Frequently Asked Questions


In keeping with our commitment to making everything a whole lot easier, we're here to answer 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 visit the California Secretary of State’s Notary FAQ page.

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.
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.
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

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.

Need to pass notary exam administered by CPS proctors for the State of California. Out of 45 questions you must answer 33 correct achieving at least 70%. The exam is based on multiple choice questions.
Yes. After taking the online course you will be able to print out your Proof of Completion certificate.
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.
The exam is 60 minutes with 45 multiple-choice questions.
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.
You need a score of 70% or higher.
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.

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.

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.
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.
You can reach us at:
NotaryClassOnline.com 1955 Cleveland Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401

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Email: help@notaryclassonline.com
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