Taking and Subscribing your oath of office
You also have the limited time of 30 days to take and subscribe your oath of office either directly at the County Clerk’s office or with another notary in the county which you have listed on your application as your primary place of business. This may be different from your county of residence. This will be the county in which you plan to perform 51% or more of your notary services. If you are working from your home, it may very well be your county of business as well.
Subscribing your oath means that you have signed a statement regarding your oath of office which states in part, that you will promise to fully and faithfully carry out the duties required of a notary public.
Filing your oath and bond
This can be done in person or by certified mail. Specific instructions about how to do that will be provided to you in the letter you receive from the Secretary of State. If you fail to file the oath and the bond within 30 calendar days, your commission will be null and void and will need to re-apply all over again and pay $20 for re-application fee; however, your testing score is valid for a full year. Notarizing documents without a valid commission is illegal and will require all documents notarized by you after that date to be re-notarized by a duly commissioned notary.
If you notarize a document without being fully commissioned, you will be guilty of a misdemeanor unless the document encumbers someone into property, such as a Deed of Trust, then you will be guilty of a felony! (A Deed of Trust is a document which secures a property as collateral until the loan on the property is paid in full.)
Remember that once you receive your commission, you may notarize anywhere in the State of California but you are always under the laws of California.
Your stamp indicates the county where your bond and oath are filed, and does not limit your notary services to that county.