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What To Do If The Signature On The ID Differs From The Document?

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I performed a notarization where the signature on the signer’s driver's license was not legible — it was like a circle with a dot as if it was in another language. Is that what she should have used when signing the document?  She signed the document legibly, as it was typed under the signature line, i.e., "Jane Doe." —  M.I., California

It is unusual that she signed the document with a signature that differed markedly from the signature on her driver’s license. It is not a deal-breaker, though, as long as you, as the Notary, were satisfied that the driver’s license she presented was satisfactory proof of her identity.

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.






Add your comment

Lucienne McCauley

14 Mar 2017

When I renewed my license, the stylus pens the DMV uses were so bad, I rewrote my signature 6 times & finally gave up & accepted the last one, so my signature hardly matches my real signature. I'm glad you said it was not a deal breaker.


02 Nov 2018

I had the same issue with the DMV and the stylus/keypad. But I have a concern now with voting. My signature on my DL looks nothing like my normal signature. My dad was almost denied the right to vote because of this. He had to sign his name a few times. I wonder if my ballot has ever been thrown out.


24 Sep 2019

My signature from my ID and the signature that i use now is different would it cause an issue?

National Notary Association

25 Sep 2019

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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