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Important Notary Public Exam Tips


Are you seeking a career change or a way to make some extra income while maintaining your current job? If so, you'll discover many advantages to becoming a notary public. The benefits include job flexibility and the opportunity to make money full-time or as a side gig. Best of all, notary services are in demand nearly everywhere.

The primary duty of a notary public is to verify signatures on legal documents. In most states, a notary public must possess a commission, which he or she can obtain by passing a state-administered exam.

To be appointed as a notary public in California, you're required to complete a six-hour course. If you're seeking reappointment, then you take a three-hour refresher course.

Don't be intimidated by the certification process. It may seem like there are a lot of requirements, demanding a great investment of your time. But you do have options, and many people are choosing to complete the training and testing process online.

The many advantages of learning online include:

  • The flexibility to take the courses on your time
  • The comfort of learning from home
  • The option to stop and restart your training, or to complete the course in one sitting

Once you've decided to pursue notary public certification, the next step is to complete the coursework and pass the notary public exam.

Getting the Most Out of Your Courses

Take your online training just as seriously as you would a course at any traditional school. Once you are familiar with the format of the exam, it will help to keep it in the back of your mind as you complete the training. Know that there are great resources available to you if you take the time to seek them out. For instance, even though you're taking an online course, you typically have easy access to the school's customer service department for guidance.

If you're a California resident, you should thoroughly study California's notary public exam handbook. It's comprehensive and covers everything from the requirements for becoming a notary public to professional duties and relevant laws. You can get a copy of the California handbook online or by mail.

Additional Notary Public Exam Tips

  1. Research relevant laws and stay up to date on recent cases. Although you're not permitted to give legal advice as a notary public, you'll feel more confident and professional by having that background knowledge.
  2. Study potential real-life scenarios. Being familiar with them can help clear up legal gray areas or difficult ethical situations that you might encounter as a notary public.
  3. Practice, practice, and then practice some more. For example, you can prepare for the exam by taking mini exams and quizzes found in our online courses. You can always go back and review specific sections before testing yourself.
  4. As you prepare for the exam, find a study method that works for you. This may take some trial and error. Some people prefer old school methods like flashcards, and you might find it helpful to have a friend or family member quiz you.

For additional tips, including instructions on how to register for the exam online and a list of the necessary documents to bring with you visit our Notary Public Exam Resources page.

Finally, once you know what to expect, take the notary exam as you would any other paper exam. Try to complete the questions you're sure of first and answer confidently, since it usually doesn't help to second guess your first answer.

Approximately 15 days after you take the exam, you'll receive your results via email or postal mail. Then you’ll be on your way to getting your notary commission. Good luck!

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