Notary Public and Authentications

About Notary Public

The Notary Public Section is responsible for:

  • reviewing and approving course curriculum and issuing certificates of approval to notary public education vendors;
  • appointing and commissioning qualified persons as notaries public for four-year terms;
  • certifying to the authenticity of notaries public and public officials' signatures;
  • issuing permits to authorized seal manufacturers to produce notary public seals;
  • maintaining and distributing a list of all authorized seal manufacturers to newly commissioned notaries public;
  • enforcing laws related to the Child Support Enforcement Program, which provides for the suspension or revocation of commissions for noncompliance with child or family support orders; and
  • investigating violations of notary public law and taking appropriate administrative or criminal disciplinary actions.

Notices & Alerts

Revised Regulations

Notary Public Disciplinary Guidelines: Regulations revising the Notary Public Disciplinary Guidelines are effective November 16, 2012. Posted: 11-16-12

Customer Alert - California Notaries Public Cannot Perform Notarial Services Online

Online webcam notarizations are invalid and illegal activities for California notaries public. Posted: 02-24-11 / Last updated: 7-19-16

Legislation

Each year, changes in the law may affect your notary public commission. For information regarding new laws and changes to existing laws that directly affect filings made and business conducted with the Secretary of State's office, please refer to the Legislation webpage.

Sample Workbook

The Secretary of State's office has prepared the Sample Workbook, Functions and Duties of a California Notary Public 2017 (PDF). The workbook contains California laws relating to notaries public and can be used to assist an applicant in preparing for the notary public examination and as a reference to help notaries public in the performance of their duties.

Notary Public

People signing documents

The Notary Public Section appoints and commissions eligible notaries public. A notary public is a public official who performs valuable services to the legal, business, financial and real estate communities by certifying or witnessing signatures on official documents.