Require ID


  • No matter what your age you are always going to need identification
  • Never let your identification of a friend or loved one expire!
  • Even if you/they will never drive or travel abroad again keep a valid DMV ID or US Passport.
California Identification (ID) Requirements

What you will need to show me – Proper identification is required for any notary service requiring verification of signature. California recognizes the following types of identification per the Secretary of State 2015:

The following types of identification are acceptable if they are current OR it was been 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;

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

C) An identification card issued by another state;

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.); 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.

UNacceptable Identification – What CANNOT Be Used Under Any Circumstances

Adoption Certificates

Badges from Law Enforcement or Other Agency

Bank Cards (ATM or Account Number Cards)

Birth Certificates

Credit Cards

Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CAC)

Membership cards (from Costco, Sam’s or the like)

DMV Disabled ID cards (paper)

Employee ID cards (unless they meet the criteria above)

ID Card – Senior Identification Card, Under 18 Identification Card, California Identification Card

Foreign Passport without all of the following: is current or was issued within five years AND a photograph AND description of person named on it AND signature AND identifying number AND U.S. Homeland Security stamp

Inmate identification – if not still in custody OR if it was issued after January 1, 1988.

Insurance Cards

Library Cards

Marriage License

Matrícula Consular Cards from Mexico (or any other consulate registration card from another country)

Military Dog Tags

Medicare/Medicaid cards

Naturalization Certificates

Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards)

Religious Documents

Social Security Cards

Drivers licenses, temporary or paper-based, drivers licenses with no photograph

US Citizen/Resident Citizen Identification Cards (Form I-197 or I-179)

Veteran’s Identification Card (VIC)

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

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:

  •  Must provide the Notary an ID meeting the above criteria.
  • Under oath the credible witnesses must swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the following is true:

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.