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What are the Requirements to be a Notary Public?

Per California Government Code section 8201 an Orange County Notary Public (or any notary public officer in CA) must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Must be a legal resident of the State of California
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have satisfactorily completed a notary public course approved by the Secretary of State
  • Successfully passed a written examination as prescribed by the Secretary of State
  • Pass a background check by both the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Section 8201(b) also states that for all notaries appointed on or after July 1, 2005 must complete a six-hour study course. Once a notary public has complete this course they may complete a three-hour refresher course for their reappointment by California’s Secretary of State.

A notary public commission is granted for a period of 4 years. Upon expiration, the notary is required to retake the examination.

As part of the mandatory background check, all new and renewing notary public agents must submit to live fingerprinting to the Department of Justice and FBI. A 2″ x 2″ applicant photo must be submitted of himself/herself to the Secretary of State at the time of application and he/she is required to disclose any and all misdemeanor and felony arrests and convictions.

For example, if you wanted to become an Irvine mobile notary public, you would need to take one of the approved courses before taking your test. The Secretary of State reviews and approves all notary public courses. An approved course will include all the material necessary for an individual to pass the written exam. If you would like to become one of our mobile notary public agents, drop us a message and we can help you get started on your new career path.