Sometimes people who have documents that require notarization are unaware of the proper photo identification they need. The governing body that regulates California notary publics is the Secretary of State. They determine what forms of photo identification are allowed. Following are acceptable forms of current identification (or issued within five years) to notarize documents according to the Secretary of State’s Notary Public Handbook 2010 (some wording modified for easier reading):
1. US passport;
2. California Identification Card (is similar to California Driver’s license. It states “Identification Card” instead of “Driver License”)
3. California Senior Citizen Identification Card (same as above);
4. A passport issued by a foreign government that is stamped by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services;
5. A driver’s license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue driver’s licenses;
6. An identification card issued by another state;
7. A US military identification card with a photo, physical description, signature, and identifying number;
8. An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation;
9. An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city or county in California;
Please note the original photo identifications must be presented to the notary public before your documents are notarized. Copies of your photo identification or expired original photo identifications are not acceptable. The fine for notary public’s not properly identifying someone is up to $10,000. In addition, it is to protect you. Please understand the responsibility notary public’s have in identifying you before they notarize your documents.
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