Common Notary Questions

Common Notary Questions

Notary Public Questions Help Center


In keeping with our commitment to making everything a whole lot easier, we're here to answer all your questions about the Notary Public profession, the Notary Public course, the Notary Public exam, and virtually anything else related to becoming a Notary Public.

Browse through this section for the most popular questions and answers. If we still haven't answered your question, don't hesitate to contact us directly for the answer, or you may visit the California Secretary of State’s Notary FAQ page here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/faqs/

Frequently Asked Notary Questions

Other topics:


Q: Who is a Notary Public?

A: A Notary Public is a public servant commissioned by the State of California authorized to prove the authenticity of signatures and administer oaths or affirmations.

Q: Why become a Notary Public?

A: You will be more valuable to your employer. Notary Public is a great source of secondary income since they are needed in Real Estate, Banking, Law and other professions.

Q: How can I become a Notary Public?

A: In order to become notary you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of the State of California
  • Be 18 years of age
  • Complete (6) six hour mandatory course or (3) three hour refresher course
  • Pass a written examination
  • Complete application
  • Pass a background check for both the FBI and the DOJ, i.e. by livescan finger printed
  • No felony or conviction
  • Notary Qualifications

Q: Do I need to take the 3 hour refresher course or the 6 hour Notary Public course?

A:

All persons seeking appointment as a notary public must satisfactorily complete a Secretary of State approved (6) six hour course of study prior to appointment. Please note that all persons being appointed, no matter how many notary public commission terms that person has held in the past, are required to take a (3) three hour refresher course or a (6) six hour required course of study.

Current California notaries public with a valid notary public commission and who have completed an approved six-hour course of study at least once must satisfactorily complete an approved three-hour refresher course prior to reappointment. Important: An approved three-hour refresher course is only acceptable if the notary public applies for reappointment before expiration of the current notary public commission. If the notary public commission expires before completion of the course and a completed application is received (by completed application the Secretary of State means you must submit the application and pass the State Exam), It the exam process is not complete and your commission expires you must take another approved six-hour course before being reappointed as a notary public.

IMPORTANT THREE HOUR NOTARY PUBLIC COURSE DISCLOSURE

Not all notaries are eligible to take the Three Hour Course. In order to meet the requirement to take the three hour refresher course, persons must apply for reappointment before their current commission expires. If the commission expires before application (The test needs to be taken and passed) is completed for a new commission, the person must take an approved six hour course before being reappointed as a notary public, even if the person previously completed an approved six hour course.

Important: In order to insure timely application prior to the expiration of a persons commission, a commissioned notary should complete the three hour refresher course and take the notary exam, at least four to six months prior to the expiration of their current notary commission. If an applicant does not pass the State exam after taking a three hour refresher course, the State exam can be re-taken with the same three hour course Proof of Completion Certificate, as long as the commission has not yet expired. If the exam is not passed prior to the expiration of the commission, the applicant will be required to take an approved six hour course and will need to submit the Proof of Completion for the six hour course to the California Secretary of State. Please check the CPS testing schedule before taking the three hour to ensure that you have enough time to complete the process.

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Q: What do I need to know about the notary state exam?

A: Need to pass notary exam administered by CPS proctors for the State of California. Out of 30 questions you must answer 21 correct achieving at least 70%. The exam is based on multiple choice questions.Top...

Q: Will I receive proof that I took the course?

A: Yes. After taking the online course you will be able to print out your Proof of Completion certificate. Top...

Q: How can I schedule to take the State Exam?

A: Here you can schedule an exam date online. This test is scheduled thru Cooperative Personal Services (CPS). CPS is contracted by the State Of California Notary Division to administer the Notary Public written test. Top...

Q: How long does the state exam take?

A: The exam is 50 minutes with 30 multiple-choice questions. Top...

Q: How soon will I get my state exam results?

A: Ten to fourteen business days after taking the exam you can check your exam results here. If you have questions or difficulty, please contact CPS 916-263-3520, Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. Top...

Q: What is the passing percentage on the State exam?

A: You need a score of 70% or higher. Top...

Q: How soon can I begin notarizing?

A: About 8 to 10 weeks after you take your LiveScan fingerprints you will receive your Notary Commission in the mail form the Secretary of State. To start notarizing documents you will first need to file a bond and oath of office with the county recorders office in your principal place of business. Please note that commission does not become active until the oath and bond are filed with the county clerks office. Once this step is completed and you have all your notary supplies you can begin notarizing documents. More information about this is given in the class. Top...

Q: I am already a notary. Is this course required to renew my certification in California?

A:

The Renewing Notary Public who has already taken an approved (6) six hour course can take the approved (3) three hour refresher educational course specifically designed for renewing Notary Publics. In order to meet the requirements for the 3 hour refresher course, you need to apply for reappointment of your notary commission before your current commission expires. If the current commission expires before the application is made for a new commission, the person applying will need to take an approved (6) six hour course before being reappointed as a Notary Public.

