Qualifications and Requirements

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Every person appointed as a notary public shall:

  • Be 18 years of age or older (there is no maximum age set by statute);
  • Be a legal California resident;
  • Complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State;
  • Satisfactorily complete and pass a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State;
  • Successfully clear a background check.

Child Support

  • Applicants found to be non-compliant with child or family support orders will be issued temporary term notary public commissions.
  • Notaries public found to be non-compliant after the notary public commission is issued may be subject to commission suspension or revocation. (Family Code section 17520.)

Background Check

  • State law requires all applicants be fingerprinted as part of a background check prior to being granted an appointment as a notary public.
  • Information concerning the fingerprinting requirement will be mailed to applicants who pass the examination.


  • All applicants are required to disclose on their application any arrests for which trial is pending and all convictions.
  • Convictions dismissed under Penal Code section 1203.4 or 1203.4a must be disclosed.
  • If you have any questions concerning the disclosure of convictions or arrests, contact the Secretary of State prior to signing the application.
    • For specifics about your arrest(s) and or conviction(s), please contact the California Department of Justice at (916) 227-3849.
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CPS Schedule
2021 SOS Notary Public Handbook
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"Hello, I just found out I passed the notary exam! I took your course and the exam. I appreciated the professionalism and convenience of the class and will certainly let others know about the program. Best, D. M."