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May I Accept A Copy Of An ID As Proof Of Identity?

New Hotline Resized 3Can a Notary accept a photocopy of a valid ID as identification? — D.B., California

No. A Notary may rely only on original identification documents to identify signers.

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Joyce Evans

19 Jun 2019

I am getting calls from our departments in Child Protective Services and the Public Guardian who occasionally need notary services. Some of them need to remain somewhat confidential and asked if they could use their County ID. Can you check the little book I gave you to see if our County ID would work? It has a photo, ID Number, Issued by the County for the State of California, and has a physical description and birthday. I told them that if we can’t use the County ID, I would use the address of Child Protective Services in place of their home address on their drivers license, but am not sure I can do that. HELP! What do you think about the County ID …..I hate to cut corners. I work for the County of Marin in California, and have been asked if our County ID would work for a notarization. The employees of Child protective Services would like to remain anonymous especially when it comes to their addresses. Our ID has a photo, issued by the County for the State, ID number, and a physical description. Thank you.

National Notary Association

19 Jun 2019

Hello. A California Notary may accept an employee ID issued by an agency or office of the state of California or a California city, county, or city and county, provided the ID is current or issued within the past 5 years and includes an identifying number and the photograph, signature and physical description of the bearer (CA Civil Code 1185).

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