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Can I accept a Permanent Resident Card as signer ID?

Are permanent resident cards a valid form of ID? I assume it falls under “an identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government.” — K.Q., California

No, a permanent resident card (also called “green card”) is not a valid form of ID that California Notaries may accept. A permanent resident card is not issued by a federally recognized tribal government.  Rather, it is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The only time a green card may be accepted by Notaries is if the notarization meets the highly unusual circumstances and very narrow requirements of Government Code 8230.

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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10 Comments

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Donna D

18 Oct 2021

Is this the same for NY and the other states?

National Notary Association

22 Oct 2021

Hello. No, every state has its own identification requirements, and not all states permit Notaries to accept a Permanent Resident Card as ID. In the case of New York, the state does not provide specific guidance regarding what type of identification may be accepted by a Notary.

Samer Naoum

18 Oct 2021

It reads in the NNA website under “Acceptable Forms of Identification for Notary Services” that Permanent resident card, or "green card," issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is acceptable. Is that only because it might meet highly unusual circumstances? Or am I missing something.

National Notary Association

22 Oct 2021

Hello. Please note that on the page you mentioned, the permanent resident card is marked with an asterisk notation indicating it is only acceptable in some states. In California (the state the Hotline Tip is referencing), Notaries may not accept this form of identification.

Matthew

06 Dec 2021

Wait. I have two questions… First, and one of the other comments on this page you mention California “Government Code 8230”. So I just looked it up and it seems to me to say that a notarization can happen if you have a birth certificate, or at least a certain type of notarization can happen with a birth certificate only. It says a birth certificate or a state drivers license. So are you telling me that a birth certificate alone is considered sufficient proof for a notarization even though it doesn’t have a picture ID? Second question, this article mentions that notaries shouldn’t keep a record of the documents for their personal files even if it’s for liability purposes. But what is your guidance on keeping photocopies of someone’s identification that you use to confirm your identity? Maybe snap a picture of their identification and maybe even take a picture of them personally while in the room? Because I just learned that nearly perfect fake IDs can be bought off the Internet for about $100. So now it makes sense why identity theft is so rampant if these fake IDs can be bought from China that have any name on them from any state, with any picture.

National Notary Association

08 Dec 2021

Hello. We forwarded your questions to the NNA Notary Hotline, and here is their response: California Government codes 8230 does allow the use of birth certificate when verifying someone’s age. Specifically, when completing a jurat on a document that includes the signer’s date of birth or age and the signer’s photograph or fingerprint, the Notary must verify the date of birth or age through a birth certificate, a California state driver’s license or a non-driver’s ID. While the signer must be identified for the Jurat itself, a birth certificate could not be used for anything other than age or birthdate verification. This type of document is a rarity. We do not recommend keeping copies of any documents or ID cards in any format (paper, digital or otherwise).

Karen K

03 May 2022

A financial institution is asking proof of residence for my mother, who lives with me. She is 94 y.o. and has no bills in her name. The financial institution has told me to get an affidavit from a notary, by the notary, stating that he/she confirms that she lives at this address. We wrote an affidavit written by my mother and signed by her, her signature notarized, but they do not accept it! Can a notary make a statement such as the one they want? Thank you!

National Notary Association

10 May 2022

Hello. Did the financial institution tell you the reason they would not accept the notarized document?

Karen K

12 May 2022

They said the following: Please note that the Notary Acknowledgment states that “A Notary Public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness or validity of the document”. We will need wording from the notary/lawyer stating that she lives at that current address.

National Notary Association

18 May 2022

Hello. We're sorry, but a Notary cannot make the kind of statement the financial institution is asking for as part of their official duties. Notaries can only take the acknowledgment of a document signer or administer an oath or affirmation; they cannot provide verification of a person's residence status themselves. You may need to contact an attorney to ask if the attorney can provide the verification the financial institution is requesting.

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