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Become a California Notary Public or
Renew your Notary Commission

IMPORTANT New requirement for NEW and RENEWING Notaries Public as of January 1, 2008

  • All applications for appointment must include a 2" x 2" color passport-type photograph of you attached to the Notary Application.
  • Live Scan Fingerprints are required and are submitted to the Department of Justice and the FBI.
  • For your convenience, we are offering at all of our CA Exam Classes both the state required Live Scan Fingerprinting and state required Passport-type Photo services.

California Notary Exam — FAQ

Course FAQ's

Exam FAQ's

Other FAQ's

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Class Locations

Course FAQ's

What are your course highlights?
Our California Notary Exam Classes are easy and informative same day classes and are structured to teach you the basics of being a Notary Public and prepare you for the California Notary Public Exam. The official CA Notary Exam is offered after the approved 6 hour class.

  • The class presents the official California Notary Public Handbook in plain language and includes practice quizzes to help you understand the material.
  • The class focuses on what is important to know for the exam as well as practical applications such as using our Hands-On Training method:
    • The different types of notarial acts
    • Elements of each notarization
    • Completing notary certificates
    • How to record in your Notary Journal
    • How to correctly identify a signer
  • The state exam is given at the end of each class.

The class schedule is as follows:

7:30am to 8am
Registration
8am to 10am Notary Knowledge
10am to 10:15am Break
10:15am to 12pm Performing Notarial Acts
12pm to 1pm Lunch (not provided)
1pm to 3:15pm Hands-on Training & Test Prep
3:15pm to 3:30pm Distribute “Proof of Completion”
3:15pm to 4pm Exam Registration
4pm to 4:50pm Exam administered by CPS
  • Same day classes are currently available in the Northern and Southern California.
  • The course registration fee does not include state exam fees payable to the Secretary of State.
  • Click here to Register Now, $75.00 for all of California.

What do I need to bring to the class?
When you register for your class you now have the opportunity to order Notary Supply Packages at a special discounted price. For your convenience, we are also offering the state required Live Scan Fingerprinting and the state required Passport-type Photo services at all of our CA Exam Class locations. You can go to Notary Public Handbook and download a free copy of the California Notary Public Handbook. The registration confirmation email we send to you after your online registration will include a link for you to access by password your Pre-Study Guide and Official Secretary of State 108 Knowledge Points.

  1. One of the following Photo Identification: (current or issued within the last 5 years)
    • A driver's license or State DMV I.D. card
    • A Canadian or Mexican Driver's license
    • U.S. Passport or Passport issued by a foreign government
    • A U.S. Military I.D. Card
    No other forms of photo identification are allowed.
  2. A complete application - Get Application *
  3. All Applications for appointment must include a 2" x 2" color passport-type photograph of yourself attached to the application
  4. Check for $40.00 payable to the Secretary of State
  5. Two (2) sharpened No. 2 lead pencils
  6. Yellow Highlighter for marking special areas to remember in the Study Manual

* Note if you are not a U.S. Citizen you need to bring your "Alien Registration Number" to class or have this information completed on your application.

Click here for NOTARY PUBLIC CHECKLIST
The Notary Public Checklist is a step by step walk through of all the information you need to know and follow to become a Notary Public in the State of California.

What happens if I forget to bring something to class?
We anticipate your needs for the class. As long as you have a valid ID and payment for the California Notary Exam, we can usually help in other ways.

Are there breaks during the class?
There is a 15 minute break in the morning, a one hour break for lunch and a short break in the afternoon before the California Notary Exam begins.

Can I cancel my class registration?
As stated in our Terms of Purchase

  • All credit card cancellations are subject to a 10% service charge. If payment was made by check or cash these REFUNDS are subject to deduction of cancellation fees and the balance of payment returned to you by check within 30 days of cancellation date.
  • Cancellations made at least seven (7) business days prior to class will be granted.
  • There is a $50.00 fee for cancellations made with less than a seven (7) business day notice and up to forty-eight (48) hours prior to your class.
  • Cancellations with less than forty-eight (48) hours notice cannot be refunded for any reason due to limited time left to fill your vacated seat.
  • Cancellation fees will be deducted from the card used for your original order unless other arrangements are made. Payments by check or cash ( less applied deductions ) are refunded by check within 30 days of cancellation date.

Can I reschedule my class?
As stated in our Terms of Purchase

  • Reschedules made at least seven (7) business days prior to class will be granted at no charge.
  • There is a $25.00 fee for reschedules made with less than a seven (7) business day notice and up to forty-eight (48) hours prior to your class.
  • There is a $50.00 fee for reschedules made with less than a forty-eight (48) hour notice.
  • Reschedule fees will be applied to the card used for your original order unless other arrangements are made. If payment was mailed, you may choose to also mail in your reschedule fee or provide us with credit card information. Reschedules will be granted once fees are processed.
  • We only offer this rescheduling one time. Failure to attend your rescheduled class will forfeit your order and you will need to place a new order for class.
  • Your rescheduled class must be within sixty (60) days of your original scheduled class.

