Are you interested in becoming a notary public, but worried about how a
DUI conviction might affect your eligibility? A notary public is an “official
of integrity,” such a person is typically appointed by the secretary
of state to serve as an impartial witness who performs a variety of fraud-deterrent
acts as they pertain to the signing of important documents.
As publicly commissioned “ministerial” officials, notaries
are expected to follow the rules and personally, exercise the highest
level of personal discretion, as would be expected by any other judicial
official. With that in mind, would a driving under the influence conviction
bar you from getting a notary license?
Qualifications for Becoming a Notary Public
In order to qualify as a notary public in California, one must meet the
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be a resident of California.
- Complete a Secretary of State-approved course of study.
- Pass a background check.
- Pass a written examination as prescribed by the Secretary of State.
Disclosing Criminal Convictions
Under California law, all applicants are required to be fingerprinted and
pass a background check before they can be appointed. They are also required
to disclose on their application any criminal convictions, any arrests
with pending convictions, and any convictions that have been dismissed
under Sec. 1203.4 or 1203.a.
The Secretary of State may deny an application for the following:
- The failure to disclose an arrest or criminal conviction.
- Any felony convictions where it’s been less than 10 years since probation
- A conviction for any disqualifying misdemeanor where it’s been less
than 5 years since the probation was completed.
- A determination that due to the facts of a case, its nature and severity,
a denial is warranted.
Generally speaking, the state assumes that any misdemeanor is a “disqualifying”
misdemeanor, not because a DUI impacts notary work, but due to the disregard
for the law implied by the
If you are applying for your notary license, we recommend fighting your
DUI charges in an effort to avoid a conviction in the first place. Otherwise,
it’s worthwhile to pursue an early termination of probation and
only apply for a notary license after the probation is completed and terminated.
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