The Ease of Notary Public Renewal in California vs Other States

easily renewing notary certification online

The Ease of Notary Public Renewal in California vs Other States


If you are a notary public in the state of California, you'll know that your extensive training and testing has prepared you to excel at what you do. With the strict guidelines California has in place to protect both the public and the notaries, continuing education and keeping up with the new laws is in the best interest of everyone. Fortunately, you no longer have to travel away from your hometown or your home itself in order to receive the initial or ongoing education required to take the notary public test in California. You can take your initial six-hour notary public course and when needed, your three-hour refresher course both online at your convenience.

Requirements for Commission Renewal in California

California's Secretary of State has worked hard to make the process of renewing your notary commission easier while still keeping the standards high. The program now allows currently licensed notaries to take the three-hour refresher course in lieu of repeating the standard six-hour class in order to renew their license. By approving and licensing only specific high-quality schools to offer these online classes, the entire process is streamlined. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is to complete this online training before your current license expires. If you miss that deadline, you'll then be required to take the full six-hour course again in order to renew your commission.

While the above educational needs are those necessary for renewing your license in California, other states have their own various requirements. Today we'll take a look at what you may come across if you are looking at renewing your notary commission in states other than California. Each state has their own set of guidelines and rules which can usually be found on their Secretary of State websites. The information included in this article came in part from these official sites.

States With No Educational Requirements For Renewal

At this time there is no educational requirement in the following states when renewing your license. There may be education, training and exams required when initially applying for your commission, but none specified at renewal. Several of these states may also recommend that you do undergo some type of freely available or application-included training before applying. Many will also offer free workshops or seminars. These states include: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, US Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

States Requiring Education for Expired or Suspended Commissions

The following states don't require additional educational training unless the applicant has allowed their license or commission to expire or if their commissions are suspended for any reason: Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon.

The states of Alabama and Arizona don't require official education, they do have other requirements or restrictions as noted.

  • Alabama's notary public program is governed by the individual county probate judges. Any education and exam requirements are at their discretion.
  • Arizona doesn't officially require education, but the Secretary of State has the right to require certain applicants and any suspended notaries to receive some type of education. Arizona also requires that all notaries obtain and read the Arizona State Notary Handbook.

States Requiring Continuing Education for Application and Renewal

The two states other than California that do require some type of formal education when both applying for and renewing a notary license or commission include Missouri and Pennsylvania.

  • Missouri – Along with required education either online or in a traditional setting, Missouri requires all applicants to obtain and read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook.
  • Pennsylvania – A course of at least three hours in length either online or in a classroom environment are mandatory for both new and renewing notaries in Pennsylvania.

As you can see, it is a fairly easy task to obtain the education required to renew your notary public commission in California. To learn more about the three and six-hour online classes, feel free to contact us.

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