Notary certification exam

Does anyone have any tips for passing the notary certification exam?

The majority of states do not require an exam to become a notary. Of those that do, the difficulty varies widely. So which state are you asking about? Or maybe you are asking about one of the exams that various private companies give to try to assure clients that you know what you’re doing, especially with respect to real estate transactions. If that’s what you’re asking about, which company?

Make sure you know the Notary statutes cold. Read and re-read your state notary handbook, if they have one.

Unfortunately, I am aof the opinion that this test is now a rip off. It is just another way for someone to make money. Some of the questions make about as much sense, concerning being a signing agent, as why did the chicken cross the street.

There are no books or on-line tutorials to help you. It has become a joke.

What notary certification exam are you talking about? Some states (like California) require you to take an exam based on notary law. You need to pass that exam in order to get your commission. Then there are some entities (mainly signing service companies) that want you to take their exam or the one required by the NNA as a signing professional. The one at the NNA is free but is tied to the background check. Don’t pass the exam and you don’t get the background check. But they let you take the exam as many times as you need to in order to get the required 80% or better for passing. I would say that since the background check at the NNA is higher than most everywhere else, and incidentally they only use one company to do those, that there must be some collusion there.


I was referring to the NNA “re-certification” exam we take each year.

Most signing companies and Title Companies require this certification.

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this is a scam perpetrated by the NNA and is clearly nothing more than a way to get notaries to pay for something that is not necessary - in other words, it is for their financial benefit. they have convinced some of the title companies to required the NNA exam on an annual basis in order to get work from them. My personal feeling is this: I left the NNA a few years ago when I realized they were for their own financial benefit and do nothing at all for the notaries they claim to represent. I have some information on their test, however, so contact me at for that information. I don’t post it on public forums.

The NNA certification exam may not be the standard it claims to be.

But for $65 you get a background check accepted by all signing and title companie’s plus the certification that is now the standard. I do not have a membership with NNA.

If you have taken the exam before, it should be more or less the same questions. If you’ve never taken the exam before, perhaps purchase an old nsa training book from Amazon. Some questions are logical, some are absolutely those of the NNA’s preference and not necessarily what is “required” by one’s state laws. Its easy.

I have taken the test 2x and failed with a 40- 45 % I also think that’s its a scam.

Maybe it means youneed to study more?

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It is the principal of the thing. Even the “yearly” background check is bad. I taught school for 5 yrs. In Indiana, and I’m fairly sure other states too, yearly background checks ARE NOT required of teachers. Come on people…

Marion; contact me at I can help you pass the test.

I believe as only a matter of opinion here, that each state should look to requiring pre-training and testing to become a notary. I also believe that if each state would require a standard background check it would standardize this in a way that all companies would accept that states BGC. I have always asked, who does the background check on those who do the background check? It gets a bit dicey to say the least. In my state the approximately 52 page long notary handbook can be found on line on the state’s SOS website. There is also a publication called the notary encyclopedia that has researched notary law and errors in all fifty states.

More later on the pre-testing and pre-training. I have made a detailed proposal for this in my state including corrective actions for infractions of notary law. More on this too later if this proposal passes.

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Notary Public or Notary Signing Agent? They are not the same, folks. Certification requirements differ.

My post did not say a thing about signing agents. This is only on Notary Public law. I have a bill pending to go to a Senate Committee and has the backing of my state’s SOS, the Association of Register of Deeds, the County Clerks association, the Notary Law Institute and others. It looks promising that it may advance to the floor and get passed. More later if it progresses in the Kansas legislative process.

As for me, Ive been a notary since 1988 and signing agent since 1999 and also I was a real estate licensee here for many years. I don’t mean to sound trite, but signing agents must know their state’s notary law. The examples of notarial errors that Ive seen as shown to me by our register of deeds here is voluminous and amazing.

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The NNA is nothing more than money making machine.
They have never lobbied or done anything to uplift them or support them

They take notaries money , smugly satisfied in their collusion with title/ signing companies by offering certifications etc.
Some title companies like fidelity ask you to take their free TILA/RESPA questions before making adding you into their approved list ( This does not mean you will get work, but you are now available) …

Until other organizations step up and start providing such certifications , backgrounds and push for title to accept it, NNA pretty much holds a monopoly.

Never have they pushed a standard for notaries to get paid fair & fast. They just provide lip service.

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Can you please share the gist of the law? I would like to introduce similar changes in NJ.

Some lady from texas was also asking this forum about what to ask " Ted Cruz " I told her, drop Cruz and get hold of your state legislator. Not a Fed.

Of course this is only a state notary law proposal and not about certifications. I like to ask who has accredited the certifier? Anyway the new notary law proposed in Kansas is simple. It will require and applicant to take pre-training and testing before receiving their notary Commission (in Kansas its actually an appointment). Then if the notary gets an infraction report of 3 in a one year time frame, that notary will be required to retake the training and testing or forfeit their notary commission. That’s a soft start. More amendments or changes or addition may be added later, but this gives the SOS a mandate and rule making starting point. That’s the gist of it for now.