In the past, qualified persons seeking appointment as a notary public in California were permitted to simply schedule an exam with the CPS and upon passing the exam and meeting the additional requirements we will discuss subsequently, were commissioned as notary publics. As the office of the notary has changed recently with new legislation, the State of California issued a new requirement effective in July, 2005 that all applicants whether re-commissioning or seeking a first term will be required to take an approved 6-hour notary course prior to testing. Subsequent commissioning will require a 3- hour refresher course prior to testing.
Once a notary receives a commission in California, the notary may notarize documents anywhere in the state of California but only within the state of California. You might imagine that a notary may see many kinds of documents during his or her tenure and many of these documents may originate outside of the state of California. This does not present a problem for the notary as long as the document does not require a notary to perform or state something that a notary is not allowed to comply with as a California notary public.
A California notary is always subject to the laws and limitations of California regardless of the requirements of other states or countries. Hence it becomes imperative that a notary commissioned in California become very familiar with California legislation pertaining to his or her office. We will discuss this legislation throughout the course, but first, we need to understand what duties a notary may be called upon to perform as a California appointed notary.