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Hotline Tip: Can I Notarize for Mexican Clients Using Consular IDs?

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Updated 6-16-17. I’ve been asked to notarize documents for a couple from Mexico who only has their Matricula Consular cards for identification. They brought in friends to identify them, but they also have only the Matricula Consular cards, and I don’t know either party. What should I tell them? -J.T., Orange, CA

Because Mexican 'matricula consular' cards lack a physical description of the bearer, they are not acceptable under the new CA law. To be accepted as proof of identity, a consular ID in California  must must be current or issued in the past five years, have a serial or identification number, and contain the signature, photograph and description of the individual. 

Federal authorities view the identification issued by Mexican consulates as highly susceptible to fraud. If your signer cannot produce an acceptable form of identification or credible witnesses that possess acceptable identification, you have no other choice but to refuse the notarization. To date only two states, Nevada and Illinois, allow Notaries to accept Matricula Consular cards from Mexico as satisfactory evidence of identification.

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

5 Comments

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John Kaloper

24 Apr 2017

P.S. Contact B of A. They lend to anyone.

MC Perez

15 Jun 2017

Please verify this on your April 17, 2017 posting - I believe IDs issued by Foreign Consulates are valid, including Mexico.

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2017

Hello, thanks for bringing this to our attention. CA did recently update its laws regarding foreign passports and consular IDs. To be accepted as proof of identity in California, a consular ID must must be current or issued in the past five years, have a serial or identification number, and contain the signature, photograph and description of the individual. Because Mexican 'matricula consular' cards lack a physical description of the bearer, according to our current information they are not acceptable under the new CA law. More information is available here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/10/state--notaries-accept-matricula-cards. We will update the 2012 story with a link to the most recent information.

Csaba C. G.

07 Jan 2018

What is a physical description of the bearer? Hair and eye color, height and weight? Neither the United States passport or the Passport card, nor any other Foreign passports are have that. Guatemalan Consular card does not have the description either, but those are accepted for notarization? This needs to be clarified by the Secretary of State in the Notary handbook because it is still confusing for too many California notaries.

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2018

Hello. California statute specifies what types of identification documents a Notary must accept and what criteria they must meet. For more information, please see this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2017/04/3-facts-california-notaries-identifying-signers

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