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How Do I Notarize For An Amish Signer With No ID?

New Hotline Resized 3

I was contacted by an Amish signer who has no identification and no credible witnesses. How can I notarize his signature? Do I have any recourse other than referring him to an attorney? I contacted a staff member at the Ohio Secretary of State's office, but she says no on has asked that question in the 20 years she's worked there. — P.W., Akron, OH

The only other solution would be if this signer knew a Notary who could positively identify the signer through personal knowledge. Even a credible witness would have to know the Notary. If none of these options are available, refer the signer to an attorney.

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) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Roger Rill

09 Feb 2015

Ohio law provides that is the notary's discretion as to what form of identification "reasonably satisfies" them as to a signer's identity, and it does not necessarily need to be a photo ID. The signer could have possibly offered just about anything with his/her name printed on it, and the notary would then determine if they felt it was satisfactory. I would have suggested to exhaust all reasonable possibilities before sending them to the expense of an attorney.


09 Feb 2015

Couldn't the notary offer to travel to a location (in the same state) where the Amish signer has relatives or friends that could act as credible witnesses?

Jimmie Moss

10 Mar 2015

I would suggest he contact an Elder of his district for a recommendation of a Notary. Surely the Elder would know someone who is a Notary.

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