Notary Bulletin

Recommended Notary Practices: Verifying Identity

To authenticate the legitimacy of any signature, it is imperative that a Notary Public verifies the signer’s identity. This crucial step provides credibility to signed documents and often is the primary reason notarization is required. State laws often are vague on what constitutes satisfactory evidence of identification. Therefore, the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to:

Always obtain identification that contains a photograph, physical description and signature.

These three elements provide a solid basis of comparison with the physical appearance and signature of the signer appearing before the Notary. They also make it harder for a criminal to use a stolen ID. Government-issued identification documents, such as driver’s licenses and state identity cards, generally incorporate all recommended elements and are the most reliable.


Editor’s Note: Throughout 2011, the Notary Bulletin will focus on one of the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices each month. The complete list of Recommended Notary Practices is available online.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

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