Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: Less, Not More

One 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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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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