CA Notary Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the health and safety requirements in place for COVID-19?
How do I register for a Notary Public exam?

You may register for a Notary Public exam online. Due to a high call volume, we are not currently accepting registration by phone.

To register online, go to Test Schedule and review locations and dates for your area.

If you are unable to get into your online account or need assistance, please contact CPS at (916) 263-3520 or via email at notaryinfo@cpshr.us (available Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm).
Be prepared to provide a complete description of your request including the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Daytime Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Preferred examination date, time and location


A confirmation scheduling letter will be sent via email or USPS 1-2 weeks prior to the examination date. The confirmation letter will also be available in your online account under View Notifications.

How do I obtain a Notary Handbook and candidate information?

The Notary Handbook and candidate information are available either online or by mail. The documents can be found online using the links below.

NOTARY HANDBOOK

TEST INFORMATION SHEET

You can request an information packet containing these documents by mail here.

How do I receive my test results after the exam?

Result Notification: Results from your Notary Public Examination will be emailed (if you provided an email address on the upper right corner of your application) or mailed via USPS approximately 15-20 business days  following the examination. Result information will not be discussed over the phone.

If you do not have an existing online account and have listed an email address on your application, a message containing your username and password will be sent to you from CPScontact@cpshr.us. Receipt of this message indicates we have processed your application and created your online account. This message is automatically generated and may not clear any “spam” filters. In this case, the message is likely to be in your “junk” mailbox.

Once exam results are available, you can access them via your online account. To view your results notification online, select the “My Account” link located in the toolbar. Once logged in, select “View Notifications” to see a copy of your exam results letter. Exam results are available approximately 15-20 business days after the exam date.

How long is the exam?

Effective July 1, 2019 the Notary Public exam is 45 items and candidates are permitted 60 minutes to complete the exam.

How is the exam scored?

A scaled score of at least 70 is required to pass the exam. Candidates who take the California Notary Public Examination receive a scaled score that ranges from 0 to 100. A scaled score is a conversion of a candidate’s raw score on one examination form to a common scale used for all the examination forms. With multiple test forms, it is not appropriate to set a specific pass point. For this reason, the pass point for each exam is adjusted statistically based on the difficulty of the questions on a test. Specifically, the differences in exam difficulty among different administrations are calculated and then the pass points of the new examination forms are adjusted, so the same benchmark standard can be used for each exam. By accounting for differences in difficulty across examination forms, all candidates have a comparable opportunity to pass the examination, regardless of when they take it. Therefore, regardless of how the test difficulty changes over time, the way the scores are interpreted will always remain the same. That is, a score from 70 to 100 will always indicate a passing score and a score from 0 to 69 will always indicate a failing score. A scaled score is NOT a percent score and cannot be calculated by dividing the number correct by the total number of questions on the examination. Rather, a scaled score is a transformation of a raw score.

How long will it take to receive my commission after I pass the exam?

To check current processing times, please visit the Secretary of State’s website.

ABOUT CPS HR CONSULTING

CPS HR Consulting is the only organization contracted with the California Secretary of State to administer the Notary exam on behalf of the State of California.

If you are looking for education providers to prepare for the notary exam please click on the approved vendor list. If you have any questions regarding registering or taking the exam, please contact us. For questions regarding obtaining a notary commission, please contact the California Secretary of State.

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