Notary Bulletin

How Do I ... Handle A "Professionally Known As?

It has become almost commonplace for people to take on separate identities for their professional and personal lives. Curtis Jackson is known to the world as rapper 50 Cent. And rock superstar Bono, front man for the band U2, is really Paul Hewson. But professional names aren't confined to celebrities. Just about anybody -- from writers to artists to attorneys -- can establish a professional identity that differs from the name on the driver's license or other official ID.

What happens if a client wants to use a professional name when signing a document? If the client's ID doesn't match the professional name, then you can link the names on the document using the phrase "professionally known as" or "PKA."

The procedure is substantially the same as the also known as or AKA option. Have the signer sign the document using the name as it appears on the ID and write "PKA," then sign the name as required on the document.

Remember, you are only notarizing the name that appears on the identity document, since this is the name that can be proven to your satisfaction. It also is the only name you will put on the notarial certificate.

Before proceeding with either an AKA or PKA, you should have the signer check with the document's receiving agency to make sure that their use is acceptable. Some agencies may not accept a document signed in this manner. If not, the signer either can locate a Notary who can use personal knowledge to verify the identity -- if personal knowledge is acceptable in the jurisdiction -- or find a credible identifying witness.

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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.)

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