How to Become a California Notary

How to Become a Notary Public in California

See the full eligibility requirements here: California Notary Eligibility

  1. Mandatory Education
  2. State Exam
    • Take the state-administered test (same day of LIVE seminar)
      • Bring a $40 check payable to: Secretary of State
      • Bring a 2"x2" Color "Passport" Photograph ($10 at seminar)
      • Bring a valid photo ID
      • Bring a California notary application (will be provided at seminar if you do not bring it)
      • The test is:
        • 30 questions
        • Multiple choice
        • 50 minutes to complete
        • 70% or higher is a passing grade
      • Online Course State Exam Registration:
        • Call CPS at (916) 263-3520 or
        • Go online to:
        • You must register AT LEAST two weeks in advance to guarantee a seat.  You may show up to an exam location as "stand-by."  We recommend you show up at least an hour early.
  3. Test Scores
    You will receive a letter in the mail saying 'You have passed'
    • After the seminar, you can go online to: to view your test score. To obtain your password, call CPS at (916) 263-3520. Test results should be posted 8-10 business days after the exam.
  4. Live Scan
    Submit live scan fingerprints to the Department of Justice and FBI for your thorough background check.
  5. Processing Period
    • Wait for your commission paperwork to arrive (4-12 weeks from exam date). For renewing notaries, the commission paperwork for the new commission will be mailed out no sooner than 1 month prior to commission expiration. You can check your notary status at
    • You can check current processing times here:
  6. Notary Supplies
    Order your official notary stamp/embosser and bond
  7. Notary Bond
    File your 4-year/$15,000 bond and oath of office with the county clerk
  8. Congratulations, you are a California Notary Public!
    Now you can advertise your services on You can also take our Loan Signing Training Course.


California Notary Supplies

California Notary Requirements

Commission Term: 4 years
Minimum Age: 18 years old
Residency: California Resident
Stamp/Seal: Inked Stamp
Journal: Required
Bond: $15,000
Application Fee: $40 (test and application)
Eligibility: No felony convictions or disqualifying misdemeanors.
Other: Mandatory Education, State Exam, Background Check

Notary Public Section
P.O. Box 942877
Sacramento, CA 94277-0001

Phone: (916) 653-3595

Important California Notary Links

California State Website
California Notary Application
California Apostilles
California Notary Name Change
California Notary Address Change
California Notary Database
California Notary Handbook

What are the total costs to become a new notary in California?

$49.95 Required Training
$40 State Exam ($20 if failed previous exam)
$72-$80 Live Scan
$10-$15 2x2 "Passport" Photo
$45-$119 Notary Supplies (Journal, stamp, fingerprint kit)
$38 $15,000/4yr bond
$20-$100+ Oath of office, filing and recording fees
$275-$442 Total costs for 4 year commission.

Find a Notary in California

Click here to get added to the list