(Chapter 3, Division 1, Title 2)
§ 8200. Appointment and commission; number; jurisdiction
The Secretary of State may appoint and commission notaries public in such number as the
Secretary of State deems necessary for the public convenience. Notaries public may act as
such notaries in any part of this state.
§ 8201. Qualifications to be a notary public; proof of course completion; reappointment
(a) Every person appointed as notary public shall meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Be at the time of appointment a legal resident of this state, except as otherwise provided
in Section 8203.1.
(2) Be not less than 18 years of age.
(3) For appointments made on or after July 1, 2005, have satisfactorily completed a six-hour
course of study approved by the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 8201.2 concerning the
functions and duties of a notary public.
(4) Have satisfactorily completed a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State
to determine the fitness of the person to exercise the functions and duties of the offce of notary
public. All questions shall be based on the law of this state as set forth in the booklet of the
laws of California relating to notaries public distributed by the Secretary of State.
(b) (1) Commencing July 1, 2005, each applicant for notary public shall provide satisfactory
proof that he or she has completed the course of study required pursuant to paragraph (3) of
subdivision (a) prior to approval of his or her appointment as a notary public by the Secretary
(2) Commencing July 1, 2005, an applicant for notary public who holds a California notary
public commission, and who has satisfactorily completed the six-hour course of study required
pursuant to paragraph (1) at least one time, shall provide satisfactory proof when applying
for reappointment as a notary public that he or she has satisfactorily completed a three-hour
refresher course of study prior to reappointment as a notary public by the Secretary of State.
§ 8201.1. Additional qualifications; determination; identification; fingerprints
(a) Prior to granting an appointment as a notary public, the Secretary of State shall determine
that the applicant possesses the required honesty, credibility, truthfulness, and integrity to fulfill
the responsibilities of the position. To assist in determining the identity of the applicant and
whether the applicant has been convicted of a disqualifying crime specified in subdivision (b)
of Section 8214.1, the Secretary of State shall require that applicants be fingerprinted.
(b) Applicants shall submit to the Department of Justice fingerprint images and related
information required by the department for the purpose of obtaining information as to the
existence and content of a record of state and federal convictions and arrests and information
as to the existence and content of a record of state and federal arrests for which the department
establishes that the person is free on bail, or on his or her recognizance, pending trial or appeal.
(c) The department shall forward the fingerprint images and related information received
pursuant to subdivision (a) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and request a federal summary
of criminal information.
(d) The department shall review the information returned from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and compile and disseminate a response to the Secretary of State pursuant to
paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 11105 of the Penal Code.