So you want to become a notary in Los Angeles? It’s important that you check the laws in California to learn how to qualify properly. California requires more steps than some other states, so we’ve done the homework to make it easy for you to become a notary in Los Angeles. Plus, if you’re interested in how to become a notary in other areas, check back as we’ll be posting the details for all 50 states!
There are several things you need to have in order to become a notary in Los Angeles, some easy things to check first;
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be a legal resident of California
- You must get and pass a criminal background check (more details on that below)
So, that’s the easy part, here are some additional things you must have in order to become a notary or a mobile notary in Los Angeles:
Attend a 6-hour course:
- Must be from the approved vendor list – click here for the list of location in Los Angeles County – there are over 100 to choose from so you’ll have plenty of options!
- After you finish the class, you’ll get a certificate of completion that is valid for two years. Make sure you keep this as you’ll need it later.
Take a Test – after you take your class, you’ll need to take a test. It’s a written exam and you must register on the Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS) website.
- In Los Angeles, you can take your exam at El Camino College or National University. Click here to view the upcoming dates and times.
- Register at least 15 days prior to the date you select.
- The test questions are based on material you learned in your class and on the California Notary Public Handbook.
- Test is multiple choice and will take about 1-2 hours to complete.
Be prepared - make sure you have the following items with you when you go to your test location:
- Photo id – A driver’s license or State DMV I.D. card, a Canadian or Mexican Driver’s license, U.S. Passport or Passport issued by a foreign government, a U.S. Military I.D. card. It must be one of these!
- Completed Notary Public application form
- 2 x2 color passport photograph of yourself
- Proof of Completion certificate from your class
- Two No. 2 lead pencils – just like in school!
Time to get printed – but not dirty! After you pass your exam, you will need to get fingerprinted before you can become a notary in Los Angeles. No messy fingerprinting, it’s all done on a computer using Livescan. There are over 200 locations in Los Angeles County to get your scan done, from Alahambra to Van Nuys, there’s sure to be a choice close by; click here for a complete list. When you get go to the scan site, here are some important things to remember:
- Bring your completed form – Request For Live Scan Service
- A current photo identification.
- A fingerprint processing fee – call the location to get exact fees – numbers are on the website
- Your fingerprints will be scanned and automatically sent in for you – so no worries!
- Make sure you get a copy of your Live Scan form and keep it until you get your notary commission.
You’re all done! That’s it the final step to become a notary in Los Angeles. Now, just sit back, take a deep breath and wait for your notary public commission packet to arrive. You’ll get this in the mail and your packet will include:
- A cover letter that will tell you some more things you need to now do
- Details on how to file your commission
- A notary public commission certificate – congratulations!!
- Two Notary Public Oath and Certificate of Filing forms;
- A Certificate of Authorization to Manufacture Notary Public Seals; and
- A list of Authorized Manufacturers of Notary Public Seals.
Build your Notary Kit – now that you have your commission you need to get your business started by getting a bond and supplies.
- Notary Public Bond – you’ll need a bond that must be filed with the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office (more details on this below). You can use any insurance/bonding company, so check your local listings under Bonds.
- Notary Public Journal – you must keep journals of everything you do in your notary business. You can use paper journals, or an online notary system like NotaryCRM.
- Notary Public Seal – you will get a list of places you cam purchase your seals in the packet you receive from the state, so review the list and place your order.
Almost done…Within 30 days of getting your packet, you must file an oath of office and bond (see information above on getting your bond) with the County Clerk’s office in Los Angeles County.
You can do this via mail, by sending your oath notarized by a notary in the county of Los Angeles and including a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of any conformed copies. All mailed submissions must be sent to the Norwalk office. But, do remember the 30-day deadline, so you may want to be safe and go in-person.
There are 4 offices you can file your oath and bond in-person, click here to view addresses and office hours. Note, some offices only process oaths on certain days, so make sure to view this schedule before going to the office.
When you go to one of the clerk offices, you’ll need to take the following items with you:
- Original commission certificate (this came with your packet)
- Notary bond for $15,000
- Two completed copies of the oath of office form
- Government issued identification (in person filings only)
- Filing fee consisting of; $23 – Registration fee (Clerk’s fee $16; Filing fee $7) and $18 – Bond recording fee ($18 for the first page, $3 for each additional page of the bond
You did it! You are now ready to start marketing your notary business in Los Angeles. Good luck with your notary business and let us know how things are going, we love to hear your tips!