Acceptable Identification
  • Register

Acceptable Identification When Notarizing
From Subsection 117.05(5) of the Florida Statutes

A notary public may not notarize a signature on a document unless he or she personally knows, or has satisfactory evidence, that the person whose signature is to be notarized is the individual who is described in and who is executing the instrument. A notary public shall certify in the certificate of acknowledgment or jurat the type of identification, either based on personal knowledge or other form of identification, upon which the notary public is relying.

Personally Known
“Personally known” means having an acquaintance, derived from association with the individual, which establishes the individual’s identity with at least a reasonable certainty.

Satisfactory Evidence
“Satisfactory evidence” means the absence of any information, evidence, or other circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the person making the acknowledgment is not the person he or she claims to be, and any one of the following:

(1) Sworn Written Statement of a Credible Witness
The sworn written statement of a credible witness personally known to the notary public that the person whose signature is to be notarized is personally known to the witness.

(2) Sworn Written Statement of Two Credible Witnesses

  • The sworn written statement of two credible witnesses whose identities are proven to the notary public upon the presentation of satisfactory evidence that each of the following is true:
  • The person whose signature is to be notarized is the person named in the document;
  • The person whose signature is to be notarized is personally known to the witnesses;
  • That it is the reasonable belief of the witnesses that the circumstances of the person whose signature is to be notarized are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for that person to obtain another form of identification;
  • The person whose signature is to be notarized does not possess any of the identification documents specified above; and
  • The witnesses do not have a financial interest in nor are parties to the underlying transaction.

For more information about using these methods of identification, please review “More About Identification”.

(3) One of the following forms of identification:

  • Driver’s license or identification card issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
  • Passport issued by the U. S. Department of State.
  • Passport issued by a foreign government, if stamped by the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  • Driver’s license issued by a territory of the United States, another state, Canada or Mexico.
  • Identification card issued by a territory of the United States or a state other than Florida.
  • Identification card issued by any branch of the U.S. armed forces.
  • An inmate identification card issued on or after 1/1/91 by Florida Department of Corrections for an inmate who is currently 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 identification card issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service.

More About Identification

Occasionally, a notary is asked to notarize the signature of a person who does not have, and cannot obtain, acceptable identification. This most often occurs when the person is an elderly person, a minor child, or a person with a disability. Florida law provides two additional methods of identification for these situations:

the sworn written statement of a credible witness who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the signer, and

the sworn written statement of two credible witnesses whose identities are proven to the notary and who personally know the signer.

Please note that with either method the witnesses must personally know the person whose signature is being notarized and must make a sworn written statement. With the first method, the witness must be personally known to the notary. With the second method, the witnesses must have acceptable identification.

Keep in mind that these provisions are for the purpose of identifying certain people who do not have other identification and do not replace the “presence” requirement. The person whose signature is being notarized must be present at the time of the notarization.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this web site is deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed.  While every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the owner of this site and/or its webmaster disclaim any implied warranty or representation about its accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose.

Persons who access this information assume full responsibility for the use of said information and understand and agree that the aforesaid named and unnamed parties are not responsible or liable for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of any information contained in this site.