for a much easier way to find a notary in California.

Resources:

  1. California Notary Public Services
  2. California Notary Public Bond
  3. California Notary Classes, Training and Handbooks
  4. California Notary Seals and Supplies

For more information on how to become a California Notary, visit California Notary Public's website at http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/. You can also contact them at (916) 651-7837 or visit their office located at 1500 11th Street, 6th Floor, Sacramento, California 95814.

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