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Hotline Tip: Which Name Goes On The Signature Block?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesWe have a client who will be signing a deed that will transfer her property from herself, as an unmarried woman, to herself and her new husband, using her new, married name. Her current ID contains her new name, which she will be using for the signing, and she does not have an ID containing her previous, maiden name. Should the signature block on the deed be prepared for her current name, and, if so, can I use “FKA” (formerly known as) to indicate her maiden name on the document as well? B.C., Tampa, FL

Since in this case the grantor having her signature notarized is the unmarried woman, she will have to present satisfactory evidence of her identity in her unmarried name to the Notary. If she does not have a current state-approved identification document in this name, she will have to have a credible witness or witnesses who know her in her unmarried name identify her to the Notary following F.S. 117.05(5)(b)(1). Using the woman’s ID issued in her married name will not be acceptable.

As a Notary, you cannot tell a person how to sign a document, nor can you advise him or her on how the name should appear on the document. Any direction to modify the signature block with an “FKA” (formerly known as) should be followed only at the recommendation of a title or escrow officer or attorney involved with the transaction. For more information on this topic, the NNA has created a webinar addressing what to do when names on signer IDs and documents don’t match, which you might find helpful.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes.– The Editors


Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

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1 Comment

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Aarono Cooper

31 Jul 2019

This response is wrong. The Notary knows the signatory is married and has a different name per interaction with the signatory and the ID presented. The Notary cannot issue a false certificate, regardless of what old ID the person comes up with. These answers should be created by attorneys as so many of them are incorrect.

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