National Notary Bulletin


NC City Accepts 'Matricula Consular,' But Not Notaries

Mexican IDs are fine for police, but North Carolina Notaries still can’t use them to identify signers. That’s the message from local government after the city of Durham decided that law enforcement can accept Matricula Consular cards issued by the Mexican government as identification.

Durham City Attorney Patrick Baker acknowledged doubts about the security and validity of the Matricula cards, which are issued by Mexican consulates to its citizens living outside Mexican borders. The resolution, however, states that Matricula cards have “been shown to be a highly secure form of identification.” This contradicts the position of federal law enforcement authorities, who have long maintained that the cards are highly susceptible to fraud.

Notaries in Durham — or anywhere else in the state — are not allowed to accept Matricula cards as satisfactory evidence of ID when performing notarizations, said Liz Proctor, spokesperson for the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office. State law defines satisfactory evidence of identification as a current ID document issued by a federal or state, or federal- or state-recognized tribal government agency that includes the individual’s photograph and signature or physical description. Foreign passports also are acceptable.

Nevada is the only state to permit Notaries to accept Matricula cards.

Concerns About The 'Matricula’
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI cite the following major deficiencies of the Matricula Consular card:
The government of Mexico has no centralized database to coordinate the issuance of consular ID cards. This allows multiple cards to be issued under the same name, the same address, or with the same photograph.
The Mexican government has no interconnected databases to provide inter-consular communication to verify who has or has not applied for or received a consular ID card.
The cards are issued to anyone who can produce a Mexican birth certificate and one other form of identity, including documents of very low reliability. Mexican birth certificates are easy to forge and a major item of the fraudulent document trade currently flourishing across the country and around the world.
Some Mexican consulates issue Matricula cards to individuals unable to produce any documents whatsoever. In those cases, applicants complete a questionnaire that establishes their identity.
The Matricula is vulnerable to forgery, and a large portion of the estimated 2 million in circulation are simply laminated cards without security features.

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