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If you do not recall the specifics about an arrest(s) and/or a conviction(s), you may contact the California Department of Justice at (916) 227-3849.

State law requires all applicants be fingerprinted as part of a background check prior to being granted an appointment as a notary public. The Notary Public Section will mail information concerning the fingerprinting requirement to candidates who pass the examination.

You are required to disclose all arrests and convictions on your application. Convictions dismissed under Penal Code 1203.4 or 1203.4a must be disclosed. If you have any questions concerning the disclosure of convictions or arrests, contact the Secretary of State prior to signing the application.

The Secretary of State will recommend denial of an application for the following reasons:

  • Failure to disclose any arrest or conviction

  • Conviction of a felony

  • Conviction of a disqualifying misdemeanor where not more than 10 years have passed since the completion of probation.

The most common disqualifying convictions are listed below; however, this list is not all-inclusive:

  • Accessory
  • Arson-related offenses
  • Assault
  • Auto theft
  • Battery upon a child resulting in corporal injury
  • Battery upon a peace officer
  • Burglary
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Carrying a loaded firearm in a public place
  • Child molestation
  • Child pornography
  • Conspiracy
  • Discharge of a firearm in a public place or into an inhabited dwelling
  • Drugs, possession for sale and sale
  • Embezzlement
  • Escape without force
  • Failure to comply with a court order
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Failure to return to confinement
  • False financial statements
  • False imprisonment
  • Fraud involving, but not limited to, bank cards, credit cards, insufficient funds/checks, insurance, mail, Medi-Cal or Medicare, real estate, tax, and welfare
  • Fraudulent impersonation of a peace officer
  • Hit and run
  • Kidnapping-related offenses
  • Manslaughter
  • Pimping and pandering
  • Possession of an unregistered firearm
  • Practicing without a license when a license is required
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Receipt of stolen property
  • Resisting or threatening a peace officer
  • Robbery
  • Solicitation
  • Statutory rape
  • Tax evasion
  • Terrorist threats
  • Theft, grand and petty, including burglary and robbery
  • Threats to commit a crime involving death or great bodily injury

Please note: When a recommendation is made to deny an application, the applicant has the right to appeal the recommendation through the administrative hearing process.