How to get a Notary Commission in San Francisco

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Updated: October 09, 2018
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How to get a Notary Commission in San Francisco

It is often required to have notaries around you, while you are signing off a huge business deal or a financial agreement. People pursuing law often become notaries as well to serve legally serve various clients in their legal, financial, or business matters.
However, to apply and to become a notary there are various requirements that shall be carried out implicitly. Each state has a different procedure, while the essence of it is to submit an official application, obtain the notary seal, and then renew your commission periodically.
The very first step to becoming a notary is to firsthand determine your eligibility. Notary in San Francisco must be of 18 years and shall have a residential permit of the state. Moreover, you can not have the old notary commission revoked.
Also, the state agrees to it that a person applying for a notary commission shall not have a criminal record of any kind and shall prove to be a law-abiding citizen. However, if you are a full-fledged attorney practicing law within the state then your chances of getting a notary commission increases a lot.
The second important aspect of becoming a notary is to first dust off each and every requirement mentioned in your country’s law. As in some parts of USA, the notary commissions are usually at the county level, whenever it is pleaded by the county. The application process is usually very different by the county, so it is best that you should thoroughly research all the requirements that are applied to your state.
More importantly, it is best if you complete the background check that makes you eligible for this commission. Usually, the counties run a thorough background check on your criminal records. It is done to ensure that you do not have any sort of criminal record that precludes you from becoming a practicing notary. Usually, the background checks required you to pay a fee and submit your set of fingerprints.
Most counties insist on drug tests as well!!
Once you are sure of everything, the next step is to be part of any necessary courses or the exams that might help you enhance your application. Most of the counties ask you to take an exam or a short course before becoming a part of a notary. All the information that is required to ace the test or the course is provided by the county. They provide you with the information manuals that will also help you to build up your application in the future.
After the submission of your application and ensuring the fulfillment of all the requirements, it is best to submit your application to the county. Though most of the counties have application fees imposed, that is a small price to pay for your better success. Usually, people submit their application to the office of the county common pleas court.
The application is on the paper, and it is delivered either in person or by mail to the common pleas court!!
After all, you have done, it is now time to obtain your official notary seal. The notaries in each state of USA have an official notary seal that is required to notarize the documents. You will be given the official seal that will feature the emblem of San Francisco and will be used to notarize the documents in San Francisco only.
Also, you can get hold of your seals from various retailers yourself or ask the county office if they have specific recommendations on where to obtain your seal and other supplies as well. 
Now, you are eligible to apply at legal firms that allow you to notarize the businesses and the legal documents. However, you will have to use your own funds to purchase your official notary seal that ranges between $25 and $50.
The next step is to register your commission with both the state and county government so that there is no flaw left in your career. Mostly, it is the county that forwards your application to the San Francisco Secretary of State, who issues you the notary public certificate. Once the certificate is yours you can make it on record that you hold the notary commission and that now you are officially registered.
After being official, you should first purchase the insurance to protect yourself against all the liabilities that may incur in your work. Though it is not a mandatory requirement you might want to look into it, especially if you are aiming to notarize a high volume of documents.
It is also best to maintain the record of all duties that you perform in your career as a notary. The notaries are always encouraged to maintain all the exact records of the documents that they have notarized. By keeping the records, it will help to overcome any problem that arises in the future. Also, it is important to keep in record the type of document that was notarized; the type of notarization that was performed; the name of the person whose signature they are affirming and the confirmation of the person’s identity; the date at which the document was notarized along with the location in which the document was notarized.
It is also mandatory that all your commissions are renewed after every 5 years. As the notary commission expires after 5 years, it is important that this procedure is followed. Moreover, the renewals, such as the first time applications that mostly managed at the county level should be vetted through the common pleas court.

Pro Tip:

The best way to excel as a notary is to join a firm that provides full Notary services. This will enhance your experience and will prove your liability. Make sure that before notarizing the document you get hold of the following documents;
1.  Identification card or the driver’s license of the person, which is issued by California
Department of Motor Vehicles; 
2. A copy of the United States passport; 
3. Other California-approved identification card consisting of a photograph.