Acceptable Identification for the Purpose of Notarization

On June 1, 2009 changes to the Illinois Notary Act took effect. One section of the Act that has undergone significant change is section 6-102(d), the text of which follows.

(d) A notary public has satisfactory evidence that a person is the person whose true signature is on a document if that person:

(1) Is personally known to the notary;

(2) Is identified upon the oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the notary; or

(3) Is identified on the basis of identification documents.

Until July 1, 2013, Identification documents are documents that are valid at the time of the notarial act, issued by a state or federal government agency, and bearing the photographic image of the individual’s face and signature of the individual.

As you are aware, the amendment to the Act made a significant statewide change by defining satisfactory identification documents for the purpose of evidencing the identity of the person to be notarized. ATG’s interpretation of the Notary Act and other Illinois Statutes is that acceptable identification includes any valid ID bearing a photographic image of the individual’s face and signature of the individual that is issued by the United States of America, any state of the United States of America, any central government of another country, or state government in another country. Other title insurance companies, such as Chicago Title and First American, currently interpret the statute to exclude any identification documents issued by foreign governments.

ATG is reinsured by First American Title Insurance Company. Under the terms of the reinsurance agreement, ATG retains the first $500,000 of risk under the policy. First American is responsible for the amount of risk above $500,000 in the event of a claim. For transactions that are either written directly on First American paper (as in some commercial transactions) or require insurance in an amount in excess of $500,000, ATG must follow First American’s guidelines. As such, on those transactions, foreign passports, foreign driver’s licenses and foreign ID cards cannot be accepted. The Matricula Consular card would not be acceptable.

If on the other hand the transaction requires insurance of less than $500,000 and it is written on ATG paper, you may follow ATG’s underwriting guidelines and accept valid foreign documents issued by a foreign central government or foreign state government. For example, a foreign passport (provided it is stamped by US customs upon entry into the USA), a Matricula Consular Card, or a foreign driver’s license would be acceptable identification.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Underwriting Department. We appreciate your cooperation and support.

Posted on: Mon, 06/15/2009 - 9:28am