Notary Pubic Classes and Notary Services

Notaries Public Most Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions
1) What is a Notary Public? 
   A notary public is a person of proven integrity who has been  commissioned by
   the Secretary  of  State to  identify document signers, certify the signature
on legal
   documents,  administer oath/affirmations and to perform other official duties
    authorized by  the State laws.

  2) How do I become a California Notary Public ?
      To qualify to become a Notary Public you must: 
                           1)   Be 18 years of age or older (there is no maximum age set by status)
                           2)   Be a legal California resident
                           3)   Complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State
                           4)   Satisfactorily complete and pass a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State
                           5)   Clear a background check
                           6)    All applicants appointed or reappointed on or after January 1, 2008, must undergo a back ground
                                   check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the California  Department of Justice.

                           7)    All applicants appointed or reappointed on or after January 1, 2008, are required to attach a 2"x2" 
                                   color passport photo of their person to the back of the completed notary public application form.
                                    (Secretary of  State List of Qualifications).
                           8)    When you have confirmation that you have passed the state exam, schedule a Liive Scan.  This Live Scan will 
                                  be automatically transmitted to the SOS for processing

3)   How much does it cost become a Notary Public
                          1)    Our cost  includes: $29.95 for the 6 hour on-line class: $19.95 for the 3 hour online class.
                          2)    69.95 for the live 6 hour class:  $59.95 for the live 3 hour class and $80  for the private tutoring.

                          3)    The state examine is an additional $40 to be paid in a separate check made payable to the
                                  Secretary of State at the time of the exam.

                           4)   There is an additional cost for the fingerprinting to be paid directly to the live scan company.

                           5)   The cost of a $15,000 surety bond and the optional error and omission insurance.

                           6)   The cost to register your notary commission and bond at your local county clerk's office.

                           7)   The cost of notary supplies, includes but not limited to: notary journal, seal, acknowledgment and
                                   jurat pads, pens, etc.
4)    How do I schedule for the exam?
       To schedule for the exam go to CPS website, 
   or the  SOS website .  Additional information  is also available at 

Live Scan/Back Ground Check
      The Secretary  of State requires that applicants complete a background check by the State Department of Justice and the
       Federal Bureau of Investigation.  This process must be  completed before the Secretary of State will grand the Notary
       commission.  In class Live Scan service is often provided when taking a live Notary Class.

6)   What is the difference between a Live Scan, Finger Print and Background Check?
       A Background check is done through the Live Scanning of the finger prints.

7)    How do I schedule for a Live Scan?
Live Scan applications are available at the SOS website.   Click here for Finger Print/Live Scan Service Locations and
        Hours of Operations

  8) What if I have a criminal record?
        There are some restrictions on criminal records, more information is  available on the  SOS website under   
         qualifications.  It is important that all  criminal information is  revealed during the application process.

    How soon should a notary begin the renewing process?
        A notary public who currently holds a commission, should start the renewing process 4-6 months before the
         expiration date. 
The Secretary of State is currently taking 6-8 weeks to process the exams.  You must pass the state
         exam prior  to your  expiration date or you will be required to take the six hour class. If you commission  has already
          expired you must take the 6 hour class.

10) How long is the state exam and how many questions are on the exam?
      The state exam is 50 minute with 30 multiple choice questions.  The proctors will spend extensive time with
        instructions.  It is important to allow at least 1-2 hours for  the exam.  
You must pass the exam with a minimum of
        70%  to receive your  commission.  Your results will be e-mailed to you when you provide an e-mail address.
11)  How far in advance do I need to register before my test date?
        Registration must be 15 days prior  to the test date.  However,  they do allow for walk-ins on a first come first serve 

12) What do I need to bring to the exam?
       You must bring:  
                      1) Current Government Issued ID i.e (driver license, passport)
                      2)  A 2 X2 colored photo of your self
                      3)  A completed  application (Get application)
                      4)  Check or money order for $40 made payable to the Secretary of State
                      5)  Two number 2 lead pencils.

13)  When will the  exam results will be available?
       Exam results will be available approximately 15 business days after the xamination.  CPS will mail the exam results to
        candidates. A score of at least 70% is  required to pass the exam. You can also receive test results by providing an       
        e-mail address to the CPS.  For more information on the process contact (916) 263-3520  for a recorded message.
14)  Successful and unsuccessful candidates
Candidates who successful pass the exam with a minimum of 70% will have their information passed on to the 
        Secretary of State for processing.  The unsuccessful candidates with a less than 70% passing score will receive their
       original applications along with a fail notice and instructions on how to re-take the exam for a cost of $20.

15)  What is Notary Pro's refund policy? 
       Notary Pros have a NO REFUND POLICY.  We will assist students with any  questions until they  pass the state
       exam.  The Live class unsuccessful students may   repeat the 6 hr  class up to two time with no additional cost. 
       Unsuccessful  3 hr sstudents must pay  to re-take the class or pay $30 to re-take the exam in addition to
       the $40 State fee.

16)  Can I expect to make money as a Notary Public?
Notaries Public who are loan signing agents will typically make more money.   Notaries can also make money in the
        general public with dedicated effort.

17)  Am I required to take a Loan Sign Class to become an agent?
        Loan Signing Agents are Notaries Public.  A class is not required by the Secretary  of  State.  However, many
         companies will require a notary to have a certificate indicating they know how to handle loan documents.

18) Secretary of State Main Websites:  
This website will provide answers to many of the questions  notaries public may have, i.e,  qualifications,  check
      list, registration  and much more.  You may  download the Notary Public Handbook and the latest Jurat and
     Acknowledgment forms.

                                                                 NOTARY HISTORY

According to Brook's Notary, 13th edition:The The public notary is likely the oldest continuing branch of the legal profession existing throughout the world.

After the sudden death of then president Warren Harding, in August  1923,  Vice President Calvin Coolidge was sworn into office by a Notary Public.  Coolidge was visiting his family farm when he learned of the death of the president, and his father,  a public servant, administered the presidential oath of office to his son in the early morning of August 3, 1923.


Secretary of State Customer Alert!!

Online notarization is illegal in California!!
For more details click here for the SOS website

The attached article is well worth taking the time to read. Vancura v. Katris case, Cook County, Ill 2008                                                               


 This is a an example of notaries public having unlimited liability with every document we perform services on.  The example may seem to be outdated, but the laws still stands in evey State.

After reading past  the legal terms and not getting bogged down in all of the details of the actual trial, there is much here to be learned about the conduct of the notary.   This incident took place in the state of Illinois, but it could happen anywhere. 

California notary laws no longer allow personal knowledge as a means of identification, but this case will show many other areas where the notary public has to make sure they understand and are following the notary laws.

The area of properly identifying the signer is so important, that as an extra precaution for myself, as a notary public, I will ask for finger prints with every document I notarize.  even though California laws only require finger prints on power of attorney and certain real estate transactions,  (why would a signer refuse?)

One article states "For his misconduct, the Notary ended up paying a judgment of $30,000The Court was influenced by critical questions of conduct by the Notary. The Notary admitted, for example, that his practice of identifying strangers was simply to compare signatures on the person’s ID with ones on the document. And he saw nothing wrong with relinquishing his Notary seal to a supervisor for safekeeping when it was not in use".                                                                      

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________WAYS TO MAKE MONEY  

Web Hosting Companies