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The Day of the State Exam

Steps for Getting Your Notary License


You must have completed either the 3 hour or 6 hour Notary course before taking the exam.

Learn More
Step One

View the Test Schedule and pick out your test date.

View Schedule
Step Two

Go to CPS HR and register for your test date.


It's the day of the State Exam. You're questioning yourself if your studied enough; "Will I pass the test?" "How hard can it really be?" The last thing you should be thinking about is the State Exam. We want you to have a pleasant, non-stressful experience when you take the State exam. If you honestly studied the materials, you will pass the State Exam.

Exam Content: The Notary Public Examination consists of multiple-choice questions. It is a CLOSED-BOOK examination which is administered by proctors. Please allow approximately 2-3 hours for registration, testing, and proctor instructions.

All of the material in the California Notary Public Handbook (including updates, if any) is subject to examination. The examination is a total of 45 items with a one hour time limit. There are 40 items on the below content areas. There are also five non-scored items on the exam, these items do not count against a candidate's exam score and are only included to collect information on these questions so they can be used on a future exam.

  • Administrative Procedures: 5
  • Notarial Acts/Documentation: 12
  • Identification/Subscribing Witness Notarizations: 4
  • Immigration/Foreign Language: 4
  • Misconduct/Fees: 15




Gather the following the night before the exam. Why wait to the last minute and put yourself into a stressful situation?

  • Home-Study Students: Please bring your Proof of Completion Certificate that you printed from our web site.

  • Live Seminar Students: Certificate of Completion will be provided to you at the end of the seminar.

  • One of the following Photo Identifications (current or issued within the last 5 years):

    • 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

    No other forms of photo identification are allowed.

  • A check, money order, or cashier's check for $40 (if you have a "failure letter", take the letter with you and the fee will be $20), made payable to The Secretary of State, with your name and the last four digits of your Social Security number written on it. No cash is accepted,

  • Two (2) sharpened #2 lead pencils.

  • A 2" x 2" color passport-style photograph to turn in with your application.

    Due to the large volume of applications received and processed in the Secretary of State's office, they are unable to match photos with applications sent separately. Applications without a photo will be processed, then returned to the applicant requesting the color passport-style photograph. The applicant can attach the photo to the application and return the application and photo for further review.

  • Beginning May 1, 2023, applicants are required to affix their photo to a completed Notary Application Form. The fields on the form must be completed and their 2x2 color passport-style photograph must be printed directly on the form, or the photograph securely taped, on all four sides with clear tape, in the box provided. Notary Application Form can be downloaded Here

  • A completed current application form (and fail letter if retaking the exam). For a copy of the Application, click here to access, view, fill out, and print the State Exam Application. Notary Application must be printed on single-sided pages. Acrobat Reader is required. The form will be called "New or Reappointing Commission Application".

    Should the above State Application link fail (because the State may have moved forms to a different web site location), perform the following steps:

    • Go to the California Secretary of State web site.

    • In the menu bar, click on Notary & Apostille.

    • Scroll down the page to the section called Notary Public.

    • Underneath that section title, click on Find Forms, Services, and Fees.

    • On this web page, click on "Form 1" New or Reappointing Commission Application.

    Above steps valid as of March. 2024

    Review the Instructions for Completing Form SOS/NP-30 instructions BEFORE you fill out the application.



Treat the testing facility like a library . The CPS administrators wants to present a calm, peaceful, non-stressful environment for you to do your best when taking the State Exam.

Don't take anything in to the testing facilities that you absolutely don't need, including (but not limited to):

  • cameras or recording devices and any type

  • cell phones

  • MP3 players

  • children (we kid you not)

CPS takes security seriously, in a professional way.



Have the following already filled out and ready to hand over to the administrator (don't use staples):

  • The New and Reappointing Commission Application

  • Your form of Photo ID

  • The fee payment check

  • The 2" x 2" color passport-style photograph affixed to a completed Notary Application Form

  • The "failure letter", if applicable

  • The Proof of Completion certificate



The CPS administrators have seen it all. Don't try to "pull the wool over their eyes". Remember, you are taking a State Exam. Need we say more?

Walk in to the testing facilities with the confidence and knowledge that you honestly prepared for this exam using the best materials available. Read each question and the answers thoroughly. Don't rush to an answer even if the answer if obvious. You'll do just fine. And don't forget to contact us with the test results, we love to hear our students' success stories.