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Can you help me understand my state's rules for military ID?

In California, a military ID is an accepted form of photo ID, but requirements to accept it also indicate that it must list a physical description of the holder. I have never seen a military ID with a physical description. Why is military ID listed as an accepted type of ID if they never include a physical description?J.S., California

Certain uniformed services ID cards in the past have met the minimum requirements of Civil Code 1185, but the newer cards, as you point out, do not. The law on the books today was enacted in 1982 and it was significant in being the first law that authorized a Notary to accept an identification card from a signer for a notarial act. Before then, a Notary had to personally know the signer or know a credible witness who did. Civil Code 1185 is in need of revision on the point of military IDs.

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

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Anthony Spinola

24 Jan 2022

As a military Retired and disabled veteran, I do know it is against federal law to not except a military I.D. as a form of identification, you can always ask for another federal form inconjuction with the military I.D. but you can literally be arrested for flat out denial of a military I.D. just for everyones info, ask to see a drivers license along with the military I.D. Anthony Spinola

National Notary Association

22 Mar 2022

For the purposes of notarization, the ID that can be accepted is based solely on state requirements. Not all states allow acceptance of military ID, and some states indicate that the military ID must contain certain elements listed on it (physical description, signature etc) before being accepted. Notaries must follow their state ID requirements.

Joan Stanley

24 Jan 2022

In Virginia, although Military ID's are listed as acceptable identification, some military ID's do not have a signature on them - or a description. Additionally for purposes of Certified Signing Agents conducting loan closings military ID's are not allowed to be copied for sending back with the signed docs as requested, therefore, we're always needing to ask for another type of ID. It would be nice to have these problems addressed and guidance provided.


05 Jun 2023

Is it legal to take a photocopy of a military ID to send back with signed loan docs if the loan company requests it? Thanks

National Notary Association

09 Jun 2023

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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