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State Information for California

California Notary Public Commission Requirements and Information

Appointing Officer
Secretary of State

Notary Commission Qualifications
Applicants must:
• be at least 18 years old;
• be a legal resident of California;
• complete a state-approved education course and pass the written exam; and
• clear a background check, by the FBI and the California Department of Justice and submit fingerprints.

How to Apply
See detailed information including applicable fees, on the website of the California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/checklist/

Term of Office
4 Year Term

Notary Education and/or Exam Requirement
Education Course and Exam Required (6-hour or 3-hour (see below), state-approved, online or classroom environment course and closed-book proctored exam)
→All first time notary applicants must complete a 6-hr education course and all renewing applicants must complete a 3-hr education course prior to applying. *Renewing applicants must renew prior to expiration of commission otherwise the applicant must complete the 6-hr course.
*CLICK HERE for information about ASN’s online California 6-Hour and 3-Hour Notary Courses.

Notary Bond Requirement
$15,000 Notary Bond Required

Notary Recordbook (Journal) Requirement
Recordbook Required
→Only one active, sequential recordbook may be used and should be kept in a secure location under the direct control of the notary.

Notary Seal Requirement
Ink Stamp or Embossing Seal Required
→Seal impression must be photographically reproducible.

Authorized Duties
• take acknowledgments, and proofs (very limited circumstances);
• administer oaths and affirmations;
• take affidavits and depositions;
• certify copies of powers or attorney and notarial recordbook entries (requested by the Secretary of State or by a court) ONLY; and
• make protests (only notaries employed by a financial institution).

Change of Name, Address or Eligibility Status
See detailed information on the website of the California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/forms/

Contact Information for the State of California

State Notary Website

State of California Online Notary Listing

State of California Online Notary Manual

Phone Number
(916) 653-3595

Mailing Address
Office of the Secretary of State
Notary Public Section
P.O. Box 942877
Sacramento, CA 94277–0001

Apostille Certification Information

Phone Number
(916) 653-3595

Further Information

This information was compiled by the American Society of Notaries • Copyright 2017
Last Updated August 2016

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