So You Want to be a Notary…?

Well, it’s no secret I actually passed this thing in October, but I’m glad it’s finally done. I finally got my certificate in the mail today. I wanted to write an article on how I got there for any other aspiring notaries. :)

First of all, please check with your state for the most accurate information. This is based on California since I am a California Notary. You can check the latest requirements here on the government notary website. Qualifications, checklist, etc all can be found on the website. If you are not in California, just google ” (state) notary”.

  1. Complete approved course.
  2. Register to take exam.
  3. Take exam.
  4. If pass, submit LiveScan fingerprints.
  5. Commission packet comes in mail (along with a bunch of other spam mail).
  6. Purchase notary supplies.
  7. Take oath and post bond.

This checklist can also be found here with appropriate links on each item. The purpose of this article is not to regurgitate what the government website says, but to tell you what I used to complete these requirements.

I took the course from an online retailer – Discount Notary Class. Yep, it sounds like a scam, but it isn’t. It’s on the approved vendors list. Cost? $19.95. You download the book and self study, affidavit that you studied, they send you the certificate, you bring it with you on the exam day. Pretty good deal considering a few other places were charging over $100.

I registered for the exam at the CPS HR Consulting website. This is standard. Make sure to fill out and bring this application with you, $20.00 and a 2×2 passport photo of yourself.

Ok, so LiveScan was a bit pricer. Luckily you only have to submit it if you pass. It cost me nearly $80.00. I did it at my local UPS store that had it, but you can find locations on the website provided. They didn’t send a good copy of my prints so it got rejected and I had to get them redone. I just brought back my receipt and didn’t have to pay again (thank goodness).

I made the grave mistake of thinking a mailing from National Notary Association was from the State of California, it’s not. But I ended up buying my supplies from them anyway. (Make sure to call in, it’s cheaper on shipping.) Total it was an arm and a leg, over $100. Today I got my State of California materials… And a bunch of other spam mailings from other companies. Just to be fair I wanted to mention them – McGlone Insurance Services, Notary Rotary, and Valley-Sierra. These other companies were very obviously just trying to make a sale so I’m fairly confident in my choice but it was a bit pricer than the other companies. Definitely shop around though before diving into your supplies!

So in total, to get my California notary, supplies, bond, E&O insurance, etc. was just under $250.00. Not to shabby. I only have to notarize at least 20 items to get it back…

Hope that helps! :)