California Notary Public FAQ

faqWe are sure you may have some questions regarding becoming a notary public here in the state of California.  This page of California Notary Public FAQ will answer  many of your questions.

Q: I have been a California notary public for 15 years. Am I required to take the notary class?

A: Yes, initially everyone including those notaries who have been previously commissioned are required to satisfactorily complete a state-approved six hour course of study prior to appointment as a notary public.

Q: Does the six hour class fulfill my mandatory education responsibility?

A: Yes, our six hour class is approved by the state. Everyone must take the six hour class. When you apply for your next commission renewal in four years you will be required to take a three hour refresher course.

Q: I took a class when I first passed my notary exam. Does that class count as my six-hour class requirement?

A: No, the six hour mandatory education class must be a class approved by the State of California. The classes you previously took were probably exam preparation classes but were not state-approved classes.

Q: How do I know if I am qualified to be a California Notary Public?

A:  The requirements and potential disqualifications are listed on our Becoming A Notary page.

Q: Am I required to take the state notary public exam the same day as I complete the six hour class?

A: No, but the sooner you take the exam after completion of the class, the better your opportunity to achieve a passing grade on the exam. Remember, you can review the California Online Notary Public Course  as much as you like prior to taking the state exam.

Q: How do I schedule to take my state exam?

A: Go to the Cooperative Personnel Services website. The site has a listing of locations, dates and times. You can register to take the exam at the same website.

Q: What do I take to the exam?

A; When you complete the course you will receive a cover letter with your Completion Certificate. The cover letter will instruct you as to what to bring and not bring to the state exam.

Q: I’ve had livescan fingerprints taken for previous jobs. Do I need to have them taken again since they are on file?

A: You must have livescan fingerprints taken each time you apply and reappoint regardless of whether you have had them taken previously.

Q: Do I need my livescan prints taken before I take the state exam?

A: No. We recommend you have your livescan prints take after you receive notification that you passed the state exam.

Q: How long do I have to complete the course?

A: You have access to the course for one year from the date you enroll. After you complete the course, you still have access in case you want to study for the exam.