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Can Credible Witnesses Be Used If Signer Forgot ID?

New Hotline Resized 3If a signer requests a notarization but forgot to bring acceptable identification, could the Notary suggest using a credible identifying witness? — R.D., California

 No, a Notary cannot use credible witnesses for a signer who has an ID but forgot to bring it. A credible witness must take an oath swearing to the identity of the signer stating the signer does not possess any of the identification documents authorized by law to establish the signer’s identity (Civil Code 1185 [b][1][A][iv]). The signer would have to return with their valid identification to have their signature notarized. 

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

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Curtis

17 Jun 2019

The Commonwealth of Virginia allows a credible witness if he/she is known by the signer and the notary, or two credible witnesses if not know by the notary. They must have a picture ID that is valid. (cannot be expired)

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