Which Notary Public Course - 3-or 6-hour do I need?

Secretary of State Mandatory Education Requirement

          Frequent Questions are:

  • "Do I have to take a course of study to become a notary public?" or
  • "How do I know which course should I take?" and
  • "What is the difference between the six and three hour courses?"

The Difference Between the Two Courses

The 3-hr course is for returning Notaries who have not had a lapse in their Commission. 

The 6-hr course is for first time Notaries, returning notaries who wish a better understating of the latest notary laws, and notaries whose Commission has lapsed.

Notary Public Education Law

 a) All persons appointed as a Notary Public 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))

 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 and pass the State Exam prior to reappointment as a notary public.

 i) The three-hour refresher course must be completed and the application for reappointment  must be made 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 has at least one time satisfactorily completed an approved six-hour course. (Government Code section 8201.2)