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California Does Not Allow A Signer To Be Identified Through Personal Knowledge.

Even if a Notary is personally acquainted with a signer, state law prohibits using personal knowledge to identify document signers. Every signer must be identified through one of the identification documents or other methods listed in California Code 1185[b]:

  • A California driver’s license or nondriver’s ID

  • A U.S. passport (or passport card)

  • An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation if the inmate is in prison or any form of inmate identification issued by a sheriff’s department if the inmate is in custody in a local detention facility)

  • A driver’s license or official nondriver’s ID issued by a U.S. state

  • A Canadian or Mexican driver’s license issued by an appropriate public agency

  • A U.S. military ID

  • A Valid Foreign Passport from the applicant’s country of citizenship: as of January 1, 2017, California Notaries may accept a foreign passport without a USCIS stamp.

  • An employee ID issued by an agency or office of a California city, county, or city and county

  • An identification card issued by a federally-recognized tribal government

  • A valid consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant’s country of citizenship that meets specific requirements (click here for more detail).

  • The oath or affirmation of one or two credible witnesses

Source: Blog from the National Notary Association (David Thun who is an Associate Editor at NNA)


Consular ID

■ Not All Consular IDs Are Acceptable:

As of January 2017, California Notaries may now accept ID cards issued by foreign consulates as proof of a signer’s identity — but there are some restrictions. In order to be accepted, the consular ID must be current or issued in the past five years; have a serial or identification number; and contain the signature, photograph and description of the bearer. It’s important to note that the “matricula consular” IDs issued by Mexican consulates do not meet these requirements and cannot be accepted as satisfactory evidence of a signer’s identity in California.

Source: Blog from the National Notary Association (David Thun who is an Associate Editor at NNA)


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