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Notary Bulletin

What Would You Do: The case of the masked ID photo

The Notary Hotline receives hundreds of calls daily from Notaries nationwide who find themselves in challenging situations. To boost your knowledge of Notary standards of practice, we’ve created a series of scenarios based on real-life situations and ask a simple question: What would you do?

Imagine a signer comes to you to request a simple acknowledgment. The Notary certificate wording on the document is in order, the signer has provided you with the information you need for your journal entry and you’re ready to complete the notarization as soon as you review the signer’s ID. The signer hands you her driver’s license … and you realize that the face in the ID photo is covered by a mask!

When you ask the signer about the strange ID picture, she says she was required to wear a mask at the motor vehicle department when she went to get her license. She kept her mask on as directed — and they even took a photo of her masked and used it for the license!

What would you do?

While many public agencies have strict COVID-19 safety requirements for customers, at the same time the photo on the ID is almost useless for verifying the signer’s identity. Would you accept the ID as is, require some other proof of identity, or decline the notarization?

To participate in this week’s “What Would You Do?” scenario, share your answers in the comments section below. We may mention your response in next week’s Bulletin, when we offer the best possible answer(s) to this notarial challenge.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor for the National Notary Association.

 

View All: Best Practices

137 Comments

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John F. Pendola

25 Feb 2021

I would n

John Andrews

25 Feb 2021

In Texas, the identification credential requirement is: A current identification card or other document issued by the federal government or any state government that contains the photograph and signature of the acknowledging person.” * Foreign Passport ONLY with respect to a deed or other instrument relating to a residential real estate transaction. It makes no distinction as to masked/unmasked. The signer has complied with the legal requirement if they present such a credential. The notary may ask for another credential (containing an unmasked photo) if there is serious question as to the presenter being the same individual. Currently, there is no legal mandate supporting this. In the end, I believe it comes down to using good judgment, measured with common sense.

John Gregory

25 Feb 2021

Permit me to doubt the premise of this question. I doubt that any state identifying or licensing authority would take a picture of its registrant or licensee wearing a mask. The mask defeats or largely impairs the purpose of the photo. It is simple enough to have the person unmask for a few seconds while the picture ie being taken, without threat to the health of the subject or the photographer. Why would a state create defective ID records that will be in force for years, well after (one hopes!) masks will be common.

National Notary Association

26 Feb 2021

Hello. We can tell you that this scenario was based on a real-life situation that was reported recently. We will provide more details when we post the answers next week.

A Scott

28 Feb 2021

There are other ways to identify a signer. I would tell her that I am unable to positively identify her using her DL, but also inform her of her other options, finding a notary that she personally knows or using credible witness.

Steve Bergeron

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for additional ID & use finger prints

Michael J Douglas

01 Mar 2021

I would certainly decline. They might as well be wearing Ray Charles sunglasses, fake beard and a hat.

Candi Angotti

01 Mar 2021

It was in California. Yes, they took a photo and she had the mask on THEN they took another photo with it off as is required. They said it was an oversight and are correcting the problem. Ohttps://myfox8.com/news/offbeat/california-woman-receives-drivers-license-with-photo-of-her-wearing-mask/

Bernadine Rider

01 Mar 2021

It might be prudent to make a call to the DMV to verify that they are now taking photos with masks on--just to assure that this is actually not a fraudulent ID. If it is a valid, state-issued ID, I would feel much more comfortable asking for a 2nd form of ID before notarizing. If they refuse, everything else is in order, and there is reasonable evidence that this is actually the same person as in the photo, then yes, I would complete the notarization. I would also add a note in my journal as to the nature of the ID.

Caron Romain

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of ID. An unmasked photo. I would state to the person that it is for both of our best interests. Making sure that we’re both protected.

Pamela Johnson

01 Mar 2021

In a situation like this I would ask for an additional form of ID without a mask. Also, I would take a sworn statement from the signer and possibly do a Jurat?... Additionally, you could verify the signatures to make sure they match.

Carmen Coleman

01 Mar 2021

What are face coverings for religious purposes? Muslim Women and Indians often cover their entire face. Are notaries obligated to request that they remove the coverings?

