A Quick Guide to Filling Out the CA Notary Public Application

Whether it’s your first time or you’re renewing your commission, here are a few tips to make sure your California Notary Public application is accurate and approved as quickly as possible. 

All applications should be typed or legibly written in blue or black ink. Attach a 2×2 passport photo as well as your Proof of Completion certificate from your Notary Public education course. Bring your completed application to your examination, as well as a check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State for $40 (or $20 for those who have previously taken the exam and failed). 

Section One: Identification Information

  1. The name entered will be used for all identification purposes. Make sure it matches the photo ID used for entry to the exam exactly. Do not alter or shorten your name in any way or risk application rejection. 

  2. If you don’t have a middle name, enter “NMN” in the appropriate box on line 1d. 

  3. If your first or middle name includes only an initial, write “Initial Only” after said initial. 

Section Two: Commission Information

  1. Under “Commission Name”, enter your first name as you want it to appear on your commission. Your full last name must match your legal last name. 

  2. If your name is hyphenated, you must enter both names. Using only one may result in your application being rejected.  

Section 3: Business Information

  1. Enter the name of your business. If you don’t work for a business, don’t have a business name, or are unemployed, enter “Self Employed” or “Self”. 

  2. Enter the name of the county in which your business is located. If you’re unemployed, enter the name of the county in which you live. 

  3. Enter the full address where you currently or will perform at least 50% of your notary public work. Do not abbreviate city names or risk application rejection. If you are self-employed or unemployed, enter your residence address or a mailing address where you receive correspondence. Your Notary Public commission will be sent to this address and will be published on the Secretary of State website. 

  4. Enter your residence address. This cannot be a P.O. Box. Note that both your business and residence address will be provided to the public upon request. 

Section 4: Background Information

  1. Enter all names you may have used in the past including prior names used, maiden names, previous domestic partnership names, or names used before becoming a U.S. citizen. 

  2. If you’ve ever been held liable by a court in any civil proceedings, provide all details. 

  3. If you’ve ever had a professional license denied, revoked, or suspended, provide details in box 4c. 

  4. Provide detail for any arrest citations for which trial is pending and misdemeanor or felony convictions. All convictions, including those that have been expunged, must be disclosed regardless of how old the conviction is. Include the date, place, type of conviction, name of the court, case number, the sentence imposed, and the date you were released. Additional pages may be attached to your application if necessary.
    The only exceptions are: 

    1. Traffic infractions

    2. Offenses in juvenile court or under a youthful offender law

    3. Any incident that has been sealed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 781 or Penal Code section 1203.45 

  5. Date and sign your application with your official signature. The application is signed under penalty of perjury and only your official signature should be used. 

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