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