All persons appointed on or after July 1, 2005, are required to take and satisfactorily complete a six-hour course of study approved by the Secretary of State prior to appointment as a notary public. Please note that all persons being appointed, no matter how many commission terms that person has held in the past, are required to take the initial six-hour course of study. (Government Code section 8201(a)(3) and (b)) Persons who hold current California notary public commissions and who have completed an approved six-hour course at least one time are required to take and satisfactorily complete an approved three-hour refresher course prior to reappointment as a notary public. In order to meet the requirement to take the three-hour refresher course, persons must apply for reappointment before the current commission expires.
If the commission expires before application is made for a new commission, a person must take an approved six-hour course before being reappointed as a notary public, even if the person previously completed an approved six-hour course. The Secretary of State reviews and approves courses of study. These approved courses include all the material that a person is expected to know to pass the written examination. The Secretary of State compiles a list of all persons offering an approved course of study. This list is available on the Secretary of State’s website or can be mailed to you upon request. Please refer to the inside front cover of this handbook for the Secretary of State’s website address for approved education vendors and for our mailing address. (Government Code section 8201.2)