Notary Resources

Determine if an ID is Acceptable

When verifying the identity of a signer, the Notary's most reliable identification documents are issued by the state or federal government and contain a photograph, a physical description and the bearer’s signature. These elements provide a basis for comparison with the actual physical appearance and signature of the signer presenting the document for notarization.

Some states specify the types of documentary ID a Notary may rely on to identify a signer. Most states, however, are not specific and leave the determination of an ID's suitability up to the Notary.

The most common identification documents allowed by states for notarization include: state driver's licenses and non-drivers IDs; passports; federal IDs such as military identification cards, state, county and local government IDs; and lawful permanent resident cards (often called "green cards"). In some cases, expired IDs may be accepted from signers, but the state's Notary-regulating office -- through its handbooks, mailings and Website postings  -- is the ultimate authority on the acceptability of an ID.

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