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Notary Bulletin

December Poll Results: Questionable Identification Documents

More than 80 percent of respondents to our December Poll reported they either have never encountered, or didn’t know how to identify a fake or forged ID — an indication that Notaries are in need of training in this area.

Sixteen percent of the Notary respondents said they had spotted tampering, discrepancies or other clues that warned them an ID had been tampered with or counterfeited.

Preventing document fraud and identity theft is a critical part of a Notary’s duties. When presented with a signer’s ID, Notaries should always check for anything questionable, such as a photo that doesn’t match the signer’s appearance, misspelled words or wrong information on the ID, inconsistencies with the named signed on the document or signs showing the card may have been altered.

If you have an issue with an ID and the signer cannot provide alternative identification, do not proceed with the notarization. The NNA’s Notary Hotline counselors can answer questions about identification documents at (888) 876-0827 or

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