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Can Notaries Accept A Learner’s Permit As Proof Of Identity?

learners-permit-resized.jpgDriver’s licenses are the most common form of identification signers present to Notaries. But can a Notary accept a learner’s permit for a student driver as proof of identity? The answer depends on your state’s laws and the information included on the learner’s permit.

Does The Permit Say “Not For ID Purposes”? If So, Don’t Accept It

A learner’s instructional permit can differ significantly from a standard driver’s license. Some learner’s permits lack a photograph or other identifying information about the bearer and are not intended to be used as identification. These permits are typically printed with the phrase “Not for ID purposes” or similar wording that indicates the permit isn’t acceptable as proof of signer identity.

A learner’s permit that is not marked as unsuitable may be acceptable to a Notary. Ask yourself these questions to determine if a learner’s permit meets all of your state’s ID requirements (see below).

Is The Permit On Your State’s List Of Acceptable Signer IDs?

If you’re commissioned in a state where the law lists specific IDs Notaries may accept— such as California and Florida — check to see if a learner’s permit is included on the list. If not, then the signer will have to use a different form of ID. In the case of these two states, a learner’s permit may not be accepted as identification.

Does The Permit Include All Required ID Elements?

Other states allow Notaries to accept any form of ID that includes certain required elements. In these states, if a learner’s permit includes all of your state’s required ID features and is not marked as unsuitable for identification purposes, you can accept it. 

In Massachusetts and Texas, for example, a Notary can accept an ID that is current, issued by the federal government or a state government, and includes a photograph and signature. Nevada allows Notaries to accept an identifying document which contains a signature and a photograph.

What About States Without ID Guidelines?

If your state does not have a statute specifying requirements for IDs, then it is your decision whether to accept a learner’s permit as proof of identity and you should base your decision on an accepted standard of professional practice.  The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility recommends that any ID accepted by a Notary should include a photograph of the bearer.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

 

2 Comments

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arnele maldonado

02 Jul 2019

no issues

arnele maldonado

02 Jul 2019

want to read article

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