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California Identification (ID) Requirements

Below you will see the types of ID I can take and below that is an option if no ID exists.

What you will need to show me -

The following types of identification are acceptable/okay if they are current OR were ISSUED within 5 years:

    1. An identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles;

    2. A United States passport;

    3. An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody in California state prison.

    4. A type of identification listed below, provided that it contains a photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number:  

        A) A passport issued by a foreign government, provided that it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; (refer to 4. above)

        B) A driver’s license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses; (refer to 4. above)

         C) An identification card issued by another state; (refer to 4. above)

         D) A United States military identification card with the required photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number. (Some military identification cards do not contain all the required information.); (refer to 4. above) or

         E) An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in California. (refer to 4. Above)

No other type of ID, certificate or paperwork can be used as identification to a California Notary except what is listed above. See below for one other option when no ID is obtainable.

Two Credible Witnesses can be used in place of the above identification per California Notary Law, Civil Code, Section 1185. Basically the Credible Witnesses are the living breathing ID for the signer.

The Two Credible Witnesses:

          1. The individual appearing before the notary public as the signer of the document is the person named in the document;

          2. The credible witness personally knows the signer;

          3. The credible witness reasonably believes that the circumstances of the signer are such that is would be very difficult or                  impossible for the signer to obtain another form of identification;

          4. The signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signer’s identity; and

          5. The credible witness does not have a financial interest and is not named in the document signed.