To obtain a Notary public commission, an applicant must meet certain requirements set by the Secretary of State’s office (see handbook) and pass a state-administered exam to verify that the applicant has in-depth knowledge regarding the laws and regulations affecting notary public services. The Notary Public Section has contracted with Cooperative Personnel Service (CPS HR) to conduct its regularly scheduled examinations at established test centers throughout the state of California. Please use the form below to find a State Exam in your area.
Before you are eligible to take the state-administered exam a candidate must have passed a 3 or 6-hour course of study. If you have yet to complete this step please sign up for one of our online course below and be sure to bring your proof of completion certificate with you.
It is recommended that the applicant review the Notary Public Handbook.
Allow plenty of travel time and bring the following items to the Notary State Exam:
Notary State Exam results will be available 15 business days after the examination. CPS HR Consulting will mail the exam results to applicants. A score of at least 70 is required to pass the exam. Exam results will not be discussed over the telephone.
Successful applicants (those receiving a score of at least 70) will have their applications transmitted to the Secretary of State for processing.
Each applicant not receiving a score of at least 70 will be sent their original application and re-take voucher with the fail notice. The examination may be re-taken, but may not be taken more than once in the same calendar month.
Checks returned by the financial institution upon which they were drawn are subject to a return fee and may be grounds for notary public application processing delay or notary public commission cancellation. (Government Code section 8204.1.)