Navigate through this guide in numerical order to become a California Notary Public.

Download the checklist PDF below to keep track offline! 

Complete Approved Education

Requirement: Complete a six-hour notary public education course approved by the California Secretary of State.


1. Choose an Onsite or Livestream Seminar Date and register.

2. Attend and complete the course.

3. Obtain a Proof of Completion.

Next Live Stream Date


Becoming a notary public in California involves completing a few essential steps to ensure you’re well-prepared for the responsibilities of the role. All aspiring notaries must complete a six-hour course approved by the Secretary of State. This requirement applies to everyone, no matter how many times you’ve been appointed as a notary in the past (Government Code section 8201).

For current notaries with a valid commission who have previously completed an approved six-hour course, a three-hour refresher course is required before reappointment. It’s important to note that this refresher course is only valid if you apply for reappointment before your current commission expires. If your commission expires before you complete the course and submit your application, you’ll need to take the six-hour course again.

2. Register for the Exam

  • Requirement: Schedule your notary public exam.
    (Note: Most onsite seminars include the Official State Exam directly after the seminar. Check college catalogue  description to find out.)
  • Steps:

3. Take the State Exam

  • Requirement: Pass the notary public exam. A 45 question multiple choice exam.
  • Steps:
    • Arrive at the testing location on time with necessary identification (e.g., a valid driver’s license or passport).
    • Bring your certificate of completion from the Notary Seminar.
    • Bring Completed Application. Including an attached 2″x2″ passport photo.
    • $40 Check or Money Order payable to the Secretary of State

4. Submit Fingerprints via Live Scan

  • Requirement: Complete a background check via Live Scan.
  • Steps:
    • Select a Live Scan Operator and set an appointment from the DOJ website.
    • Bring the Live Scan Form and a valid ID.
    • Arrive on time submit your fingerprints and pay the required fee.

5. Await Commission Packet

  • Requirement: Receive your Notary Public Commission packet from the Secretary of State.
  • Steps:
    • Wait for the processing of your exam results and background check via Live Scan; 6-8 weeks.
    • Once approved, you’ll receive your commission packet by mail.

6. Purchase Notary Public Materials

  • Requirement: Obtain necessary notary supplies.
  • Steps:
    • Purchase a notary seal and a notary journal (must meet California state requirements).
    • You must acquire an original 15k notary bond before the next step 

7. File Notary Public Oath & Bond

Requirement: File your oath of office and bond.


  • Within 30 days of your commission start date, listed on your Commission, go to your county clerk’s office, also listed on your commission. With all items listed in the letter that came with your commission.
  • File your original 15k notary bond.
  • Take and file your notary public Oath of Office (2 copies were provided in your commission packet).
  • Pay the filing fees.

What is a Loan Signing Agent?

Loan Signing agents notarize loan packages. They are hired by loan signing agencies, mortgage, escrow, and title companies. They meet with clients, obtain signatures and execute notarizations. The Loan Signing Agent then sends the loan package back to the issuing party. Loan Signing Agents are paid a flat fee.

What do you learn in a Loan Signing Agent Seminar?

You’ll learn about each document contained in a loan package but particularly those that need to be notarized. You’ll also learn what not to do as a Loan Signing Agent as the role is limited. You’ll be given tips on how to keep the loan signing process going by keeping your customers focused. Our instructors will also give you practical advice about how to set up your office and advertising options.


You do not need to be a commissioned notary public to take this course, but you must take the Notary Public Seminar first. Ultimately, you must be a Notary Public with a current commission to be a Loan Signing Agent.

We are here to help!

The process to become a Notary is involved and there are a lot of steps. That is why we are her to guide you through the process and make sure you are the most prepared for your new Notary Commission.