Steps to Becoming a Notary Public in California: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you interested in the steps to becoming a notary public in California? If so, there are several steps you’ll need to follow in order to obtain your notary commission. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process:

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

To become a notary public in California, you must be at least 18 years old, a legal resident of California, and able to read and write English. You must also pass a background check and have no disqualifying criminal convictions.

Step 2: Complete the Required Education

All first-time notary public applicants in California must complete a state-approved educational six-hour course of study. This training course covers the basics of notary public law and procedures, and prepares you for the state-administered notary exam.

Step 3: Pass the State-Administered Exam

After completing the required education, you must pass a state-administered exam with a score of 70% or higher. The exam covers the material presented in the six-hour course, and tests your knowledge of notary public laws and procedures.

Step 4: Obtain a Surety Bond

To become a notary public in California, you must obtain a $15,000 surety bond from a licensed surety company. This bond serves as a guarantee that you will fulfill your duties as a notary public in accordance with the law.

Step 5: Take the Oath of Office

Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you’ll need to take an oath of office within 30 days of receiving your notary commission. This oath can be taken before any official who is authorized to administer oaths.

Step 6: Obtain a Notary Seal and Journal

As a notary public, you’ll need to obtain a notary seal and keep a journal of all notarial acts. The seal and journal can be obtained from a variety of sources, including office supply stores and online retailers.

In conclusion, becoming a notary public in California requires a combination of education, training, and preparation. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to obtaining your notary commission and serving your community as a trusted and reliable notary public.

Who commissions notaries for California?

California secretary of state

How long does it take to become a notary CA?

The process of becoming a notary public in California can take several weeks to several months, depending on how quickly you complete the required steps. Here is a breakdown of the approximate timeline:

  • Meet the basic requirements: This step can be completed quickly if you already meet the qualifications, such as being at least 18 years old and a legal resident of California.
  • Complete the required education: The state-approved six-hour course of study can be completed in one day, either in-person or online.
  • Pass the state-administered exam: The exam can be scheduled online and is usually available several times per week at various locations throughout the state. Results are typically available immediately.
  • Obtain a surety bond: The process of obtaining a surety bond can take a few days to a week, depending on the specific surety company and the method of payment.
  • Take the oath of office: The oath can be taken immediately after receiving your notary commission, which is usually mailed to you within two weeks of passing the exam.
  • Obtain a notary seal and journal: The seal and journal can be obtained immediately after taking the oath of office, either in-person or online.

Overall, the entire process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how quickly you are able to complete each step. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can become a notary public in California in a relatively short amount of time.

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