What Types of Identification Are Acceptable To Get Notarized in California?

What kinds of Identification are acceptable for signers of a document to get notarized in California?  There are specific requirements for acceptable identification.  Here, I will discuss the most common types of acceptable identification documents for being notarized in California:

1.  California Driver License (issued by the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles)

2.  California Identification (issued by the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles)

3. U.S. Passport (issued by the U.S. Department of State or a U.S. Passport Agency)

4. Driver License or Identification from any U.S. State

5. Foreign Passport (only if stamped by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security)

6. Canadian Driver License – from any Canadian province

7. Mexican Driver License – from any Mexican state

For all of the above identifications listed, each one must either be unexpired, OR issued within the last 5 years.  So, if any of the above types of ID is expired, but was issued within 5 years of today’s date,  it can still be used as identification for being notarized in California.

Other forms of  valid ID that can be used for notarization include:

Identification issued to employees of any City, County or State Agency, which includes a photograph of the individual.

What To Do If You Do Not Have Any Of The Above Acceptable Identifications

If you do not have any of the acceptable identifications above, you may be identified by 2 Credible Witnesses.  Each Credible Witnesses:

1.  Must personally know the person who is signing the document personally

2. Must not not be named in the document being signed

3.  Must not have a financial interest in the document that is being signed

If you fit all 3 of these qualifications to be a Credible Witness for the signer,  you must appear with the signer to the Notary Public.  The Notary will look at each Credible Witness’ identification, and will write down the information in his/her Notary Journal.  Each Credible Witness will also have to sign his/her name in the Notary’s Journal, and, in the case of Real Estate or a Power of Attorney document, a thumbprint will be required (I get thumbprints of everybody for all documents, just to be safe).  The Notary will also give each Credible Witness an Oath, making them swear or affirm that the 3 qualifications mentioned above are true.    Once the Credible Witnesses have been processed, the Notary Public may proceed in notarizing the document.  The signer of the document will then be able to sign the document and the Notary Journal.  Each Credible Witness’ signature is usually placed on the Journal Entry (or Entries) of the signer.

If you have any questions about the Identification required for notarization, or Credible Witnesses, please feel free to me, David Ransom, at (323)393-5822.


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