• Hugo Enriquez

California Notaries Will See Driver’s Licenses Listing A New Gender Choice In 2019

If you’re a California Notary, you may be caught off guard if you’re handed a driver’s license this year that no longer lists the bearer as being either “Male” or “Female.” Don’t be alarmed — this option is now legal under a new state law, and you may still accept licenses and IDs with this new gender option issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when you perform a notarization. 

Senate Bill 179, signed into law last October by Governor Brown and which took effect January 1, allows persons applying for a California driver’s license or DMV-issued identification card to select a gender choice of “nonbinary” (marked as an “X” on the card under “Sex”) instead of “M” for “Male” or “F” for “Female”). Persons who wish to update their current license or ID to change their gender category may do so by scheduling an appointment with the DMV. A person may also update their gender category when applying for a name change on their California driver’s license or ID.

A California driver’s license or ID listing the signer’s gender as “nonbinary” can still be accepted by Notaries as proof of identity. Per California rules for identifying signers, these identification documents must be currently valid or issued within the past 5 years in order to be accepted by Notaries as proof of a signer’s identity.

What To Do About Gender Information On California Notary Certificate Wording

Update 1-15-19. Several Notaries have asked how they should complete the “he/she/they” section of the California Notary certificate wording if a signer presents identification indicating a nonbinary gender.

The new driver’s license law regarding gender choices does not address completing gender information on Notary certificate wording. Because certificate wording is set by state law in California, California Notaries must continue to use the wording exactly as set in statute. It is possible this issue may be addressed by the state Legislature in the future. 

Because the NNA has been made aware in the past of some document receiving agencies rejecting documents when Notaries crossed out gender pronouns in notarial certificates, we believe it is best to leave the words “he/she/they” alone so that the certificate will not be rejected by an agency that thinks the Notary made a mistake by crossing out the “he/she” At this time, the NNA suggests leaving the “he/she/they” portion of the certificate wording as it is without marking, circling or lining through any gender choices. 

From a best practices standpoint, if California Notaries wish to note in their journal entry that a signer presented ID indicating a nonbinary gender, the Notary should note in the journal that the signer presented an ID with a gender description as “nonbinary” but that the certificate form used was the statutory form.


https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2019/01/california-notaries-drivers%20licenses-new-gender-2019





































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