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June 8, 2013

Qualifications for becoming a California Notary

Qualifications for Becoming a California Notary

Almost everybody needs to have something notarized sooner or later. It’s typically only once you have to track down a notary in California (or wherever you live) that you start to wonder what it is they do and what notarizing is really about.

Notary Public California — What Do These People Actually Do?

California notaries perform the same basic duties that notaries around the country perform. They act as witnesses to oaths, affirmations, and the legality and legitimacy of documents. By placing their notary seal on something, they are telling the legal system within that state that they have seen, understood, and know everything surrounding that specific thing to be legal.

The job, though not typically difficult, does carry with it a lot of responsibility! If you go after your California notary licensing, you are pledging an oath to the state to uphold the law. That’s a big deal!

Notary Public California: Qualifications

With so much responsibility, it’s understandable that you think people study for years to become notaries. You might even picture them studying away in cubicles at the library, working hard to learn the law and develop the skills they need for this job.

The truth is that the qualifications for becoming a notary public in California aren’t extreme.

You have to be a legal adult and a legal resident of California.
Are you 18? Do you have a California ID or Driver’s License?

You have to complete the classes and curriculum set forth by the Secretary of State.
You can take a six-hour California notary seminar, or you can take an online course.

You have to take a test to prove that you understand what you learned (and pass it).
Unlike the Bar or other legal exams, the California notary exam is designed to be passable!

You have to pass a background check.
This is a pretty thorough background check and involves submitting fingerprints as well as ID information. You’ll be checked out by both California’s Department of Justice as well as the FBI.

That’s it!

Remember: Just because the qualifications don’t seem like a big deal doesn’t mean that taking on the responsibilities of a California notary public (whether you operate out of a fixed location or decide to be a California mobile notary public) will be easy. It’s important to take the job seriously.

After all—you’ve paid a bunch of money and jumped through a bunch of hoops to take on this responsibility. You need to make sure you honor that commitment.

Erin Steiner is a freelance writer who has covered a variety of topics business and non-business related including articles about cubicles!

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