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Another State Says Notaries Can Accept Consular ID Cards

Matricula consular card

Update 4-18-17. Effective January 1, 2017, California Notaries will be able to accept valid consular IDs as satisfactory proof of identity.

Consular IDs are issued to immigrants by the consulates of their home country. 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, they are not acceptable under the new CA law. 

Accepting Consular Cards
 

With the signing of Assembly Bill 2566 by Gov. Jerry Brown, California joins Nevada and Illinois as the only states to specifically allow Notaries to accept consular ID cards. Whether Notaries in other jurisdictions may accept a consular ID depends on how their states define satisfactory proof of identification.

Consular ID cards issued by some countries have been controversial in the past because of concerns that they are susceptible to fraud. Supporters of consular ID cards argue that newer cards are issued more securely and many immigrants need them because they lack other forms of acceptable ID.AB 2566 also allows Notaries to accept any valid foreign passport as proof of identity. Previously, passports had to be stamped by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services.​

Accepting Tribal Identification Cards
 

A second new law, Senate Bill 997, allows California Notaries to accept tribal identification cards issued by federally-recognized tribal governments.

Backers of SB 997 said that elderly or impoverished Native Americans living in rural areas often had difficulty getting documents notarized because they only possessed tribal ID cards rather than a driver’s license or other currently-accepted form of identification.

Like consular IDs, in order to accept a tribal ID it 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.

Michael Lewis is Managing Editor of member publications for the National Notary Association.

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14 Comments

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Annette Escoto

10 Oct 2016

Does the Mexican matricula have the required items? Signature and individual description seem to be missing.

National Notary Association

11 Oct 2016

Hello. As the law is written, if a matricula consular presented to a Notary lacked one or more of the required elements, such as a signature or physical description, the Notary would not be able to accept the card as proof of the signer's identity.

Guillermo Reyes

10 Oct 2016

Great news! It has been my argument for some time that it is a foreign government issued ID card. I see a lot of them and now I won't have to refuse or ask for credible witnesses. Thank you to whoever come up with Assembly Bill 2566 and thank you Gov. Jerry Brown for signing the bill.

Nina

10 Oct 2016

So, please clarify the law as pertaining to expiration of the tribal or consular cards. The beginning of this article states a matricular card will be acceptable if it is unexpired, but the end of the article states "current or issued within five years." Which is it? Thanks for clarifying.

National Notary Association

11 Oct 2016

Hello. The text of the law states that the identification must either be current or issued within five years.

gerry

10 Oct 2016

It's good the bill authors eliminated the need for a US government stamp in the passport, since not all legally present aliens have a stamp. It's a shame the bill authors didn't notice that many passports don't have a physical description of the passport holder.

L. Turner

11 Oct 2016

On Googling for images of the matricula consular cards, and California tribal I.D. cards, they have a photo, but no physical description. So how does that weigh in with the last sentence in the article above: "In order to accept a consular or tribal ID, or foreign passport, it 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." ? The article is saying that in order to accept these ID cards, the physical description must be present, but at the same time saying these cards are now legally acceptable but they don't have physical description. Please clarify.

National Notary Association

11 Oct 2016

Hello. As the law is written, if a matricula consular presented to a Notary lacked one or more of the required elements, such as a signature or physical description, the Notary would not be able to accept the card as proof of the signer's identity.

L. Turner

11 Oct 2016

So then it seems rather ridiculous to announce that the matricula consular and tribal I.D. forms can now be used, when basically it would be against the law to use them.

Diane

12 Oct 2016

Will the next ID Checking Guide include these additional forms of ID? Also, when will the guide be available?

National Notary Association

17 Oct 2016

Hello. Usually a new edition is published around February of each year, so please check back with us then.

Mister J

21 Oct 2016

I agree with L. Turner. It is absolutely useless to declare certain forms of ID to be acceptable only if they have certain required items, if those forms of ID themselves never actually have the required items as issued by their respective governmental agencies!

National Notary Association

02 Nov 2016

Hello. We reviewed the article in question and found that there was conflicting information regarding the Mexican "matricula consular" card. While consular IDs issued by other nations do include a physical description, Mexico's does not. We have updated both articles to remove the incorrect information and apologize for any confusion.

Elizabeth's

19 Jan 2017

Finally most of my client are hispanic i felt bad refusing or asking for credible witness the consular id has all the required information to accept the id dont know why we couldnt use it thank god for these new law!

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