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How to Become a Notary in California

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California has a few specific requirements to become a notary public. Aspiring notaries must complete a six-hour training class, pass a state exam and submit to a fingerprint background check. Purchasing official supplies and being bonded are additional requirements.

Training and Test-Taking

Some states have optional training for notaries, but California requires that you complete a six-hour training program before applying. You may take the classes online or via DVD. As of the time of publication, a $40 payment to "Secretary of State" and your notary application are due at the time of your scheduled state exam. The exam covers 30 questions with a 50-minute time limit. You must achieve a minimum score of 70 percent to pass.

Additional Requirements

The Department of Justice and FBI conduct your criminal background checks. You are not eligible if you have a felony conviction. After you receive an approved notary commission, you have 30 days to order stamp and embossing supplies and to get bonded.

You can order your bond through various providers, but the National Notary Association and Golden State Notary both sell four-year/$15,000 bonds for $38 as of March 2015. Golden State Notary also quotes a two-year $100,000 errors and omissions insurance policy, which meets the minimum requirement, at $234. A similar policy from National Notary Association was $281 as of March 2015.

References

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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