Can You Get Something Notarized by a California Notary if You Don’t Have ID?

Forms of ID for CA Notarization
What Are the Acceptable forms of ID for California Notarization?
October 15, 2015

Can You Get Something Notarized by a California Notary if You Don’t Have ID?

Credible Identifying Witnesses

When getting a document notarized, you should generally have an acceptable ID handy. But there are times when you simply can’t provide identification—your purse was stolen, say, or maybe you realize on a Saturday that you forgot to renew your driver’s license and it’s more than five years old. Don’t worry! You can still get your document notarized. You just need a little help.

Option 1: Single Credible Witness

If you and your notary personally know someone in common, that person can act as your credible witness, meaning someone who can vouch for your identity. The credible witness needs to show acceptable ID (even though he or she knows the notary), and must make an oath or affirmation that*:

  1. You are the person named in the document
  2. You are personally known to the witness
  3. It is the reasonable belief of the witness that your circumstances are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for you to obtain another form of identification
  4. You do not possess any of the identification documents accepted by the State of California
  5. The witness does not have a financial interest in the document being acknowledged and is not named in the document

After swearing or affirming that those conditions are true, your credible witness signs the notary’s journal, and the notary can stamp your affirmation.

Option 2: Two Credible Witnesses

If you and your notary don’t know any of the same people, you can still get something notarized without ID—you just need to bring two credible witnesses with you. They must both have valid IDs and take the oath or affirmation explained above under penalty of perjury. We can’t give legal advice, but we will point out that perjury is a felony offense with a sentence of up to four years, so do with that information what you will.

If both credible witnesses swear or affirm that those statements are true, they sign the notary’s journal, and your affirmation can be stamped.

*Want to read the full legalese? Click here and scroll down to Section 1185.

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