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A notary public acts as a state-regulated impartial witness related to the signing of important documents. Notary publics are state-regulated and their purpose is to prevent fraud. They are required to undertake training in order to pass the state notary examination and become a state-certified notary. Notary training regulations vary in each state, and you should check with your state's Secretary of State to determine the specifics for operating as a notary there.
Many community colleges and adult schools provide vocational training courses, including notary public training and the administration of the state examination. These courses are generally around eight hours in length and are provided as evening and weekend options over the period of a few weeks.
National Notary Association
The National Notary Association provides courses online, through home study and CD and video training, as well as through live seminars across the country. The live seminars last one day and include taking your state examination, LiveScan fingerprinting and taking your state commission application photograph.
Many colleges provide notary public training as an integral part of their business management programs. For example, the University of California Los Angeles Anderson School of Management offers it within its UCLA Executive Program leading to a graduate degree in business administration.
You can also receive notary public training as part of a paralegal training course or an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Science in legal studies. For example, the National Paralegal College provides online courses that are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council.
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Helen Harvey began her writing career in 1990 and has worked in journalism, writing, copy-editing and as a consultant. She has worked for world-class news sources including Reuters and the "Daily Express." She holds a Master of Arts in mass media communications from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.