Get Started

How to Become a Notary Public in California: 7 Steps

20th January, 2023

7 steps to become a notary public in California

Would you like to become a notary public in California? Follow this comprehensive guide from Notary Course Online and get started on your notary career in a hassle-free way. Learn the 7 steps on how to become a notary public in California, from completing the professional qualification to submitting your application and taking the notary public exam.

California notaries public are appointed by the State Administrator. They have the authority to perform various notarial acts as listed in the Civil Code. To become a notary public in California, an applicant has to meet the necessary notary public requirements and carefully proceed through the recommended steps. The easiest way to start a notary public career in California is with the help of the mandatory online notary coursesHowever, it is important to make sure that the course vendor has an approved CA state license. Read on to learn more.

What are the requirements for becoming a notary public in California?

To become a notary public in California, a candidate has to meet the following qualifications:

• Be 18 years old or older • Be a legal resident of California • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent • Have not been convicted of a felony • Have the ability to read and write English • Have not been found by the Administrator of State to be disqualified If you meet the above-mentioned requirements, you must complete a CA state-approved 6-hour notary course, register for the state notary public exam, pass the exam, submit a completed notary public application and a $40 application fee, submit a colored passport 2” x2” photo, and pass a live scan background check. Find more information about the qualifications for notaries public on the official website of the California Secretary of the State. Now, let’s get a closer look at our detailed guide that will help you become a California notary public.
notary public requirements - background check

Follow the 7-step checklist to become a California notary public:

1. Complete a state-approved notary course

To become a notary public in California, you must complete an approved 6-hour notary course. Notary Course Online is a state-approved educational center which offers 6-hour and 3-hour notary courses. In accordance with California law, the 6-hour notary course is mandatory and it’s the first step to final notary public appointment. The good news is that you can take the 6-hour notary course online. We recommend it to new and renewing notaries who need to prepare for the California notary exam. It covers such topics as rules and requirements for notaries public, their duties and responsibilities, notary public materials and supplies, California state legislation, and more. As one of the requirements for the 6-hour notary course, you must have a valid CA Driver License. You need that because a notary public can work as a mobile notary in California at the same time. 

On the other hand, the 3-hour refresher notary course is available for notaries public who had completed the 6-hour course before, and now need to renew their notary certification.

2. Register for the notary public exam

The notary public exam in the state of California is written and in-person. The candidates can register for the exam online via the special web page or over the phone. After that, you will also need to pay a $40 application fee and submit a colored passport photo. 

Notary public exams in California take place in different locations across the state. You’ll be able to choose the one that is best for you.

3. Take the notary public exam

After the successful registeration you’ll be invited to take the notary public exam on a specified date. The exam’s written questionnaire contains 45-questions. In order to pass it successfully, 70% or more answers must be correct. 

Within the 6-hour notary course, you’ll get a notary public handbook from  Notary Course Online. This comprehensive study guide along with the other notary resources will help you to achieve the required score. 

4. Pass the live scan background check

Once you have passed the exam, you must go through the live scan background check and submit your completed California notary public application. Complete the “Request for Live Scan Service” form and visit a local DoJ-certified Live Scan location. 

See the list of Live Scan locations on official website of the State of California Department of Justice. 

5. Receive the notary commission packet

After your application has been accepted and you have successfully passed the live scan background check, you will receive your California notary commission packet via mail. 

The packet will include a cover letter with instructions, a notary public commission certificate, two Notary Public Oath and Certificate of Filling forms, a Certificate required to manufacture a Notary Public Seal and a list of authorized manufacturers.

6. Order the notary public materials

Once you’ve got your notary commission packet, you can purchase your notary materials and supplies. That includes a notary public seal, a journal to keep the records of notary public acts, a notary public bond, and other necessary items. 

It is essential to make sure that you purchase your supplies from an authorized source, as not all notary supplies are of the same quality. Keep up with tips from Notary Course Online and learn how to have your new notary public service all set.

7. File an oath of office and bond

Finally, when you have received your commission packet and purchased the notary supplies, you will need to file an oath of office and a $15,000 Surety Bond at your region clerk’s office. 

Note that this must be done within 30 calendar days from the commencement date of the commission. These 30 days cannot be extended. After applying the oath and bond, you can start to provide the notary public services.

What are the benefits of online notary courses?

An online notary course benefits those looking at how to become a California notary. It is more convenient and time-saving than attending an in-person course and offers a range of helpful resources to help you pass the notary public exam. For example, Notary Course Online offers a comprehensive course with over 100 practical questions, a study guide, and other helpful tools to help you pass the exam. In addition, the course is accepted by the California Secretary of State and meets all of the requirements to become a notary in California. 

Learn more about how to choose a state-approved notary class that is right for youAre you looking for a comprehensive and convenient way to become a notary public in California? Look no further than Notary Course Online. With our online notary courses, you can get the knowledge and resources you need to become a certified notary and bring your career to a new level. To become a notary public in California, you must complete a 6-hour course. First of all, Notary Course Online provides officially approved 6-hour notary course for public notaries in California. This course covers the notary public’s duties and responsibilities, legislative norms, and you can access it on your device anytime. 

Online notary courses: state-approved notary classes

In addition, the course also provides a range of helpful resources to help you pass the notary public exam. You’ll find over 100 practice questions, a study guide, and more. Notary Course Online also offers a 3-hour refresher course for those who have already completed the 6-hour course and need to renew their notary certification. This course focuses on critical topics such as recent law changes, notary duties, and responsibilities, and notary public best practices.

How to make money as a Notary Public in California? How much does a Notary Public make?

Check out the tips and ideas for new notaries in the Notary Course Online Blog.

How to apply for an online notary course?

At Notary Course Online, we make it easy on how to become a notary public in California. Our online notary courses are approved by the California Secretary of State and meet all the requirements to become a notary in California. To apply for an online notary course, head to and click on the “Enroll Now” button next to the course description. From there, you will be taken to our easy-to-use online application form. 

Once you have submitted the application, you will receive an email with instructions on accessing the online notary course. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Notary Course Online if you have any questions or need more information. We are always available to answer your questions, such as “Can you notarize for a family member?” and provide the information you need to become a notary public in California. Using our detailed guide, it can be quite simple to become a notary in CA. With Notary Course Online, you can get the knowledge and resources you need to become a certified California notary public and bring your career to a new level.

Notary Course Online - become a notary public in California

Discover more tips for notaries public in the Notary Course Online Blog