Talia

01 Mar 2021

I personally would ask for another form of identification where the face wasn't covered.

Darcel Torrence

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for more documentation like birth certificate address some other form of identification to prove that they are the person needing the Noterization

Keisha S

01 Mar 2021

I would ask the signer if they have another state issued ID, or another form of identification.

Magda Vendrell

01 Mar 2021

To comply with identification requirements, I would require another type of identification credential that shows his/her face. Last month my sister obtained her driver's license in Florida and the DMV had the photo booth located at a safe distance, far from the attendant's counter. She was able to remove her mask for a brief moment, so the picture was taken remotely by the camera for her license. I would think that other states had make the same accommodations keeping everyone safe during the process.

Monica Voloshin

01 Mar 2021

I would not accept it as valid ID for the purpose of notarizing a document. She would have to provide other forms of ID to satisfy my need to identify her. Apparently that DMV lost common sense.

Gabrielle Braun

01 Mar 2021

First of all I find it extremely strange that an official office would even consider taking the photo covering the face since it is not proper or an official ID. If this was presented to me as ID, I would have to ask for another form of a photo ID with a signature. If the person did not have anything else I would have to let them know I would not be able to notarize without the proper ID.

Hena Autumn Mazza

01 Mar 2021

Considering State law, this appears it would fall under the category of a valid form of Identification for a notarization, regardless of the mask. So, if I were faced with this situation, I would compare what I can see of the photograph to the signer and require a second form of ID to protect myself from liability as much as possible.

Susan Bishoff

01 Mar 2021

When I just went to get my ID renewed, in WV, the photographer specifically asked me to remove my mask to take the picture. I don't think that this would realistically happen, and I'm not sure how to handle it if it did.

Patricia Berger

01 Mar 2021

It is beyond me that an issuer of a State or Government ID would allow a valid ID to be taken with a mask on! This is completely unacceptable and should not be allowed. The issuer needs to provide a safe space in order for the picture to be taken without a mask.

Gail M Berry

01 Mar 2021

I would require another government issued ID with a (non-mask) picture, such as a passport or passport ID card.

Christine M. O'Donnell Boyd

01 Mar 2021

Ask for other forms of identification. It says right on her ID that she's a Veteran. Ask her for all or some of her other Federal or State ID's

Be Notary

01 Mar 2021

Ask for a second form of ID. If they don't have one I think you'd have to use the masked ID as is if the person and picture look very closely similar.

Pamela Slate

01 Mar 2021

As a Notary who is also an IdentoGo provider, the Federal & State level training I received states things a person cannot wear when taking a official ID photo and unless it is for standard "religious" dress then it is not allowed. I would have to really examine the ID for tampering.

Samuel D. Graham

01 Mar 2021

I'd call the local DMV office and ask for clarification of the requirement for a mask.!

Cheryl L. Seehausen

01 Mar 2021

I would ask the signer for another photo ID without a mask on. If they had it, I would make sure I notated in my journal both IDs and make a note of the masked photo. If they didn’t have something, I would not notarize the document. If I can’t confirm someone’s identity beyond a reasonable doubt, I don’t notarize the document.

Brianna Brown

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for additional picture ID with no mask or have an additional form that affirms the ID that was submitted is valid and accurate. This additional form would be kept with my journal

Kitty Ann Ellis

01 Mar 2021

In my state, Ohio, we had to take the mask down for the picture. As for someone giving me an ID with a face covering, No I would not take it. I have to be able to identify the signer with an ID.

Marva Taylor

01 Mar 2021

I agree with John A. I would probably also ask for another form of ID as well. I'd explain the need to be certain she is able to verify her identity under extenuating circumstances. If she is being honest then she should not have any trouble understanding and complying with the request. Honestly, she should be prepared to have additional information at the ready since other organizations might make the same request.

Tom Orsat

01 Mar 2021

Just ask the signer(s) on your pre-call that they provide you with two forms of ID, with at least ONE having an unmasked photo on it. If they say they cannot provide that information, which is required in Texas, I would call the lender/signing company and advise that I can't complete the service given the situation. Don't make it any more difficult than needed.

