Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Tribal Enrollment Identification Card  Acceptable Or Not?

Can a Tribal Enrollment Identification card containing a picture be used to identify my signer? – J.A., Bishop Paiute Tribal Court, CA

While tribal identifications are authorized for use in some official transactions, such as verifying age for purchasing alcohol or tobacco, the ID is not an acceptable form of identification for performing notarizations in California.

A California Notary may identify a document signer through a California driver’s license or identification card, or U.S. passport that is current, or, if expired, issued within the past five years. In addition, any one of the identification documents listed below may be used if the ID 1) is current, or, if expired, issued within the past five years, 2) contains the document signer’s photograph, physical description and signature, and 3) contains a serial or identifying number.

  • State-issued driver’s license or nondriver’s ID
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Foreign passport stamped by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Driver’s license officially issued from Mexico or Canada
  • Inmate identification card for an inmate in custody issued prior to or on or after January 1, 1988 by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, a city, a county, or city or county in California.

The California Notary Public Handbook (page 8) has complete information regarding acceptable identification documents (available on the Secretary of State’s website).

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

Additional Resources:
2013 ID Checking Guide
Contact the NNA Hotline for answers to your questions

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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