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Hotline Tip: Are Laminated Licenses A Valid Form Of ID?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesAs a California Notary, am I allowed to accept a laminated California drivers license as a valid form of ID? – D.S., Los Olivos, CA

All California driver's licenses actually are laminated by the state and have been for decades. It is, however, illegal to tamper with or alter a California driver’s license in any way, so if someone puts additionallamination on the license — for example, at a Kinko’s or other copy shop — then it is no longer acceptable as ID. This type of lamination obscures many of the security features on a California driver’s license, which help you to tell if the license is legitimate or not.

For you to proceed with the notarization, the signer would have to present another acceptable ID document, such as a valid passport. If the signer had no other ID, you could identify him or her based on the sworn word of one or two credible identifying witnesses. California has strict rules on using this method of identification, so check the 2012 Notary Public Handbook or call our Notary hotline for the correct procedure.

For additional, more general information on this topic, you also can check out a recent installment of the NNA’s Commonly Asked Questions Webinar Series, “How to Use Credible Witnesses.”

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

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Nat Subramanian

12 May 2015

Can drivers license be notarized? Will a notarized copy be treated as valid ID by TSA?

National Notary Association

12 May 2015

Whether a copy of a driver's license can be certified by a Notary depends on the laws of your individual state. California, Nebraska and New York do not permit Notaries to certify copies of driver's licenses, for example. You would need to contact the TSA for information on what documents they would accept as a valid form of identification.


05 Jul 2020

My daughter got her learners permit the other day just wanted to know if I can laminate it

National Notary Association

06 Jul 2020

Hello. We're sorry, but that's not a notarization question. You would need to contact your local motor vehicle department to ask them about permission to laminate an ID.

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