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Preventing Fraud: Forms of Identifications that Notaries Can Accept

posted May 29, 2016, 5:07 PM by AG Pro Serve Intl.

As a notary-to-be, and since the basic duty of a notary public is to verify identity in order to notarize the signatures of signers on documents to prevent fraud, I wondered what types of identifications I would be able to accept to verify someone’s identity, if I don’t personally know them, especially since in Miami, there are people from all over the world! Maybe you’re wondering about that, too!

So here is a list of acceptable forms of identification:

  • Personal knowledge
  • A current, valid, unexpired U.S. Driver’s License or I.D. Card (of any U.S.  state or territory), from Canada, or Mexico
  • An ID card issued by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, i.e., Resident Alien or Permanent Resident ”green” card.
  • An ID card issued by any branch of the armed forces of the United States for active duty or retired personnel or their dependents
  • A U.S. passport or foreign passport validated by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Inmates ID card issued on or after January 1, 1991, by the FL Dept. of Corrections for inmates who are in custody of the department
  • A sworn, written statement from a sworn law enforcement officer that the forms of identification for an inmate in an institution of confinement were confiscated upon confinement, and that the person named in the document is the person whose signature is to notarized
  • An I.D. card issued by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Immigration & Naturalization

Sworn statements are another way a notary can notarize a person’s signature when he or she does not have or cannot get an acceptable form of identification like an elderly person, or a minor, or someone with a disability.
Two ways a notary in Florida can notarize his or her signature are:
  1. A sworn statement of a person personally know to the notary and who personally knows the signer, and
  2. A sworn statement of two credible witnesses who know the signer personally and can provide acceptable forms of identification
Either way, the witness must know the signer personally, make a sworn statement, and sign also the document being notarized as a precaution method.
Remember that these alternative forms of identification and or sworn statements DO NOT replace the presence requirement for the signers (I will expand on that on another post.)

For more official info on identity verification and on special notarization situations such as for the blind, for those who don’t speak English, or who are mentally incapacitated, please check this link: Notaries in Special Position p.32-40

Those are the basic forms of identification a notary can accept to verify identity. There is a book called The I.D. Checking Guide that is published by the Drivers License Guide Company annually in February (ISBN 0-938964-33-X) and is a great resource for notaries to verify the most common forms of identification, especially issued by other states.  As soon as I receive my confirmation that my application has been approved and I have my commission, I will definitely purchase it!

by Alessandra Jackson

AG Pro Serve Intl.