Steps to Become a California Public Notary

Here’s a breakdown of the process to become a California Notary Public: A Step-by-Step Guide to help you navigate it smoothly:

1. State-Approved Notary Education:

  • Complete a six-hour California Notary Public education course from a state-approved provider like NotaryRoute. This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform your duties effectively. Link to the Course

2. Pass the California Notary Public Exam:

  • Register for the exam administered by CPS HR Consulting. You can register online at or by calling (916) 263-3520.
  • Thoroughly study California notary laws and regulations to prepare for the exam. Numerous resources are available online and in libraries.

3. Submit Your Application:

  • Obtain a California Notary Public application form from the Secretary of State’s website ( or a designated vendor.
  • Fill out the application accurately and completely.
  • Include all required documents, such as your proof of course completion and the application fee.

4. Live Scan Background Check:

  • Schedule a Live Scan fingerprinting appointment at a designated location. The Live Scan electronically transmits your fingerprints to the Department of Justice for a background check.

5. Obtain a Surety Bond:

  • Purchase a $15,000 surety bond from a licensed bonding company. This bond protects the public financially in case of any notary misconduct.

6. File Your Commission Packet:

  • Upon passing the background check, you will receive a commission packet from the California Secretary of State. This packet contains your official notary commission and filing instructions for the county clerk.

7. File Bond and Oath of Office:

  • Within 30 days of receiving your commission packet, file the surety bond and oath of office with the county clerk’s office.

8. Purchase Notary Supplies:

  • Obtain a notary public journal and notary public seal from an authorized vendor. These are essential tools for recording your notary acts.
  • Consider purchasing errors and omissions (E&O) insurance for added protection in case of unintentional mistakes.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a valuable asset as a California Public Notary!

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