Help! I need notary services in British Columbia, but I don’t have government-issued photo ID!

July 8th, 2013

When you visit a Red Seal Notary representative in British Columbia, you will be asked to present at least one piece of non-expired, government-issued photo ID.

This can be challenging for clients who don’t drive and don’t have any other valid photo ID.

Fortunately, if you live in British Columbia, there is another alternative: the BC Identification Card.

How do I get a BC Identification Card?

According to the Government of British Columbia, anyone 12 years of age or older can apply for a BC Identification (BCID) card.

To get a BCID card, simply visit your local driver’s-licensing office, present acceptable ID, pay the BCID card fee, and have your photo taken. Click here for a list of identification they will accept. New BCID cards are issued within four to six weeks.

How much does a BCID card cost?

  • The fee for a new BCID card is $35 and it is valid for five years.
  • A replacement card or renewal is $15.
  • Seniors (65+) pay $15 for a new card.
  • If you no longer drive, you will receive a BCID card free of charge when you turn in your driver’s licence.

Will Red Seal Notary accept a BC Identification Card as ID?

Yes. To schedule an appointment with one of our representatives in Vancouver, Burnaby, or Langley, British Columbia, please call 1-888-922-7325 or send an email to [email protected].

We look forward to serving you.

16 thoughts on “Help! I need notary services in British Columbia, but I don’t have government-issued photo ID!

  1. subramanyam KS says:

    I have applied for my BCID Card on December 05 2016 and still waiting. Is there a link through which I can
    check for the status

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Sarma,

      We have no direct links to the BC office responsible for these id cards. However, the most relevant contact information appears to be listed on their website at:


      I hope this is of assistance.

  2. Nick says:

    To get a BCID Card, you need to have photo ID…

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Nick,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website. This posting was written several years ago and may be out of date. However the relevant BC government website still lists Canadian Birth Certificates as acceptable primary ID, and several documents that are not government issued and/or do not have photos as acceptable secondary ID. They will also accept expired BC Driver’s Licences or BCIDs as primary ID as long as they have not been expired for more than 3 years. Please find below the url of the relevant web page:


      I hope this information is of assistance. If this BC web page is out of date or has been replaced, we would welcome the updated information and will revise this article accordingly.

  3. chad says:

    What is the document number on the identity card is the bcid number
    or the barcode number ?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Chad,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website. For most purposes, the BCID number will likely be the “document number” requested by a third party. However, to be certain you could seek clarification from the person or organization requesting the number.

      I hope this information is of assistance.

  4. Cynthia Whitford says:

    What if you haven’t had
    Id in a while and don’t
    have any thing at all

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Cynthia,

      Unfortunately you will require proof of your identity sufficient to satisfy the Notary. Normally, the Notary will require at least one piece of valid photo identification (some require 2). Some documents or transactions will absolutely require ID, such as real estate transactions, or filings with securities regulators.

      It is possible you might be able to satisfy the Notary as to your identity via other means, such as sworn affidavits from friends, relatives, coworkers and/or professionals that do have photo id, but that is entirely at the discretion of the Notary. The only sure way is to obtain photo ID. Likely you will have to start by obtaining your birth certificate, and then work up from there. This will likely take quite some time.

      I hope this information is of some assistance.

  5. Scott Poore says:

    HELP, Please Help, i have been trying to replace all my BCID, Care card and birth certificate since they where
    stolen / lost 2 years ago, i am on lifetime Disability and both the government of social development and ICBC are
    sending me in circles getting me no where. The government of social development is asking me to get a piece of
    paper from ICBC to help me get ID, ICBC wont give that paperwork without a letter from the government of
    social development, and i have been stuck in thie endless cycle for 2 years now, i have now had 4 mental break
    down at the office of social development, and 2 inside the ICBC office, i cant even go see a doctor for my mental
    essues or to check on my health when im sick, Because i have nothing to validate whom i am.

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Scott,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Although I am not very familiar with the process in BC, I have heard from several people that when you lose your ID it is best to start at the beginning – i.e. with your Birth Certificate. The application to replace a birth certificate in BC appears to be available online at the following url:


      Once you have your Birth Certificate you can use that to assist in your applications to replace other identification.

      It will probably also help to gather any other proof of your identity that you still have, such as utility bills, bank and tax records, school records, etc. You might also get letters attesting to your identity from friends or family, or professionals such as a doctor or social worker. If your ID was stolen, any police report you filed might also be of use.

      I hope this information is of some assistance.

  6. Sheila Mackay says:

    My mother has a BC ID
    card without a photo.
    She is unable to leave
    her care home and we
    need to have an
    Enduring Power of
    Attorney prepared. Will
    a notary accept a BC
    ID without a photo?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Sheila,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Unfortunately, most Notaries, including those working with Red Seal, do require valid photo ID. You may be able to find a notary that will be satisfied with (usually substantial) other evidence of her identity if you call around. If she has retained a lawyer in the fairly recent past they may be able to notarize her signature using the ID in her file.

      You should also ensure that she has legal capacity to sign as well, before spending money on a Notary appointment. If for example she suffers from dementia or is unable to communicate with the Notary, then the photo ID may not matter.

      I hope this is of some help.

  7. Dianne Woodhouse Nurse Advocate says:

    As a retired nurse, I volunteer my time as a nurse advocate
    with St. Alban’s Outreach and Advocacy (Richmond BC). I
    have come across a problem that seems unlikely anyone will
    ever be able to solve but thought I would give it one more
    go. My client was born in Iran, immigrated to Canada with
    his family many years ago (give or take thirty). The only
    peice of ID he has is a Persian birth certificate which ICBC
    will not acknowledge. He has two passport pictures which
    were notarized by a Persian, Farci speaking notary in North
    Vancouver. He also has a receipt for payment of his right of
    landing. He has non picture ID as in a care card. Any
    suggestions how he can proceed to get picture ID or is he

    • Blake McClung says:

      Hello Dianne,

      It is quite difficult for anyone who has lost their identification. Government offices are increasingly hesitant to issue ids given the prevalence of identity theft. Given the situation, I can only offer the following suggestions:

      1 – Immigration may still have some records of your client from when he immigrated decades ago. The receipt for payment of his Right of Landing fee may allow them to track the file. Perhaps through them he can obtain replacements for his Record of Landing or other related documents.

      2 – The primary issue is to prove his identity to Government offices. Although he has little ID, hopefully others that know him won’t have this problem. If he can obtain affidavits from professionals, family and friends attesting to his identity with a current photo, this may help convince officials that he is who he says he is.

      I hope these are of some assistance. Good luck!

  8. Tina Marie Lucille Mondor says:

    I went to icbc to get my bcid photo done
    and paid for it but they cannot give it to me
    because I don’t have enough id I only have
    my birth certificate that’s all I have but they
    need another piece of id I don’t have a
    bank account I have tried everything and
    I’m tired of going in circles and phoning the
    people that just keep me phoning
    someone else that just keeps on telling me
    thto phone the same people I have already
    talked to over and over already.i really
    really need help I am literally pulling my
    hair out.

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Tina,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      If you do not yet have any other government issued ID than your birth certificate, perhaps they will accept attestations of your identity from friends, relatives, or professionals that know you personally. For example, affidavits as to your photo and biographical details from your parents, friends, etc. may help serve to verify your identity. BC could if still in doubt check the IDs of those swearing the affidavits for extra assurance.

      I hope this is of some assistance.

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