Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Training for and taking the exam are crucial to completing your process to becoming a notary.

Do you need notary training?

● The rules regarding notary vary from state to state. Due to the same reason, the process of becoming a notary is different for different states. Some states require you to go through training and pass an exam to become a notary. However, the rest of the states don’t have any such compulsions.

● In the US, most of the states don’t compel you to take the training to become a notary. However, if you are from states like California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, then taking the training is a must.

● Even if your state does not mandate training to become a notary, I would personally recommend you to take it. After so many years of being a notary public, I follow my instinct while making a decision. However, when I was a newly appointed notary, I relied on my training and education for dealing with different situations as a notary.

Where should you search for notary training programs?

● If you find a notary training course, make sure the course has been approved by the state. State-approved courses will most certainly cover all the basics specified by the state.

● Check for courses with your Secretary of State's office. Since it is the notary regulating agency in your state, you might find some good courses.

● You can also look for the courses offered by the National Notary Association on notary education. In some states, local community colleges also provide notary training and education.

Other information on notary training programs

● Notary training programs are available in offline as well as online mode. The National Notary Association takes live seminars in California but the people from the rest of the US must take the course online.

● Training courses mandated by the state are 3-6 hours long. However, the duration may vary for other optional courses.

● The cost of training depends on various factors like the provider, mode of training, etc. Online courses are less expensive and cost less than $100. Offline courses may range anywhere between $100- $200.

Notary Exam

Most of the states in the US do not require you to pass an exam to become a notary. States like California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri, and Montana require people to take the notary exam. The exam is not very tough and you can pass it by enrolling yourself for an online or offline course.

What to expect in a notary exam?

● There is nothing scary about the notary exam as it is pretty straightforward. In California, you will get 45 multiple choice questions which you have to answer in 60 minutes.

● You must get 70 percent of the questions right to pass the exam. After completing the exam, you will have to wait for 2-3 weeks for the results to come out.

● If your state requires you to take an exam, don’t be dejected. The mandatory exam helps you to gain knowledge which you can apply after becoming a notary.


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