3-hr course vs. 6-hr?

All notary applicants whether it is a brand new California notary commission or they are recommissioning are required to take an approved state notary course before they will be permitted to take the state notary exam.

Brand new notary public applicants in California are required to take a 6-hr state-approved notary class; they will not qualify for the exam if they only take the 3-hr notary course. The 3-hr notary course is only for those notary applicants who are recommissioning.


As a notary in California, you will hold your commission for (4) four years, after which, if you want to recommission, you will need to take a another notary course to become familiar with any new laws that have come up since your commission began. At that time, you will have an option of taking a 3-hour refresher course or a full 6-hour notary course before taking the exam for a new commission term, but the state exam is the same, regardless of how many course hours you choose to take.

If you choose to take the 3-hour course instead of the 6-hour course, you must be able to take that course, and take and PASS the exam before your current commission expires, otherwise, you will need to take a 6-hr course again, even though you are recommissioning. You can take the notary course up to two years before your current commission expires but you may not take the exam more than one year before your current commission expires. The Secretary of State recommends you take your class and exam around 6-months before your current commission expires to avoid re-commissioning delays.

If you take a 3-hour course because you qualify, and take the exam but you do not pass, since you are not permitted to retake the exam until the next calendar month, if you cannot re-take the exam and pass the exam before your current commission expires, you will be required to take the entire 6-hour class since you will longer qualify for the 3-hour course you took.



We always recommend taking a 6-hour course, but if you are a new notary applicant, or your commission has already expired, you have no choice but to take a 6-hour course since you will not qualify for taking just a 3-hour course.





But, how will I take the exam?

The Secretary of State does not permit the exam to be taken online.
You must take the exam in the presence of state-approved exam proctors and they are located all over the State of California.

If you are taking the virtual notary class at home with the instructor, rest assured that both this 6-hour class for new notaries and the 3-hour class for recommissioning notaries are state-approved for you to take your notary exam.

Currently, the state is not holding exams until our health care crisis is over, but when they start holding exams again, you will want to be registered.

If you take the notary course with us as a live virtual notary seminar on your computer, we will help you get registered for an exam with the state proctors or at any of our live seminar class locations once the exams resume. Take your class now...you will have access to the study guides, materials, videos and even the recording of the class for an entire year. Let us help you!

Here is the current schedule of exam dates and sites in California.       

Register for the virtual 6-hr class here

Register for the virtual 3-hr class here

Register for the exam ASAP to secure your place.

When you take this virtual online notary class, you will receive a Proof of Completion that will allow you to take the notary exam.

During the notary class, we will provide you with the notary application and tips on completing that application so it does not get rejected. We will assist you on getting registered for your CA Notary Exam if you have received your Proof of Completion from us for any of our live notary semianrs or the virtual notary class.

Let us help you now!   Register for the 6-hr class here       Register for the 3-hr class here


If you register for the virtual online notary class, you can choose to attend the entire class on that one day or you can split the class into two days. For example, take the AM session on one day, then take the PM session on another, if you like.

The exam is a closed-book exam and has 45 questions, all multiple choice and you will need to obtain a score of at least 70% to pass. You will have a full hour to take the exam. Here are the current California notary exam times and locations that have been scheduled by the State Examination Proctors. Be sure to take your Proof of Completion with you to the exam site as well as a check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State for $40. You will also need to have a passport photo to submit with your notary application. All of this is also reviewed during our class together and you can ask the instructor any questions about this process at that time as well.