Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Hotline Tip: Using Tribal Enrollment Identification Cards

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesCan a Tribal Enrollment Identification card containing a picture be used to identify my signer? – J.A., Bishop Paiute Tribal Court, CA

While tribal identifications are authorized for use in some official transactions, such as verifying age for purchasing alcohol or tobacco, the ID is not an acceptable form of identification for performing notarizations in California.

A California Notary may identify a document signer through a California driver’s license or identification card, or U.S. passport that is current, or, if expired, issued within the past five years. In addition, any one of the identification documents listed below may be used if the ID 1) is current, or, if expired, issued within the past five years, 2) contains the document signer’s photograph, physical description and signature, and 3) contains a serial or identifying number.

  • State-issued driver’s license or nondriver’s ID
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Foreign passport stamped by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Driver’s license officially issued from Mexico or Canada
  • Inmate identification card for an inmate in custody issued prior to or on or after January 1, 1988 by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, a city, a county, or city or county in California.

The California Notary Public Handbook (page 8) has complete information regarding acceptable identification documents (available on the Secretary of State’s website).

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

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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


View All: Hotline Tips


Add your comment

Loretta A Goodwin

21 May 2017

As of September 2017, a bill was passed through CA Legislation making it legal to use tribal IDs from federally recognized tribes in CA for notarization purposes.


30 Jun 2017

I am getting familiar to the Notarization process and was educating myself on Tribal Identification cards. I do understand that all forms of ID have to be issued within the last 5 years and must have PPSS, however i've noticed quite a few Tribal IDs with No physical description. Does this disqualify the signer? Thanks in advance.

National Notary Association

03 Jul 2017

Hello George. To help us answer your question, can you please confirm what state you are commissioned in?

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.