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How to become a California Notary Public


  • Be at least 18 years old
    • There is no age limitation other than 18.
  • If you have never been commissioned in California you must complete a 6-hour course on California Notary Law. Currently commissioned notaries are only required to take a 3-hour refresher course every 4 years thereafter in order to be re-commissioned, as long as the notary exam is passed prior to the commission expiration date.
    • There are 2 ways to complete this requirement:
      1. Take a notary seminar & exam. The state exam is given at each of our seminar locations after the seminar. The Notary seminar begins around 9:00am and the state exam begins around 4:30pm. The seminar fee is $69.95 and includes a pre-study seminar guide and 5 free sample exams if you would like to begin studying immediately.
      2. If you prefer, you may choose to take a Home-Study course. If you take our Notary Home-Study course, we will send you a study book by email or mail which will explain in detail notary law. This study book is a printed version of the material covered during our seminars. Our home-study students are allowed to take the notary exam at any of our seminar locations whenever it is convenient for them. There is no additional scheduling fee for our Notary Home-Study students.
  • Pass a test of 30 questions which are multiple choice.
    • All notary applicants must pass a notary exam which consists of 30 questions relating to notary law. You will have up to 50 minutes to take the exam and must recieve a passing score of 70% or greater.
    • Your preparation for this exam is completed by taking one of the approved notary courses as indicated above: Seminar, Home-Study or On-Line. Notary exams are scheduled with the Cooperative Personnel Services at all of our seminar locations following each seminar but you may also check with the Cooperative Personnel Services for addtional testing facilities and dates if our locations or dates are not convenient for you. All students attending our seminar are automatically registered for the notary exam. Home Study students and On-Line students must pre-register with us prior to attending our location in order to take the exam. Home Study students will not be charged an additional fee for registration but On-Line students or students will be charged $30 for test registration at one of our facilities.
  • Pass a criminal background check
    • All notary applicants will be required to submit fingerprints via live-scan to both the FBI and the DOJ prior to application approval. The FBI and DOJ will complete a criminal background check for misdemeanors and felonies. The Secretary of State will recommend commission denial for the following reasons:
  • Some examples of disqualifying convictions: (From CPS Application)

    1. Accessory
    2. Arson-related offenses
    3. Assault
    4. Auto theft
    5. Battery
    6. Burglary
    7. Carrying a concealed weapon
    8. Carrying a loaded firearm in a public place
    9. Child molestation
    10. Child pornography
    11. Conspiracy
    12. Discharge of a firearm in a public place or into an inhabited dwelling
    13. Drugs, possession for sale
    14. Embezzlement
    15. Escape without force
    16. Failure to comply with a court order
    17. Failure to pay child support
    18. Failure to return to confinement
    19. False financial statements
    20. False imprisonment
    21. Forgery
    22. Fraud involving, but not limited to, bank cards, credit cards, insufficient funds/checks, insurance, mail, MediCal or MediCare, real estate, tax, and welfare.
    23. Fraudulent impersonation of a peace officer
    24. Hit and run
    25. Kidnapping-related offenses
    26. Manslaughter
    27. Pimping and pandering
    28. Possession of an unregistered firearm
    29. Practicing without a license when a license is required
    30. Prostitution
    31. Rape
    32. Receipt of stolen property
    33. Resisting or threatening a peace officer
    34. Robbery
    35. Solicitation
    36. Statutory rape
    37. Tax evasion
    38. Terrorist threats
    39. Theft, grand and petty, including burglary and robbery
    40. Threats to commit a crime involving death or great bodily injury.

See the schedule for the notary seminar & exam





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Is this home study course approved? OF COURSE!
(Take the Notary Exam at any of our locations or another Secretary of State approved location)

This Home-Course IS APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE and is guaranteed to meet the requirements for the 6-hour notary educational course. Please note that our pass guarantee is only valid for our 6-hour live semnars. If you prefer to take a live seminar for just $10 additional, click here.

1) Download the text (approx 100 pages)
2) Read the material and go through the 30 multiple choice sample exam (based on the actual exam)
2) Complete the enclosed Affidavit & call us to request a Proof of Completion form.
3) Schedule & take your notary exam at one of many locations.

How do I recieve the course book?
You will download the text immediately upon purchase. If you prefer, we can mail it to you with additional shipping and handling costs.

Where can I take the state exam?
Once you purchase the Notary Home Study Course, you qualify to take the exam at any one of our locations with no additional scheduling fee or you may schedule the exam at one of the following Testing Locations offered on behalf of The Secretary of State. Please note that the Secretary of State will charge all examinees $20 for the exam and $20 for processing the notary application.Bring this amount with you to the testing site of your choice.

Please click here to access the latest exam locations & dates from the Secretary of State.

Schedule your testing date and location on-line with CPS.

Please click here to view the latest exam locations & dates from
If selecting thi option, please call 800-873-9865 to schedule a testing date.

Can I take the state exam at your seminar location?
Absolutely! If you cannot find a convenient exam date and location offered by the Secretary of State, call us and schedule your exam at one of ours. You must purchase our Home- Study and complete the applications and forms included in this program. Please also bring a receipt of the purchase.

    Click on the 6-hour or 3-hour picture
    to purchase the
    Notary Home Study Course.

I prefer to take a live seminar

I prefer to take my notary course on-line instead of the home study

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