What are the acceptable forms of ID for notary in California

Many persons come with the wrong identification documents for notaries. For some, they don’t know what documents they need, and others don’t care. However, the law, which differs from one state to the next, states that a notary must confirm a signer’s ID before they notarize the document. 

If you’re looking to notarize a document in California, the Secretary of State released a strict list of acceptable forms of ID for notaries. This list covers the basic IDs like U.S passports, drivers’ licenses, and state ID cards, but that’s not all.

 Some less seen but acceptable options include an employee ID card from an office of a city or county or an agency of the State of California. An inmate identification card from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is needed for inmates in custody. 

Many persons have asked ‘What about a credit card issued by a notable financial institution alongside a current photograph?’ Perhaps a social security card from the Social Security Administration?’.  

While these two options might seem reasonable and acceptable as a form of identification, they are not acceptable forms of ID for notary in California.

Many persons will throw a tantrum when they bring several forms of ID that they believe to be acceptable. However, the ability of a notary to know what means of identification is acceptable or not will determine whether they get fined or get revoked for fraudulent activities.

Many signers often become rude and hostile when they don’t get their way, so explain why you cannot accept their ID. Also, show them the state handbook where they can see the law for themselves.

The notary should hold their ground, no matter how much a signer demands to use a wrong ID. A notary must follow the laws to the latter to ensure that no illegal or damaging activity takes place under their watch.

It is pertinent to state here that holding your ground as a notary must be with all professionalism. Maintain a respectful and helpful approach, even when a signer becomes hostile. Show them a list of the acceptable forms of ID for notary in California, and advise them to return when they have the correct ID. 

If a signer doesn’t have any valid IDs or is constrained by time, advise them to get a credible witness; but only if the laws allow that.

As a last resort, you can offer to help them contact a government agency or national organization for further inquiries. Do everything within your power and right to assist a signer who needs help.

Here’s a list of acceptable forms of ID for notary in California

  • California Driver’s License
  • California Identification Card
  • Canadian Drivers License
  • Foreign Passport stamped by USCIS
  • Inmate ID Card
  • Mexican Driver’s License
  • Out Of State Driver’s License
  • Out Of State Identification Card
  • U.S. Military ID Card
  • U.S. Passport

Note that all the IDs on this list must contain a valid photograph, a signature, a physical description, and identification or serial number. 

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