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How Do I Deal With A Discrepancy In A Newlywed's ID?

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I conducted a signing for a recently married couple. Throughout the package, the wife was listed under her married name but when she provided ID, it showed only her maiden name. The signing company wanted me to notarize her last name as her husband's last name. In the end, I told the signing company this was incorrect. Can you provide a statute that says a Florida Notary can only notarize using the name appearing in the government-issued ID?J.C., Miami, FL

There isn't a specific provision in the Florida Statutes which says a Notary may notarize only if a person's name on the ID is the same as on the documents, but F.S. 117.05(5) could apply in your situation. Subsection (b) states that satisfactory evidence of identity means the absence of any information, evidence or other circumstances which would lead a reasonable Notary to believe that the person whose signature is to be notarized is not the person he or she claims to be.

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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27 Apr 2015

I am in California and I am wondering in this situation if it be would allowed to use the marriage certificate and her old drivers liscense to notarize her

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2015

Hello Morgan. A marriage certificate is not acceptable as proof of a signer's identity under California Notary law. A driver's license presented as proof of a signer's identity in California must be current or have been issued within the past five years. (CC 1185[b][3][C])

27 Apr 2015

Morgan's suggestion seems valid. She is suggesting to use the valid ID as proof of identity, and then to reference the marriage license showing the name on the ID and the new name.

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2015

California law requires Notaries to identify signers using the specific forms of primary ID listed under Civil Code Section 1185. A CA Notary cannot accept supplementary documentation as proof of a signer's identity without a primary ID that meets state requirements and includes the photo, physical description and signature of the person whose signature is notarized-especially if the name on the supplementary documents does not match the name on the primary ID.


27 Apr 2015

If an address is incorrect on the Driver's License, but they still live in the same city, will that matter? We are only verifying the physical description of the person not their address, right?

National Notary Association

28 Apr 2015

Hello Linda. The photo, physical description and signature are the most important factors to compare on a signer's ID. If you are concerned about a discrepancy on a signer's ID, you may wish to ask the signer to present an additional form of ID as extra verification of the signer's identity.


27 Apr 2015

The same situation I have to confront last week, but in Texas . Do you know if here is acceptable to use the current ID but the name is different (maiden name) but they have the marriage certificate?

National Notary Association

28 Apr 2015

Hello. No, it is not.


28 Apr 2015

I understand the written law however you are to obtain sufficient proof that the person signing is who they say they are. Having a driver's license along with your marriage certificate should most definitely be acceptable. It shows the chain of names

National Notary Association

28 Apr 2015

Regardless of the Notary's personal feelings on the matter, Notaries must follow their state's laws regarding signer identification. If a marriage certificate is not acceptable as a form of ID under state law, the signer may not use it as proof of identity.

Mister J

28 Apr 2015

It may take some time for the individual to obtain the new driver's license to meet the minutiae of this technicality. So how about using a credible witness?


29 Apr 2015

May have to compose a deed when she receives the ID from the DMV from her maiden name to married name.

Alan Waldo

30 Apr 2015

Can Credible Witnesses be used in Florida?

National Notary Association

01 May 2015

Hello. Yes, as evidence of identity, a signer in Florida may present a single credible witness who personally knows both the signer and the Notary, or two credible witnesses who personally know the signer and provide satisfactory evidence of their own identities to the Notary. (FS 117.05)

Amanda Reeves

07 May 2015

I just had this happen. In the notary wording section, how should i list her name?

National Notary Association

08 May 2015

Hi Amanda. If the signer has satisfactory proof of identity, the name she is being identified under should be listed. If she can't provide proof of identity through an ID or credible witnesses, you should not proceed with the notarization.

California Notary

16 Nov 2022

What do I do If a client presents identification documents containing placeholder names like FNU, LNU, or “NO GIVEN NAME”, and the document they wish to notarize omits this? Do I include the placeholder name in my certificate and journal?

National Notary Association

17 Nov 2022

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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