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 following requirements:
- 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 was completed.
- 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 criminal conviction.
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.
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to secure an Orange County DUI attorney who is Board Certified in DUI defense, and one of OC’s top DUI lawyers!