Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Is A Social Security Card and Temp ID Considered Acceptable Identification?

A signer came in with a Social Security card and a temporary ID issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Are these acceptable forms of ID for a notarization? -M.R., Corona, CA

A Social Security card and temporary ID from the DMV are not acceptable forms of ID in California. According to the California Secretary of State office, forms of ID that may not be used for notarial purposes in California include: Social Security cards, student IDs, consular identification cards, visas, and voter registration cards.

The only forms of identification, or satisfactory evidence, that you may use to identify signers are those that are listed in California Civil Code section 1185. These include:

  • An identification card or driver's license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • A passport issued by the Department of State of the United States.
  • A passport issued by a foreign government and stamped by USCIS.
  • A driver’s license issued by a state other than California or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue drivers’ licenses.
  • An identification card issued by a state other than California.
  • An identification card issued by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • An inmate identification card issued on or after January 1, 1988, by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody.
  • An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or by an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in this state.
  • An inmate identification card issued prior to January 1, 1988, by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody.

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

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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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