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California Notary Public Commission Requirements and Information
Secretary of State
Notary Commission Qualifications
• be at least 18 years old;
• be a legal resident of California; and
• clear a background check, by the FBI and the California Department of Justice and submit fingerprints.
How to Apply
See detailed information including applicable fees, on the website of the California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/checklist.htm
Term of Office
4 Year Term
Notary Education and/or Exam Requirement
Education Course and Exam Required (6-hour or 3-hour (see below), state-approved, online or classroom environment course and closed-book proctored exam)
→All first time notary applicants must complete a 6-hr education course and all renewing applicants must complete a 3-hr education course prior to applying. *Renewing applicants must renew prior to expiration of commission otherwise the applicant must complete the 6-hr course.
Notary Bond Requirement
$15,000 Notary Bond Required
Notary Recordbook (Journal) Requirement
→Only one active, sequential recordbook may be used and should be kept in a secure location under the direct control of the notary.
Notary Seal Requirement
Ink Stamp or Embossing Seal Required
→Seal impression must be photographically reproducible.
• take acknowledgments, and proofs (very limited circumstances);
• administer oaths and affirmations;
• take affidavits and depositions;
• certify copies of powers or attorney and notarial recordbook entries (requested by the Secretary of State or by a court) ONLY; and
• make protests (only notaries employed by a financial institution).
Change of Name, Address or Eligibility Status
See detailed information on the website of the California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/forms.htm
Contact Information for the State of California
State Notary Website
State of California Online Notary Listing
State of California Online Notary Manual
Office of the Secretary of State
Notary Public Section
P.O. Box 942877
Sacramento, CA 94277–0001
Apostille Certification Information
This information was complied by the American Society of Notaries • Copyright 2013
Last Updated MARCH 2013