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May I Accept An ID Without A Signature?

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I have a signer who has presented me an ID with no signature on it. May I accept it as proof of identity? C.E., New York City, New York

Yes. New York law does not specify the exact elements which must appear on an ID document presented for a notarization.

However, since a Notary should compare the signature on the ID with the signature on the document, it is preferable that you ask for a supplemental ID with a signature if available.

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 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Cindy Knutson

12 Oct 2015

California as a lawyer, with a trust drafted by the lawyer signed by a mentally and physically compromised person what is he moralizing the draft or the signature how legal is this act no witness this person was 92 yrs old and in a nursing home, she had been examined by a psychiatrist and was not able to answer simple questions when an assesment was done. Can he notarize the draft as nd his signature. Also the signature was examined 3 forensic handwriting experts and say it's the person's handwriting that was with her who had the original TRUST changed to her self over a million dollar legal was this act. No valid ID, could not read, or see, times of this act do coincide with the times the deed. So guestion is can he notarize both his own draft and his signature.

National Notary Assocation

13 Oct 2015

Hello. If you suspect that an elderly document signer is being taken advantage of or defrauded in California, you can contact the state Attorney General's office at 1-800-722-0432 to file a report.

Margaret Drayden

13 Oct 2015

As a retired attorney, I strongly urge you to contact the state bar association and inform the people there of this situation. They will look into it and if they find wrongdoing, they will take immediate action which could entail disbarring the attorney. Additionally, you may want to contact the District Attorney's office in the county where this action took place and describe what happened. If they find criminal behavior, they'll file charges. Believe me, no one hates a crooked attorney more than honest ones!


21 Oct 2015

Cindy, you owe it to this elderly lady to step up. Our elderly are so taken advantage of and most don't have anyone to turn to for advice.

S Finestone

31 Oct 2016

Many years ago I had similar situation a young man in his 40s came in with his mother who is up in her 80s or 90s and wanted to put earn is name on her bank account. The problem was she had no idea what she was signing. I asked her what she was signing and she said a note. those were the only worry is that she kno those were the only words that she knew. I enter the information in my journal with the disclaimer that the applicant the mother had no clue what was going on lacked capacity, and sent them on their way. As they left the son said to the mother "mother I told you what to say". I felt that I protected her interest against this fraud,but I also feel that he went down the street to another notary who did not do his due diligence.

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