Public Notary Requirements

public notary requirements


Notaries have always been important people in our society. They are attesting to the authenticity of the person signing or that a person swore to the statements in a document of their own free will. The State of California takes this seriously and has established guidelines as a result.

The following are the basic public notary requirements:

  • Be a legal resident of the State of California
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete a training course approved by the Secretary of State
  • Pass an exam prescribed by the Secretary of State
  • Pass a background check
  • A potential notary cannot have been convicted of a felony or any lesser crime involving “Moral turpitude”. A list of applicable offenses is on the Secretary of State website.

Here are the detailed steps to become a notary in California:

  1. Comply with each of the above requirements.
  2. Register and complete a six-hours training course from a state-approved vendor. The Secretary of State has a database of approved vendors to help you locate the correct training course in your region.
  3. Fill out and submit an application form that is available on the California Secretary of State’s website along with the application fee and a passport photo.
  4. Pass a state-administered exam, which is usually done at the end of the day of training.
  5. Have fingerprints taken using LiveScan. The Department of Justice has a list of Live Scan locations.
  6. After getting a commission certificate from the State, obtain a $15,000 surety bond.
  7. Within 30 days of commission date, send a copy of bond and oath to the local county clerk.
  8. Get a Notary stamp from an approved vendor.
  9. Purchase errors and omissions insurance. This is recommended but not required.
  10. Purchase a Notary stamp from a designated vendor (a list of approved vendors will be mailed to you along with your commission packet) and purchase a journal.

This process is repeated every 4 years to ensure Notaries stay compliant and knowledgeable. Your local Notary is well qualified to administer their duties. If you need a local notary in the Beverly Hills area or a mobile notary to come to your location, contact the notaries at Mailboxes Times.