San Diego Notary

Appointment and Qualifications

In order to qualify to become a notary public you must meet all of the following requirements: (Government Code section 8201)

  • Be a legal resident of the State of California;
  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Satisfactorily complete a course of study approved by the Secretary of State;
  • Pass a written examination prescribed by the Secretary of State; and
  • Pass a background check.

To determine if a person meets the requirements to fulfill the responsibilities of the position, a completed application and a 2” x 2” color passport photograph of the applicant shall be submitted at the examination site, then forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of State and reviewed by Secretary of State staff for qualifying information. (Government Code section 8201.5)

To assist the Secretary of State in determining the identity of an applicant and whether the applicant has been convicted of a disqualifying crime, state law requires all applicants to be fingerprinted as part of a thorough background check prior to being granted an appointment as a notary public. (Government Code section 8201.1) Information concerning the fingerprinting requirements will be mailed to candidates who pass the examination.


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