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How To Become A California Notary

Updated on February 20, 2016

CA Bear

Becoming A CA Notary

How do you become a CA Notary?

Let us take a quick look at a few requirements that you have to adhere too before even looking at becoming a notary.

The first requirement is that you are minimum 18 years of age.

The second requirement is that you are a legal California resident.

The third requirement is that you complete a course approved by the Secretary of State

The forth requirement is that you score 70 percent or better on the CA Notary Exam. The California Notary Public Exam consist of thirty questions in which you have 50 minutes to complete.

A notary is an individual that has to have an enormous amount of integrity and be ethical in all situations. One of the things you must consider is your past. If you have been convicted of any sort of criminal activity you should definitely look at the Secretary of State's website to see if you qualify. The state can deny your application if you don't meet these guidelines.


Becoming a notary in CA is a pretty simple process if you know the exact process and follow it with precision. The first step is taking a California State approved course. You can find many online notary courses but I will later tell you about the one I took.

Step 1. Take A California Approved Course. This is essentially a practice test to prepare you for the State Exam. The course will take a minimum of 6 hours but you should spend more time on it. It is important to not just memorize the information but to really learn it. Upon satisfactory completion of the course you will receive a certificate. You must bring this to the test site on the day of your exam.

Step 2. Pass the CA State Notary Exam.

I still remember when I took the CA state exam. I was really nervous but the course I took online really prepared me. The course I took had double the questions that the state exam had so it really got me ready. The way the course flowed also was pretty unique. I would read a certain section and the questions were in the exact order as the literature. This allowed me to learn it better and not have to spend all my time searching for the answers. Once you get to the test site they have strict rules, it is almost like an S.A.T. type environment. You should make a checklist and check it twice to make sure you have everything you need. You cannot leave the room once you are in, only to use the restroom.

You can check the how it works section of the website I will give you below. It will contain all the things you need to bring and even gives you links to schedule your exam once you complete it. A few of the things you must bring are a number 2 pencil. A check made out to the Secretary of State for $40.00 and a 2 x 2 color passport picture. You also want to bring a valid identification and a notary application.

Step 3. Receive your Scores. Your State Exam scores should be available to you in about 2 weeks time.

Step 4. Is to submit your fingerprints for a background check. This is a FBI, DOJ background check. If you fail to mention any prior convictions on your application and they are found then you will automatically be denied. You can check the State's website for a list of specific convictions that would disqualify someone. You are required to disclose any convictions. If for whatever reason want to be advised about any prior convictions you may contact the California Department of Justice. You may also appeal any denial of an application via an administrative hearing.

Step 5. Sit back and wait for your commission packet. It can take up to 2 months to arrive but the state tries to work as quickly as possible. This processing period is probably the most anticipation you will feel during the CA notary commission process.

Step 6 and 7 are just ordering the notary supplies you will need and buying a notary bond. One must make sure these items are frpm a credible source. The journal is to be protected and never left out of your site.

Becoming a notary in California can be a great way to start a new career or just expand your horizons and worth at your current company. As I did my research I found courses that were really expensive charging upward of up to 100 dollars. I kept looking and found much more reasonable courses that offered the same thing. Don't just take the first course you see but really do your research. I chose the one below because it had a nice professional website with concise information and the price was amazing. The fact that I did find a few articles on them also helped seal the deal. I wish everyone luck with their notary commission process. Just remember to breath in and breath out and make sure you bring everything you need to the exam!

West Coast Notary School

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