Tonya Moore

01 Mar 2021

Although I read below that the scenario is based on a real-life situation, it is hard to believe that a state's DMV would take a photo for a state-issued ID with someone wearing a mask. DMVs will not even permit you to have on sunglasses or a hat so it is beyond my comprehension that this would have ever been allowed. But to answer the question, I would simply ask for another ID without the face-covering, like a passport perhaps, explaining to the customer I can not confirm their identity from this photo. My state also says the following: "or (ii) the oath or affirmation of one credible witness unaffected by the document or transaction who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual or of two credible witnesses unaffected by the document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary documentary identification as described in clause." So I would use this option if the customer does not have another form of ID.

Phil Schobert

01 Mar 2021

If I can not positively identify the client, due to masking or other obfuscation , I require 2 additional forms of picture ID. If the client can not produce these, then they must produce at least one credible witness personally known to all parties. If none of these can be produced (in a timely manner), then I can not perform any sort of notarial act with them. It is my commission on the line.

P. Roehl

01 Mar 2021

If, and that's a big IF, a State agency would take a photo of someone with a mask on, I would ask for another form of identification with a photo and signature, such as a passport, or even an old driver's license, and compare the information on the current driver's license with the old one. I just don't see this happening though.

Eileen T. Eustice

01 Mar 2021

In Pennsylvania, my husband sent in his money to renew his license and he was sent a letter telling him his new license would be sent to him using his old picture because of COVID and not having the photo section open at the local DMV. He received his new license shortly thereafter with the old photo - no problem. Our licenses are renewable every 4 years so not really a big problem with identifying the party.

Felicia Slattery

01 Mar 2021

I sign loan documents in the state of Tennessee and agree with the comment made by John Andrews from Texas. Further, if the person standing in front of me looks to be the same person in the photograph on an unexpired legal ID issued by the state, there are other identifying details on the Tennessee license including height and eye color. Additionally, there is a signature on the ID I am matching and after the first signature I always compare signatures to make sure it is the same person signing. I also typically go to people's homes for signing refinance loans, so if the signing is taking place at a borrower's home address, that will likely also be the address on the license. Given so many ways to verify ID from the license, beyond the masked area, I would be comfortable notarizing. Having a mask on in a photo is only slightly different than notarizing a document with a signor who has changed their appearance in another way. I recently accepted an ID from a man who was clean-shaven in his ID, but had a beard on the day we signed. Using the other aspects of the license, it was obvious to me this was the same man. I also agree that it's ludicrous that any state or county would take a photo for the purposes of an ID of someone with a mask on, but clearly, here we are. Common sense isn't so common!

Wayne Carpenter

01 Mar 2021

I would politely refuse and request another ID with a photo such as a passport. If not available I would decline to notarize her documents.

Tom Cooper

01 Mar 2021

I believe this actually happened to a NSA who is part of the LSS system. I would refuse to do the notarization if there was no other valid picture ID without a mask. The person in the us needs to go back to the state and demand they fix the problem. Otherwise someone in a Burkah will claim the same right. You have to nip it in the bud.

Geoff Goddard

01 Mar 2021

I believe a second and possibly a third form of identification would be needed. If this was the only form provided then I would decline the signing. The risk would be too high for my business.

chuckoverbeck@gmail.com

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another ID. If he/she could not produce one, I would refuse. The standard is to verify the identity and not make a guess based on 50% of a persons face.

Thurman Page

01 Mar 2021

The Notary Public has the duty to verify identity to his/her satisfaction. Therefore I would ask for another ID. I could not stand in front of a judge and say I was sufficiently satisfied that the ID assured me of who was in front of me. Identity is the issue, not whether the ID is accepted by government.

Rhonda Meadors

01 Mar 2021

I would have the thumbprint registered in my notary book as well. (Even tho it is not required in my state)

Rebecca B Grant

01 Mar 2021

If the Dr Lic has person wearing a mask, I will ask for another form of ID, ie....Passport or other ID with photo without mask.

