I recently encountered a signer who had his name legally changed, which means the name on his ID doesn’t match the name on the document. What method can I use to properly identify him? - J.H., Venice, Florida
If the name on the document and the name on the ID do not match, then a Notary may use a credible identifying witness to identify the signer (FS 117.05 ). Under Florida law, every credible witness must personally know the document signer. If there is only one credible identifying witness, he or she must also be personally known to the Notary. If there are two credible witnesses, they don’t need to be personally known to the Notary, but must be identified through an acceptable identification document (FS 117.05  [b]).
Laws vary from state to state, so Notaries in states other than Florida should consult their statutes with regards to using credible witnesses.
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