The Secretary of State is responsible for overseeing notary commissions within the State, as well as authenticating the signatures of California public officials and notaries public. The Secretary of State grants four-year notary public commissions to qualified persons, approves notary public education courses, authorizes notary seal manufacturers, investigates violations of notary public law and takes disciplinary action, and issues apostilles.
Customer Alert: Update as of March 3, 2021
As a result of widespread transmission of COVID-19 and the direction of the California Department of Public Health and CalHR, the Secretary of State continues to make every attempt to ensure the safety of our customers and employees while continuing to offer essential services to the public.
Document pickup resumed for the Sacramento office on March 1, 2021. Documents may be dropped off Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m in the designated drop boxes located in the first floor lobby. Customers will be notified when their documents are ready for pickup. Daily pickup will continue in the Sacramento lobby from 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Drop off requests are typically processed within two to three business days. As a result of lobby pickup resuming, all documents dropped off in the Sacramento lobby will require the $6.00 special handling fee. Service via mail in Sacramento will continue as normal.
Although the public counter remains closed, the Los Angeles office is accepting documents through drop boxes located in the main lobby of the Ronald Reagan building. Documents may be dropped off Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Staff will be on-site Monday through Friday processing documents submitted to the drop box each day and returning the documents by mail.
Extension of Notary Public Commissions
On May 8, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-63-20 (see paragraphs 6 and 7), extending commissions of notaries public for a period of 60 days for any notary public whose commission term has expired since March 1, 2020 or whose commission is set to expire over the next 60 days.
On June 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-71-20 extending the time frames in Executive Order N-63-20 an additional 120 days.
Notary public commission terms that expired anytime between March 1, 2020 and May 7, 2020, have been extended until November 3, 2020.
Notary public commission terms that expired after May 7, 2020 through November 3, 2020, are extended for 180 days on a rolling basis (i.e., someone whose commission expires on May 8, 2020, will have their commission extended until November 4, 2020, and someone whose commission expires on November 3, 2020 will have their commission extended until May 2, 2021).
This extension is valid provided the notary public whose commission term has been extended, maintains a valid surety bond during the extension, and annotates on each notarial act the following statement: “The notary commission extended pursuant to Executive Order N-63-20.”