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Use San Diego jail inmate wristband as ID for Notary Public

Update: As of July 2015, notaries can accept inmate ID/wristband if a inmate is currently in the possession of the sheriffs department, county jail, or prison. 

Can you use a jail/prison inmate id wristband for notarizing in San Diego County? Or in California? As a San Diego mobile Notary Public we frequently have customers calling about getting a paper notarized for an inmate. These signers often do not have their ID as it was put into storage at the jail facility when they were processed. So, how do they get identified when they do not have their id in their possession? Can you use their inmate id wristband?

The answer is somewhat complicated. You can use prison issued identification, meaning that the Calfornia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has issued the ID and the inmate is housed in a California State PRISON, not jail. In county jail, it is illegal to use the county issued wristband as id. Even if they dont have any other form of id, it is illegal/improper to use this wristband to id an inmate and notarize paperwork for them. The inmate would have to release their possessions to someone on the outside, and have them meet the notary and present their proper valid state or government issued id to be used for identification the inmate during the notarization.

Some mobile Notary Publics in San Diego County will accept inmate wristbands as identification, however, according to California Notary Public law, it is prohibited and is not considered properly identifying the signer.

Take caution when using a inmate wristband to get notarized, because is the notarization is questioned, the notary public will show as not using valid means to id the signer.