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Can I Accept An Expired Driver's License As ID From A Signer?

NNA Hotline Tips For Notaries

Can you notarize for a client who has an expired driver's license? — J.R., California

Perhaps. Civil Code Section 1185 (b)(3) states that California Notaries can accept a driver's license if it is current or has been issued within the past five years.  If the issue date is more than five years past, then you’ll need to find out what other types of identification the signer may have.

Other major identification documents that Notaries are authorized to accept include:

  • A U.S. passport or passport card;
  • A driver's license or identification card issued by another state;
  • A U.S. military ID card;
  • A driver’s license from Mexico or Canada;
  • An employment ID issued by a California state agency or county or municipality in California;
  • A foreign passport stamped by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services if they are current or have been issued in the last five years and contain a photograph, description of the person, a serial or identifying number and signature; and
  • An inmate ID card issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody in prison.

If the signer lacks any of these, then you may accept an oath or affirmation of one or two credible witnesses who can vouch for the signer’s identity. The witnesses must meet all requirements and provide proof of identification for themselves as required under California state Notary law.

Not all states permit signers to present an expired identification document as proof of identity. For example, Pennsylvania requires “a current, government-issued identification card bearing a photograph, signature or physical description and serial or identification number” (57 PS 158.1[a]). Notaries should always follow their own state’s requirements regarding signer identification documents.

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.

42 Comments

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Glenna

24 Nov 2014

I have had a lot of people wanting to use their CHL instead of their license, because it is easier to get out. Can we accept them as proof of identity? I am in Texas.

National Notary Association

25 Nov 2014

Hello Glenna. In Texas, a Notary may accept an identification card or other identification document as satisfactory evidence of a signer's identity if: 1. The ID is current and issued by the federal government or any state government; 2. The ID contains a photograph and signature of the signer. (CPRC 121.005).

Carol Schuler

25 Nov 2014

I believe in OR that an expired license of 3 yrs or less is acceptable. I love getting these newsy updates from you...I wish they were more geared to Oregon tho....Calif has much different rules, regs, and paperwork!

wgraves@willard.lib.mi.us

02 Dec 2014

What about the state of Michigan? Thank you.

National Notary Association

02 Dec 2014

Hello, Michigan requires any ID card presented by a signer to a Notary as satisfactory evidence of identity to be current, issued by the federal or a state government and include the signer's photograph and signature. (MCL 55.285[6])

matthew mitch

26 Apr 2015

I had a question that I hope you have an answer for! I am new to California with a recently expired Michigan license and a valid passport. Would this be enough for me to get my California license?

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2015

Hello Matthew. If you need more information about applying for a CA driver's license, you can contact the CA Department of Motor Vehicles at www.dmv.ca.gov and they can assist you.

Gina Hatcher

22 Jul 2015

When notarizing in Iowa is an expired drivers license acceptable. We have thirty days to renew our drivers license from the expiration date. I have been questioned many times on this

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2015

Hello. An Iowa Notary may accept an expired license, provided it has not been expired more than three years before the date of the notarial act. (IC 9B.7[2])

Gina Hatcher

22 Jul 2015

When notarizing in Iowa is an expired drivers license acceptable. We have thirty days to renew our drivers license from the expiration date. I have been questioned many times on this

mark miller

09 Sep 2015

can a colorado notary except an expired drivers licence as id

National Notary Association

09 Sep 2015

Hello. No, the Colorado Secretary of State's website says that in order to be acceptable an ID must be current, issued by a federal or state government entity and include a photo and signature of the signer. (CRS 12-55-110[4]) and also see http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/FAQ/duties.html.

Eleanor

05 Dec 2016

Is it acceptable to use a scan of my boss's current California drivers license, when I have seen the original driver's license many times.

National Notary Association

06 Dec 2016

Hello. No, you may not use a scan or copy of a driver's license as proof of signer's identity.

Kriatina

09 Dec 2016

I have an expired DL in Colorado. I need to get a form of affirmation notarized to acquire my birth certificate from CA. I cannot get the form notarized because it is expired! Thus a catch 22. Cannot get one without the other. How do I get the form notarized to get my BC to get a new DL???

National Notary Association

09 Dec 2016

Hello. Other forms of identification acceptable in Colorado include: 1) the sworn statement of a credible witness who knows both you and the Notary personally; 2) Another current identification card issued by a federal or state government agency that includes a photograph and signature. Colorado does not allow the use of matricula consular cards, US military ID without signatures, Mexican border crossing cards, or rent and utility receipts as proof of a signer's identity.

