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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Less, Not More

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesOne of the most common identity issues occurs when a signer’s name in a document or their signature does not match the name on the identification document presented to you. When this happens, the best way to proceed is to apply the general rule of “less, but not more.” In other words, the name or signature on the document can be less than what appears on the ID, but not more.

For example, if the name on the ID card is “Jane A. Smith.” You may accept the name “Jane Smith,” “J.A. Smith” or “J. Smith” on the document and write that name on the notarial certificate. However, you should not accept “Jane Alice Smith” or “Jane Smith-Burns.”

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