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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


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