Tanya

09 Dec 2016

Can a nortary except a printed out 2010 expired drivers license in washington state. And can the nortary over ride a document that has already been signed by another party....without going through the legal system

National Notary Association

09 Dec 2016

Hello. Notaries may not accept an expired driver's license as proof of identity in Washington state. Notaries verify identity and administer oaths and affirmations, they may not provide legal advice regarding documents. Any questions you have regarding a document's legal status would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Shanna Wilson

17 Jan 2017

My drivers license expired last October but wasn't issued less than 5 yrs ago. Can I use this ID to sign for a notary in the state of CA?

National Notary Association

18 Jan 2017

Hello. No, California does not permit Notaries to accept an expired ID issued more than 5 years ago as proof of a signer's identity.

Katherine

24 Apr 2017

In Texas, can notaries accept expired identification for notarization? Also, what is the rule on paper or temporary driver's licenses in Texas for notarization?

National Notary Association

24 Apr 2017

Hello. A Texas Notary may not accept an expired identification card. Any ID presented must be a current identification card or other document issued by the federal government or any state government that contains the photograph and signature of the acknowledging person. (CPRC 121.005[a]

Elsa

05 Jun 2017

Can a Notary in Texas take an expired ID?

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2017

Hello. No, the ID must be a current identification card or other document issued by the federal government or any state government that contains the photograph and signature of the acknowledging person. (CPRC 121.005[a])

Michael M Lussier

28 Jul 2017

Can an expired pictured Vermont Drivers licence be used for notary?

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2017

Hello. Vermont does not provide guidelines for identification used by signers. In situations where state law does not address this issue, we recommend following the guidelines in Article III-B-1 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility, which suggests the Notary request a reliable identification document that includes a photograph.

KC

20 Nov 2017

Hi. Can I notarize a quitclaim deed using the signers Mexico ID as proof of identification?

National Notary Association

21 Nov 2017

Hi. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

KS

30 Jan 2018

Can Notary accept expired license as valid id in Pennsylvania?

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2018

Hello. No, in Pennsylvania a driver's license must be current and unexpired in order to be used as identification.

Mark

25 Feb 2018

I’ve got an elderly lady that does not have a valid drivers license or passport. Her kids need a medical POA. Is the another form of ID, or oath that be taken to accept her identity?

National Notary Association

26 Feb 2018

Hi Mark. So that we can answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Kimberly

01 May 2018

If someone has an expired Picture ID and a paper renewal, needs a notary but still has not received their new ID in the, can they be notarized with the paper copy/expired ID combination? State of California

National Notary Association

02 May 2018

Hello. You may not use a temporary renewal copy to identify a signer in California. An expired ID may only be used if it is on the list of acceptable IDs under California Code 1185[b] and was issued within the past five years. For a list of acceptable IDs in California, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2017/04/3-facts-california-notaries-identifying-signers

Cementhia Utley

08 Jun 2018

Can I get papers notarized in Georgia with is an expired ID

National Notary Association

08 Jun 2018

Hello. Georgia does not specify whether or not Notaries may accept expired ID as identification. If a Notary will not accept your expired ID as proof of Identity, you can instead bring two credible witness to the notarization who know you personally and can provide acceptable identification for themselves to the Notary.

Kassandra

21 Sep 2018

Can a notary sign a quitclaim deed using for a 96 year old with dementia using an expired id from 2003. We recently found out that my grandfathers daughter took him to sign one to put her on the house about a month ago when he and my grandmother already created TOD deeds almost 2 years ago so that the house would go to my dad. Now my grandpa just passed away this week and we need to see if we can have it contested.

National Notary Association

24 Sep 2018

Hello. We are not attorneys and cannot answer legal questions about your situation. However, if you can tell us what state the notarization took place in, we can tell you what the state ID requirements for notarization are.

Linda Burt

30 Oct 2018

Can a one-year expired drivers license be accepted in Idaho for ID?

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2018

Hello. Yes, you may accept a driver's license that has been expired for no more than 3 years as proof of identity in Idaho.

Marie

05 Dec 2018

I have someone that is trying to use their ID that expired in July 2018 and was issued July 2015 ( so that's over 5 years issued), however she just renewed it and has the receipt from the DMV. She is just waiting for the actual ID to arrive in the mail. Can I use her expired one>

National Notary Association

05 Dec 2018

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

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