Proof of Identity in Notarial Documents

March 4, 2016
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On February 9, 2008, the Supreme Court issued a Resolution which amended Section 12 (a), Rule II of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. Thus:

Sec. 12. Component Evidence of Identity. The phrase “competent evidence of identity” refers to the identification of an individual based on:

(a) at least one current identification document issued by an official agency bearing the photograph and signature of the individual, such as but not limited to, passport, driver’s license, Professional Regulations Commission ID, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, police clearance, postal ID, voter’s ID, Barangay certification, Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) e-card, Social Security System (SSS) card, Philhealth card, senior citizen card, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID, OFW ID, seaman’s book, alien certificate of registration/immigrant certificate of registration, government office ID, certification from the National Council for the Welfare of Disable Persons (NCWDP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) certification; or…

The above provision lists the acceptable government issued IDs as well as other recognized documents which a person may use to prove his or her identity when appearing before a notary public. The above provision is crystal-clear but still, many lawyers out there accept cedulas or community tax certificates as proof of identity when swearing in affiants in notarial documents. These lawyers would argue that the same is allowed by the Local Government Code, to wit:

SEC. 163. Presentation of Community Tax Certificate On Certain Occasions. – (a) When an individual subject to the community tax acknowledges any document before a notary public, takes the oath of office upon election or appointment to any position in the government service; receives any license, certificate, or permit from any public authority; pays any tax or fee; receives any money from any public fund; transacts other official business; or receives any salary or wage from any person or corporation, it shall be the duty of any person, officer, or corporation with whom such transaction is made or business done or from whom any salary or wage is received to require such individual to exhibit the community tax certificate. The presentation of community tax certificate shall not be required in connection with the registration of a voter.

Some lawyers would argue that the above provision justifies the practice of requiring a mere cedula. To them, a cedula is sufficient proof of identity. They would even assert that the Rules on Notarial Practice is a mere procedural law and it cannot supersede the provision of the Local Government Code which is a substantive law.

However, it should not escape them that the above provision of the Local Government Code does not contemplate the presentation of the cedula as a proof of identity in notarial documents.

In fact, there is no conflict at all between the Local Government Code and the Notarial Rules.

Section 12, Rule II of the Rules on Notarial Practice provides the accepted proofs of identity in notarial practice while Section 163 of the simply provides that a cedula should be presented on certain occasions. The presentation of a cedula contemplated in Section 163 of the Local Government Code is not as proof of identity but rather a proof that the affiant has paid his community tax. If at all, in the notarial transactions listed in Section 163 of the Local Government Code, the affiants should present their cedula together with any government issued ID listed in Section 12, Rule II of the Rules on Notarial Practice. But they cannot present a mere cedula. In short, they must present both, not only a cedula.

AUTHOR: Howard Chan is the owner of UberDigests. When he has free time (cough, cough), he takes that time to learn more about SEO, web design, and other stuff about coding. He finished Political Science but is no way a political scientist nor is he a politician. He just passed the 2014 Bar Exams and is currently practicing in the City of Baguio. Feel free to check his Filipinolosophy blog.

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