What is “satisfactory” identification? [C.R.S. 12-55-110(4)(b)] Satisfactory identification may be:
1. Documentary identification, such as a driver’s license, state, military, or student ID card, a passport. Colorado statutes require that the identification be a “current identification card or document issued by a federal or state governmental entity containing a photograph and signature of the individual who is so named.” Acceptable documentary identification has both a picture and a signature. (Note: The notary law does not actually prohibit the use of other documentary identification as secondary identification, and some notaries accept social security cards, birth certificates, credit cards, and other less satisfactory ID. Secondary identification should contain both the picture and signature of the person.
2. A sworn credible introduction, which is an identification of the client given under oath by a person the notary knows, and such person knows the document signer. Caution: this does not mean two strangers can come before the notary, the first can identify him/herself and swear to the other’s identity, and the notary can go ahead and take the acknowledgment from the second!
3. Personal knowledge of the client, which is generally the best identification a notary can have for any type of transaction.
For some acknowledgments, client identification may have a second part. A signer may be acknowledging in a representative capacity. In such cases, the notary should identify the individual AND his or her capacity.
Please see the Colorado Secretary of State's
Notary Handbook for more information.