Notary Bulletin

What Is ... Imposture

Imposture is when a dishonest person obtains a genuine identification document from a state or federal issuing agency by posing as another person and falsely submitting the other person's name. Identity thieves often seek to steal a victim's personal information in order to use the victim's name for imposture. For example, an ID thief might obtain a copy of someone else's birth certificate and try to use it to apply for a driver's license under a false name.

Imposture is one of the most difficult types of fraudulent activity to detect. One way to try to spot imposture is for the Notary to ask the signer about information on the ID. If the signer can't recall the birth date, address or other descriptive elements, it's likely the person is an impostor. An additional screening method is to ask for a second form of identification.

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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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