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Quiz: Notary identification best practices

Updated 1-9-24. Identifying signers is an essential part of a Notary’s role. Without positive identification, there’s no assurance signers are who they claim to be. Test your knowledge of proper identification practices in this month’s quiz.

ANSWERS:

1. A signer’s personal appearance before a Notary:

A. Is an essential part of confirming the signer’s identity and willingness to sign the document
B. Only is necessary when the person lacks an identification document
C. Only is done if it’s convenient for the signer
D. Can take place any time after the document is signed and notarized

Answer: A. The signer’s personal appearance before the Notary is essential. Personal appearance ensures that the Notary can compare the signer’s actual appearance to any ID presented and verify the signer actually signed the document willingly with an understanding of its purpose and effect. While there are very rare situations in which a third party may appear before a Notary on an absent signer’s behalf, (such as a proof of execution by a subscribing witness) these situations are strictly regulated by law, limited to certain documents and only permitted if the signer has a critical reason, such as a medical emergency or being out of the country. A third party may not ask a Notary to waive a signer’s personal appearance simply because it’s not convenient for the signer to appear; or because the document needs to be notarized in a hurry.

2. While state ID laws vary, as a general rule the most reliable ID documents:

A. Are issued by credit card agencies and include a name, bank number, and magnetic strip
B. Are issued by employers and include the signer’s work address and photo
C. Are issued by government agencies and include a photo, physical description and signature
D. Are issued by schools and include a photo, signature and grade level

Answer C: If state law does not specifically list acceptable forms of ID for a notarization, the most reliable forms of ID are those issued by the government that include the signer’s photo, physical description and signature. These elements provide a basis for comparison with the signer’s actual physical appearance and signature.

3. A photocopy of an ID:

A. Is acceptable to identify a signer if it’s signed by the bearer
B. Is acceptable to identify a signer, but only if it’s a photocopy of a passport
C. Is acceptable as ID only for a power of attorney document
D. Is not a reliable form of ID

Answer: D. A photocopy of an ID should not be accepted as proof of a signer’s identity for a notarization. A photocopy can easily be altered with falsified information using a computer or copy machine. Only an original, appropriate form of ID should be accepted.

4. True or False. A “matricula consular” card is considered a reliable form of identification for a notarization in all states

Answer: False. A “matricula consular” card is an identification card issued by a Mexican consulate for citizens of Mexico. Some states exclude “matricula” cards from their list of acceptable signer IDs and some versions of the cards may not include identification information compliant with state Notary laws.

5. A notarization can never be performed for a signer who does not possess an identification document.

Answer: False. Some states permit Notaries to identify a signer if the Notary personally knows the signer and has sufficient contact with the signer over a period of time to be confident of the signer’s identity. In cases where a signer does not personally know the Notary and lacks ID, many states allow one or more third parties to act as a “credible identifying witness” who attests to the signer’s identity before the Notary.

David Thun is the Editorial Manager at the National Notary Association.

View All: Quizzes

41 Comments

Add your comment

patricia estrada

25 Sep 2014

Thank you for keeping me up dated on ID information,this really is a great way to be informed.

Lloyd George Stanley

22 Jan 2024

A quiz on important rules is essential.

Henry Kent

22 Jan 2024

Thanks for keeping me alert and up-to-date on these important notarial responsibilities.

Danvanilla Barnes

22 Jan 2024

Thank you Jesus

Victoria Brown

22 Jan 2024

Thanks I am grateful for the info.

S Bell

22 Jan 2024

A great refresher!

PHILIP CRUZ

22 Jan 2024

It is a good idea to help refresh your knowledge. Appreciate the ability to test your knowledge to keep you sharp.

Ricardo Guerra

22 Jan 2024

Good information

Donald Hutchinson

22 Jan 2024

Great knowledge for my quiz

Elaine Dodson

22 Jan 2024

Thank you for sending these reminders and any updates .

Trudie

22 Jan 2024

Good pop quiz.

Keisha

22 Jan 2024

I want to become a notary for Illinois 1. Would I make money once I become a notary 2. What are the steps of become of a notary

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2024

Hello. Information on becoming an Illinois Notary can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/illinois/how-to-become-illinois-notary

Georgia

22 Jan 2024

Thanks for advice

ELIZABETH DIAZ

22 Jan 2024

Thanks for this great information.

Esther Lopez

22 Jan 2024

Thank you. It is very good to be informed.

Gloria Tabet Trujillo

22 Jan 2024

Thank you this has been very helpful.

Yolanda Parson

22 Jan 2024

None

June Shoji

22 Jan 2024

None

Paola santana

22 Jan 2024

Thank you

Shabbir Haider

22 Jan 2024

Passed

Kristin Gulledge

22 Jan 2024

I enjoyed the quiz. A great way to refresh and to learn.

BK Jackson

22 Jan 2024

Thank you! Much appreciated!

Karu

22 Jan 2024

Thanks ao much...

Chester Ziembiec

22 Jan 2024

Great refresher! Lets see more.

L Street

22 Jan 2024

Great quiz thank you.

Tewanna R Brown

22 Jan 2024

I appreciate the update via the quiz and answer session. Thank you.

Jay Watkins

23 Jan 2024

Thanks for update

Thankumarie Rambaran

23 Jan 2024

This is very informational because I did not know about the Matricula Consular ID. Thank you for the Info!

Grateful for the quiz. Truthfully I can't remember matriculation consular in preparation for the exam

24 Jan 2024

Thank you for the refresher. It sharpens my skills.

Regina Rand

24 Jan 2024

Thank you for always updating information notaries, like myself, can use as a self-help education source. New Mexico

Donna Lam

24 Jan 2024

Great refresher

Rene

25 Jan 2024

Thanks for keeping us on our toes

lisa@mpmcorporation.com

27 Jan 2024

I wish this was on the test

Tushar Patel

29 Jan 2024

A great refresher.

Nancy Sellers

30 Jan 2024

Good to Know

Yolanda Smith

31 Jan 2024

The quiz was very helpful thank you!

Maria H. Pimentel

01 Feb 2024

It's always great to refresh. Thank You!!!

Kshama Desai

04 Feb 2024

Thanks for information.

RA HASHLAMOUN

07 Feb 2024

THANK YOU

Debbie Bell

21 Feb 2024

Please keep these quiz’s coming. I enjoyed it very much.

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