IMPORTANT THREE HOUR NOTARY PUBLIC COURSE DISCLOSURE

Important: In order to insure timely application prior to the expiration of a persons commission, a commissioned notary should complete the three hour refresher course and take the notary exam, at least (4) four to (6) six months prior to the expiration of their current notary commission. If an applicant does not pass the State exam after taking a three hour refresher course, the State exam can be re-taken with the same three hour course Proof of Completion Certificate, as long as the commission has not yet expired. If the exam is not passed prior to the expiration of the commission, the applicant will be required to take an approved six hour course and will need to submit the Proof of Completion for the six hour course to the California Secretary of State. Please check the CPS testing schedule before taking the three hour to ensure that you have enough time to complete the process.

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Q: How early can I take the course and exam before my renewal date?

A: You can take the six-hour course as early as 6 months prior to your commission expiring. We highly recommend if you are taking the three-hour refresher course that you start the process no less than four to six months before your current commission expires. Top...

Q: What must I bring to the state exam?

A: You must bring your application, driver license or passport, 2" x 2" color passport photo, two #2 pencils and a check or money order payable to the Secretary of State for $40.00. The proctors will not accept cash or credit cards. Top...

Q: How do I contact you?

A: You can reach us at:

NotaryClassOnline.com 1955 Cleveland Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Customer service: 1-800-909-0042
Email: help@notaryclassonline.com
Live Online Help
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How the course works

If you have any questions about your registration or any other aspect of this course, please contact us. The notary certification course is 6 hours long and the 3 hour refresher course is 3 hours long. The 6 hour course is broken up into 12 units and a final exam. Each unit has a unit review and a cumulative exam at the end. You must score a 70% or greater on the reviews and exam in order to complete the unit and proceed to the next unit. The three hour refresher course is broken into 3 sections. Each section has mini quizzes and at the end of the section there is an exam. Once you finish all 3 sections you will have a final exam. You must score a 70% or greater on the mini quizzes and end of section exam in order to complete the section and proceed to the next section.

To help you succeed we offer unlimited retakes for each review and the exam. Once you complete the exam you can print out your Proof of Completion certificate.

The self-paced Notary Public Course is 6 hours in length. Here's how it works:

  • To see your progress in the course, select the Course tab at any time.
  • To review a previous page, click the page you would like to go to using the links above and below the page of text.
  • To move to the next page, click on the Next Page link at the bottom of the page.
  • Select the Support tab to find out how to get in touch with us.
  • Select the Logout tab to exit the course and automatically save your course progress.

The self-paced Notary Public refresher Course is 3 hours in length. Here's how it works:

  • To see your progress in the course, select the Course tab at any time.
  • To review a previous page, click the page you would like to go to using the links above and below the page of text.
  • To move to the next page, click on the Next Page link at the bottom of the page.
  • Select the Support tab to find out how to get in touch with us.
  • Select the Logout tab to exit the course and automatically save your course progress.
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Accessing the 3 hour Refresher or the 6 hour Notary Public Certification course

To access either course you will need to enter your unique login id in the login box found on the homepage. You can access the course 24/7 and can take the course in one sitting or over a period of time. Top...

After completing the course

Once you complete the course you will print your Proof of Completion. You must staple your certificate of completion to your Notary application. You will take the certificate, application, Identification, check or money order for $40.00 and your 2" x 2" color photo to the state exam and turn them into the state representative at check-in. Top...

State exam

California requires that all notaries new or renewing to attend the notary state exam. These exams are held in various counties throughout the state.
Since test dates book up fast register today for the next available date. Here you can see an online State exam schedule. On the date of the exam you must bring your certificate from our course, driver license or passport, a 2" x 2" color passport photo, completed application and pay the $40.00 (a check or money order payable to the Secretary of State. The proctors will not accept cash or credit cards.) state exam fee. You must print and complete the application prior to arriving at the test site. Click here to access the Notary Public application. Top...

State requirements for becoming a Notary

In order to become a notary public you must meet specific requirements set forth by the state that include but are not limited to; complete the mandatory education, complete the state exam, get bonded, process your fingerprints, and register with your county clerk or recorder office. For specific details on becoming a notary visit the California Secretary of State's website

All persons seeking appointment as a notary public must satisfactorily complete a Secretary of State approved six-hour course of study prior to appointment. Please note that all persons being appointed, no matter how many notary public commission terms that person has held in the past, are required to take the six-hour course of study.

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State requirements for renewing your commission

Current California notaries public with a valid notary public commission and who have completed an approved six-hour course of study at least once must satisfactorily complete an approved three-hour refresher course prior to reappointment. In our experience it is better to complete the (3) three hour refresher course and the state exam prior to your commission expiring so that you are not suspended from doing notarizations pending the letter from the state informing you that you passed the state exam. Important: An approved three-hour refresher course is only acceptable if the notary public applies for reappointment (this process includes filling out the application, taking and passing the state exam) before expiration of the current notary public commission. If the notary public commission expires before course completion and a completed application is received, the person must take another approved (6) six hour course before being reappointed as a notary public. We recommend that you start this process 4 to 6 months prior to your commission expiring. Top...

Secretary of State contact info

To contact the California secretary of state you can visit the Secretary of State website or by phone at 1-916-653-3595. Top...


Where can I advertise my notary services?

You can advertise with 123notary.

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