What is our class NO SHOW policy?
As stated in our Terms of Purchase

  • Students not present for class cannot be refunded or rescheduled for any reason due to limited seating at our mandatory notary classes. By not showing up for class, you have taken a seat someone else would have been able to fill. You will need to resubmit a new order for class.

What is our free class guarantee?
As stated in our Terms of Purchase

  • Our "Free Class and Exam Guarantee" ensures that if you fail the exam, you may take our class again for FREE up to two (2) additional times. To take advantage of this guarantee, this must be done within the next two (2) consecutive months after your first exam. A seat fee of $35.00 is charged for your exam reservation, which means that you will have a free seat for the entire class and a reserved seat for the state exam. The Secretary of State will charge $20.00 to retake the state exam. You must register on our web site by choosing the "Retaking Test" link below the date of the class you wish to attend.

What are the New Mandatory Education requirements?
All applicants appointed on or after July 1, 2005, will be required to satisfactorily complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State prior to appointment as a notary public. (Government Code section 8201.)
The goal of mandatory education is to:

  • provide proper training for all notaries public;
  • provide a full understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a notary public;
  • standardize knowledge for all notaries public; and
  • reduce complaints and lawsuits due to negligence or misconduct by a notary public.
Upon completion of the approved six-hour course of study, the approved notary education vendor will provide you with a certificate of completion of the mandatory education course. The certificate of completion is valid for a period of two years from the date of issuance. You will want to ensure that you pass the notary public examination before your certificate of completion of the mandatory education course expires

What are the requirements to take an approved three-hour refresher course?
Notaries public who have previously completed an approved six-hour notary public education course and have a current active commission are eligible to take an approved three-hour refresher course if they have taken the notary public exam and submitted the application at the exam site prior to the expiration date of their current commission.

Can a six-hour course be taken in place of a three-hour refresher course?
A six-hour approved notary public education course satisfies the requirement for a three-hour refresher course and always satisfies the education requirement, regardless if you are a new applicant or applying for reappointment.

Is the proctored state exam that follows your class the official
state exam?
Yes. CPS Human Resource Services comes to our class locations and administers the official California State Notary Public Exam to our candidates.

Is there anything I can study prior to the day of the class?
It is our goal that you pass the state exam the first time and perhaps even more importantly, that you know what to do when you are asked to do your first notarization. Our way of helping you accomplish this without stress is to offer you a copy of our Study Guide and Official Secretary of State 108 Knowledge Points. We forward these to you by e-mail once you have registered for our class either online, by telephone, by fax or by mailing in your payment.

How to request the FREE Study and Reference Manual?
You will receive information on how to download this guide at no additional charge with your registration confirmation. This information will be sent via email only. We will present and study all of this material during the class. You can also download a copy of the California Notary Public Handbook. Our Training Manual and sample test is based on this publication. We have put together a Training Manual, which not only presents the information, but also is presented in a way for you to learn and retain the information in order to pass the test the first time!

How do we help you to kick-start your Notary business?
This is our way of saying Thank You! After you have received your Notary Commission, e-mail us at info@notary-services.com to sign-up for your Complimentary Listing Membership, this is at no charge for one year. Want to see how this works? Go to Member Benefits and look at the Listing Member section. Notary-Services.com is a part of the Notary Learning Center and we want to help you kick-start your own Notary Business. The following types of businesses use the web site for finding notaries: Signing or Closing Companies, Escrow and/or Title Companies, Banks, Lenders and Mortgage Companies. The general public also uses Notary-Services.com, a nationwide database, looking for notaries to accept notary assignments. Want to start working? This is absolutely one of the best sites for any notary to be listed on and a really great way to start your new Notary Business, whether it's part time or full time. You need to advertise and we will give you the kick-start you need at no extra charge.

How soon should I start my process of being re-commissioned?
The Secretary of State recommends that you complete your state required training and exam at least six months before your commission expiration.

Exam FAQ's

What do I need to bring for the after class exam?
The administrators of the state exam require you to bring these materials for the after class exam.

What percentage of the students pass the test?
On average 97% of our students pass the California Notary Exam the first time. The state does charge you $20.00 for retaking the test and you can only take the exam once per calendar month.

What happens if I fail the test?
If you should fail the test, you are welcome to take advantage of our "free class guarantee". The Secretary of State does charge $20.00 each time you retake the exam.

What time will I be finished with the test?
Students will be finished with the test at approximately 5:00 pm.

I recently took the notary exam. Can I check my exam results online?
Yes. Your exam results are available within 15-20 business days of your exam date on the CPS Human Resource Services web site. If you have already taken the exam but have not previously set up an online account with CPS, then you will first need to call the CPS HR Services at (916) 263-3520 in order to obtain the password needed to access your exam results online. If you put your e-mail address on your notary application, CPS should send you a USER NAME and PASSWORD for logging in to get your test results.

