Notary FAQ

Notary FAQ

Q. How long does my commission last before I have to renew it?
A. Four (4) years. You will receive a notice to renew at 3 1/2 years (6 months prior to your expiration).

Q. Where can I get the Notary Public Handbook?
A. You can download the Notary Public Handbook (updated yearly), on the Secretary of State website here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/
Q. Can I purchase my supplies at the class also? Like my seal and bond?
A. Yes! This class is designed to be a “one stop shop”. We have packages that you can order (for a fee) that include supplies such as journal, bond, Errors and Ommissions and seal. The price range for the packages of supplies ranges from $25 to $400, depending on what you want to purchase. You can go and look in the store at www.californianotaryacademy.com . However, please take note that you do get a class discount, so these prices on the website are on the higher end.
Q. How long does it take to renew my notary commission?
A. A good rule of thumb is 6 months. So if you take the Renewing Your Notary class on January 1 and submit the paperwork that day, pass the test and do your live scans you will receive your new commission 30 days prior to your old commission expiring.
Q. I renewed my notary and sent in all necessary paperwork. When will the state send me my renewed commission?
A. A The state will send you your renewal 30 days prior to the date your current commission expires. You will receive a new commission number and you will need to get a new seal and new bond.
Q. I took the 6 hour class and now I just want to sign up for the exam only. I know I can do that with COS, but what if I only have a copy of my certificate? My original hasn’t come in the mail yet.
A. Unforuntaley, the proctors of the exam do require the original certificate in order to allow you to take the exam. Please wait until you have received the original to take the exam.
Q. Should I take my fingerprints at the class, or take them after?
A. It is up to you. Taking your fingerprints at the class does two things. 1.) It is convenient. The Notary instructor will have the proper forms with their information and everything right there at class, making it a “one stop shop”. And 2.) It takes about 2 weeks off the process time to send the fingerprints in at the class versus going to a Sheriff or other office after the class and submitting it that way.
Q. I signed up for the Notary Exam only. Can I come early to do my Livescan and passport photo?
A. Yes. Come to the class at lunch break or the afternoon break at 2:45 to take care of this. If you come after 3:00, the trainer may have packed everything up since she has to be gone by the time the proctor arrives at 4:00.
Q. How do I get my Livescan forms if I don’t want to do them the day of the class?
A. They will be sent to you with the pass letter.
Q. I took the course 3 months ago but failed the test. Can I take just the test again?
A. Yes. As long as you took the full course within the past 24 months, you may sign up for just the exam itself. You can test once a calendar month till you pass.
Q. I took the course 3 months ago but failed the test. If I take the test again, do I need to re-do my fingerprints?
A. No. As long as you got your fingerprints (to become a notary) done within the past 12 months, you don’t have to re-do them. State agencies do not share live scan fingerprints.
Q. How much is the test if I am re-taking it?
A. $20. You will receive a “re-take voucher” with your fail notice. However, please note that you cannot take the test more than once in the same calendar month.
Q. Where is my commission valid?
A. Your commission is valid anywhere in California.
Q. Do I have to be a citizen of the US in order to become a notary?
A. You don’t have to be a citizen of the US in order to become a notary, but you do have to be a resident of California.
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