An affidavit of identity is a form used to affirm someone is who they say they are. The document must be notarized in order to be legal and valid.
Sometimes, the identity of an individual is essential to a transaction. Due to concerns about fraud and identity theft, a person’s word is not always considered sufficient. In those cases, people take specific, universally agreed-upon steps to establish proof of identity. These steps, once completed, result in an affidavit of identity.
When to Use
An affidavit of identity has two purposes:
- Authenticate your identity.
- Verify your signature.
Several different circumstances may require an affidavit of identity. Below are just a few examples of times when one might be needed:
- Financial institutions may require the document to open bank accounts.
- Government agencies, courts, and private companies may require one to prove the legal name and identity of the minor.
- You may not have official identification documents for various reasons, like natural disasters or identity theft.
You can expect most institutions to notify you if an affidavit of identity is needed for a particular transaction or event.
What to Include
At a minimum, an affidavit of identity should include the following information:
- The signer’s full name
- Date of birth of the signer
- The signer’s address
- The form of identification relied upon
- A signature of the person seeking to be identified
- The signature and seal of a notary public
If the affidavit is to support a fraud allegation, a complete social security number or the last four digits of the signer’s social security number may also be needed.
Acceptable Forms of Government Identification
When preparing an affidavit of identity, it is essential to understand that only certain forms of government-issued identification are acceptable. This includes the following:
- State-issued identification card
- State-issued driver’s license
- United States passport
- United States military identification card
- Resident alien identification card (sometimes called a “green card”)
Some states also allow foreign passports and driver’s licenses from Mexico and Canada.
Other government-issued identification is not considered acceptable. This includes:
- Social Security cards
- Birth certificates
- School identification cards
- City, County, or State employee identification cards
Credit cards and debit cards are not considered acceptable forms of identification.
Credible Witness Verification
There are rare circumstances wherein a signer does not have an acceptable form of identification. In such cases, some states accept a credible witness verification in place of government-issued identification. A credible witness must sign their affidavit, establishing the facts below:
- The credible witness knows the signer.
- They believe the signer does not possess any of the acceptable forms of identification.
- They don’t believe the signer can reasonably obtain an acceptable form of identification.
- The credible witness does not have a financial interest or another incentive for the signer to be able to sign the document.
- The credible witness has their form of acceptable government-issued identification.
- In some states, the notary must know the credible witness.
How to Fill Out an Affidavit of Identity
If you want to know how to complete an affidavit of identity, follow these step-by-step instructions:
Step 1 – Fill in Affiant Information
The affiant is the person creating this affidavit. Make sure to double-check the provided personal information for accuracy.
Step 2 – Include Your Contact Details
The next step is adding your contact information. This is so the necessary parties can contact you about the document. Be as detailed as possible, so make sure to add in your:
- Street Name
- Zip Code
- Phone Number
Step 3 – Provide Proof of Identity
You must sufficiently establish the purpose of the affidavit, specify the recipient’s name, and include a form of ID that will confirm you are who you say you are. A form of identification could be:
- Driver’s License (include the state it was issued in)
- Identity Card (include the state it was issued in)
Step 4 – Notarize the Document
There are several places where you can find a notary:
- City Hall
- The courthouse
- Your bank
- The public library
- Some insurance agents
- Real estate agencies
- The business center at your hotel
- Some police stations
- Mailbox companies, like Mail Boxes Etc., PostNet, and the UPS Store
There are also notary services made available by certain institutions. For example:
- AAA offers free notary services as a membership benefit at many branch offices.
- Most colleges and universities provide notary services to their students.
- Officers may act as a notary for military members and dependents of military members.
Below is a sample affidavit of identity form available to download in PDF or Word format.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I fill the affidavit of identity out before going to a notary?
No. A notary expects to witness your signature. Consequently, while you can fill out most of the affidavit beforehand, you shouldn’t sign it until you are in the notary’s presence.
Do affidavits of identity expire?
No. Affidavits of identity do not have an expiration date. However, because different circumstances may call for slightly different information in the body of the affidavit, you may create more than one of these documents over the years.