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Notary Bulletin

Notary Quiz: How Much Do You Know About REAL IDs?


1. True or False: A REAL ID-compliant driver’s license always has a different design than those previously issued by that state.

Answer: False. The REAL ID Act requires that compliant licenses meet certain criteria regarding personal data and security features. Some states already issue licenses that meet the criteria; they can simply add REAL ID indicators to their licenses.

2. Every REAL ID-compliant ID:

A. Has a gold star.
B. Was issued on or after the date that state started issuing REAL ID cards.
C. Has the correct REAL ID card design and security features for that state.
D. Both A and B.
E. Both B and C.

Answer: E. Not every state puts a gold star on its REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and IDs. Some states use other symbols to indicate REAL ID compliance.

3.  True or False: REAL ID-compliant licenses and IDs use the same identity screening process for applicants as standard licenses and IDs.

Answer: False. REAL IDs have a stricter process for verifying the identity of each applicant. Everyone who applies for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card must present additional documents (such as a birth certificate) in person at a DMV office. The additional documents provide an extra measure of security as defined in the REAL ID Act.

4.  Which of the following provide reliable proof of a signer’s identity for a notarization?

A. A REAL ID-compliant driver’s license
B. A standard (non-compliant) driver’s license
C. An enhanced driver’s license
D. All of the above, as long as they comply with your state’s Notary laws.

Answer: D. So long as the license matches the appearance and description in a trustworthy reference guide, and meets your state’s statutory requirements for notarization, it is valid.

5. True or False: A signer presents a driver’s license with REAL ID symbols. But, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the issuing state is not yet compliant with REAL ID. You can safely assume that the license is a fake.

Answer: False. Compliance with the REAL ID Act involves more than just the licenses issued by state DMVs. In fact, the Act requires that states start issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses before the state achieves full compliance. Bottom line: Find out if that state is issuing REAL ID cards and what to look for.

View All: Quizzes


Add your comment

michelle meza

17 Jan 2019


Leslie Keeney

21 Jan 2019

What about California issued Real IDs that have now been declared non-compliant...can we accept them as an ID?

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2019

Hello. Provided the ID is valid and meets all requirements for signer ID as listed in California Civil Code Section 1185, the ID can be accepted for purposes of notarization.

Martha Melgoza

24 Jan 2019

Can I use a Mexican voting license as an ID?

Martha Melgoza

25 Jan 2019

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

Martha Melgoza

02 Feb 2019


National Notary Association

06 Feb 2019

Thank you. No, a Mexican voting license is not on the statutory list of acceptable IDs for notarization in California.

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