With identity theft becoming more common, it is imperative for notaries to carefully confirm a signer’s identity. Misidentification can lead to lawsuits and other legal trouble best avoided. Below is some advice on how notaries can validate a signer’s identity.
What IDs can a notary use?
Since confirming a signer is a crucial part of a notary’s job, each notary should know what IDs his or her state accepts as a valid form of identification. State policies usually fall into three categories, which are listed below.
List of accepted identification forms
These states have a list of accepted IDs, such as a driver’s license or a passport. Notaries must identity signers using the items on the state’s respective list.
List of ID requirements
Some states give notaries a few standards that must be met for an ID to qualify as an acceptable form of identification, like a photo, name, or signature. In this case, notaries can use any form of identification so long as it meets the state’s qualifications.
No identification rules
A few states do not have identification rules and leave the choice up to a notary’s individual discretion. A notary should remember that if a problem arises and a notarization is contested then the notary must justify and defend his or her identification methods.
We recommend you create your own list of qualifying IDs so you know what to tell customers to bring before a signing and to make sure you can properly identify the signer. Furthermore, try to use forms of identification that require several key elements, like a signature, which are harder to forge.
What methods do you use to ensure you’re identifying your signers correctly?