What are the costs involved in becoming a Notary Public?
The CA Notary Exam/Application fees are set fees by the State of California. Notary supplies and live scan fingerprints vary by supplier. The County Recorder filing fees will vary depending on the county. The costs are as follows:

  • Same Day CA Notary Exam Class - $75.00 in all of California.
  • Notary Supplies - Anywhere from $75.00 and up depending upon what supplies you purchase.
  • Fingerprint Fees - $32.00 to the Dept. of Justice, and $17.00 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation plus $31.00 "Live Scan Fee"".
  • Passport Color Photograph - 2" x 2" passport-type photograph of yourself, $10.00 to $15.00
  • Application/Exam Fee - $40.00 for first time applicants and renewing notaries ($20.00 application fee and $20.00 State of California Exam fee).
  • Notary Seal and $15,000 state required notary bond - $14.00 to $18.00 notary seal and $38.00 for the notary bond.
  • Filing Fee - $40 to $90 County Recorder fee for filing your $15,000 bond.

How long does it take to become a notary public or renew an existing commission?
It takes approximately 10 weeks to receive your new commission starting from the date you take the state exam. Your exam results are sent out within 15-20 business days of your exam date. After you receive your pass notification, you must submit your fingerprints for a background check (unless you are an existing notary with less than a 6 month break in service). The Secretary of State's office receives your background check, processes your application and then mails your commission to you within approximately 10 weeks.

How can I get more information from the California Secretary of State?
Visit the California Secretary of State - CA Business Portal.

Can I take the official notary public exam online?
No. The official notary public exam is NOT offered online by the State of California. You must register with a testing service and attend an official test site to take the exam.

How much does the Notary Public exam cost?
The fee for the official exam is $40 for new applicants and re-appointments and $20 if you have previously taken the exam and failed.

How many times can I take the exam?
You can take the exam as many times as you need in order to pass, but you may only take the exam one time per calendar month.

What is the format of the exam?
The exam consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. The exam time allowed is 50 minutes.

Other FAQ's

Which credit cards do you accept?
Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express are accepted, as well as debit cards which bear the Mastercard or Visa logo.

Can I pay you by check, cashiers check or money order?
You may mail a check, cashiers check or money order made out to "Notary Learning Center " to the following address:

Notary Learning Center
PO Box 1534
Upland, CA 91785-1534
You can opt to register by mail or fax during the class checkout process. REGISTER

"Potential Orders" submitted within 5 business days of your class, will require payment at the door. Your payment must be in the form of a cashier's check, money order, credit card or cash. No personal checks will be accepted at the door.

Is my credit card transaction secure when I register?
Your class registration fee is securely processed using SSL and encryption technology. California Notary Exam does not retain your credit card information after your registration has been completed.

What is our class refund policy?
The Notary Learning Center will refund all fees within thirty (30) days of a scheduled course date to any notary public applicant or notary public who registered to attend an approved course of study if one of the following occurs:

  1. One of our instructors fails to appear at the scheduled time, date, and place of the approved course of study.
  2. One of our approved course of study is delayed in starting more than fifteen minutes (15) after the scheduled time, a notary public applicant or notary public immediately informs the instructor of the approved class of his or her request for a refund, and leaves the approved course of study prior to it starting.

How do I find which class may be closest to me?
Select by Your Zip Code
Select by Your City Name

Is there really a need for Notary Publics?
Every Power of Attorney, Homestead Declaration, Grant Deed, Quitclaim Deed, loan signing, home sale, refinance, and on…. requires the signature and stamp of a Notary Public. Can you imagine how many documents are completed every day requiring the assistance of a mobile notary public? That's right…a lot. Yes, there really is a need for Notary Publics, especially those who want to treat it as their own business and start their own Mobile Notary Business. Start by, passing the test…we can help you every step of the way after that. Find out about marketing yourself as a notary, become a Certified Notary Signing Agent if you want to and learn how to become a successful notary. Our loan document signing classes will help you with anything you want to do as a notary, especially if you become certified. Check out our Notary Signing Training Course at NotaryLearningCenter.com for more information about this program. You do not have to be certified to get into this business, but if you want to be, we can help you.

Do you offer any group discounts?
Yes. Please contact us for details and rates.

What are the 2014 notary laws pursuant to assembly bills AB464, AB625, and AB924?
Click to read the summary.

What are the 2013 notary laws pursuant to assembly bill AB 2326?
Click to read the summary.

What are the 2012 notary laws pursuant to assembly bill AB 75?
Click to read the summary.

What are the 2009 notary laws pursuant to assembly bill AB 2452?
Click to read the summary.

What are the 2008 notary laws pursuant to assembly bill AB 886?
These are the law changes. Click to read the complete bill text.

What are the 2008 notary laws pursuant to assembly bill AB 434?
Click to read the complete bill text.


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