Forms of ID

Forms of Identification

Each signer is required to show a valid government-issued ID, or an ID that has been issued within the past 5 years [Civil Code Section 118(c)(3)&(4)]. Identification must have a photograph, description and signature of the person, as well as an identifying number.

The general ID characteristics are:

-It must be current or issued in the last 5 years.

-It must have an identifying number, or serial number.

-It must contain your photo and a physical description.

-It must contain your signature.

-Your name on the ID must match your name on the document.*

*This one can be tricky if you have just gotten married or divorced, or your name is mis-spelled, either on your ID or in the document itself.


Acceptable Forms of Identification Include:

  • An identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • A U.S. passport issued by the State Department of the United States.

  • Other state-approved identification card consisting of any one of the following, provided that it also contains a photograph, description of the person, signature of the person, and an identifying number:

    • A military identification card issued by any branch United Stated armed forces. US military identification card with a photo, physical description, signature, and identifying number;

    • A passport issued by a foreign government, provided that it has been stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

    • A driver’s license issued by another state or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue a driver’s license.

    • California Identification Card (is similar to California Driver’s license. It states “Identification Card” instead of “Driver License”)
    • California Senior Citizen Identification Card (same as above)
    • An identification card issued by another state.

    • An inmate identification card issued by the California Department of Corrections, if the inmate is in custody.

    • An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or an agency or office of a city or county in California;
    • Two credible witnesses that personally know the signer in the case where the document signer lacks ID. The credible witnesses cannot be named in the document and cannot have financial interest in the document. Both credible witnesses must have proper identification.



We CANNOT Accept:

-Expired ID, unless it was issued in the last 5 years

-Birth certificates

-Social security cards

-Credit cards

-Temporary driver’s license

-Any acceptable ID where the name does NOT match the document


Please note the original photo identifications must be presented to the notary public before your documents are notarized. Copies of your photo identification or expired original photo identifications are not acceptable. The fine for notary public’s not properly identifying someone is up to $10,000. In addition, it is to protect you. Please understand the responsibility notary public’s have in identifying you before they notarize your documents.