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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: How Do I Identify A U.N. Official Or Other Foreign Signers For A Notarization?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesWhat type of identification should I ask for if I am notarizing a document for a U.N. official? - D.A., New York, New York

Identification standards are established in state statutes and generally are the same for all signers, no matter their nationality. New York State requires a Notary either to personally know the signer, or have satisfactory evidence of a signer’s identity; however, it does not specifically define satisfactory evidence (Real Property Law, Section 303). No matter what state you are commissioned in, knowledge of your state’s satisfactory evidence laws along with familiarity of the components of an acceptable ID will go a long way.

In any state, the best IDs — whether foreign or domestic — have three components:

  • Photograph
  • Signature
  • Physical description

Generally, reliable forms of identification include:

  • A driver’s license or non-driver ID from any U.S. state
  • U.S. and foreign passports
  • U.S. military ID
  • Permanent resident card (or ‘green card’) issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.


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) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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