Sherri Daniel

01 Mar 2021

It seems highly unlikely that a government agency would take a photo of a licensee masked. However, in this day and age anything is a possibility. When I am notarizing documents. I do ask the signers to lift their mask for a brief moment in an effort to verify with the ID given. However, I would ask for another form of Identification with a clear photo.

Thespian Dean

01 Mar 2021

I would ask the signer to present another form of ID - with a clear photo of themselves to confirm their identity. I'd heard of the "masked ID" and was surprised that the DMV actually allowed it. Especially, since they normally have people remove hair coverings to take photos. If the protocol has changed, notifications should be sent out statewide.

june

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for an alternate id

Rosemary Mathews

01 Mar 2021

If that would have really happened, I would carefully note the shape and placement of the eyes and eyebrows, and the height and age that are described on the ID. If I wondered any more, I'd look at the signature and ask the signer to sign his name on something so I could compare them.

Bettye Benton

01 Mar 2021

Ask for an additional pictured ID. As so stated masks will not be an on going requirement no state or federal government should authorize covering of face for an ID photo, that would be totally defeating the purpose. A follow-up should be made at location ID was made.

Peter Cheung

01 Mar 2021

Though I strongly believe states would not allow masked photo for ID purpose, I would ask for the expired one which is pre-COVID that would have full face picture to compliment. In any case, CA allows notary to accept expired ID for identification purposes.

Lynn R Gidlow

01 Mar 2021

I agree with John Gregory posted 1/25/21. It is highly improbable that the photographer at the DMV wouldn't have said, "Please remove your mask" for the 2 seconds it takes to snap a photo. A drivers' license is used by more than notaries public. How about the officer that pulls over a driver for some infraction? Would he/she be satisfied with a masked ID? There are many other reasons to show one's driver's license or State ID and it would be ridiculous to have a masked picture. The "real-life situation" had better be believable!!!

Peter Cheung

01 Mar 2021

Though I strongly believe states would not allow masked photo I will ask for the expired one which should have full face photo to compliment. Besides, CA allows notary to take expired ID for identification purposes if it expired within 5 years.

Meka Thomas

01 Mar 2021

Seems just a bit sketchy, but I'm all about CYA. That said, I would first verify that this individual's state or issuing governing body is indeed allowing this practice. Second, IF I find proof that that governing body is in fact allowing such ID photos to be taken, I would then ask for additional verifying information. Lastly, be sure to notate in my journal such an odd transaction, for future reference, and guidance. Really hope this never happens to me lol.

jediforcejeremy@gmail.com

01 Mar 2021

I might ask if the signer had another form of ID such as a passport that shows their full face. If she did not, I would do my best to identify the signer via the photo and the physical description listed on the license. As long as everything appeared to match, I would use it, but note in the journal that the signer had a face mask in the ID photo.

Luz

01 Mar 2021

I will ask for an other ID.

Linda Lewis

01 Mar 2021

I am truly sorry but I can’t believe a county could be so dense. To take off your mask for less than 10 seconds should not be a problem. This should not even be allowed. Totally defeats the purpose.

Grace

01 Mar 2021

I am yet to see one ID in California with mask photo. That is absurd. I don't think that this is even possible as it defeats the purpose of the whole process if we cannot see the face. In fact I ask people to take their mask off and stand six feet away or I stand six feet away in order for me to compare the picture and the face. People understand and take their mask off for a second or two and that is the end of the story.

Valarie

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for a different form of ID... You cannot verify her if you can't see her whole face on her ID.

Penny Simmons

01 Mar 2021

I can not identify the signer if I can not see the signer. I would ask for other ID if not I would not notarize the doc.

Andrea Dixon

01 Mar 2021

This was taken off of a report of a woman who was mistakenly sent the masked photo by the DMV (they actually took a real photo but sent her the masked one by mistake). Masked photos are NOT a valid form of identification.

Paulette B

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for a second form of photo ID. ie passport, military, or even her expired ID. Just as extra verification that I have the correct person. I always ask for 2 forms of ID, chances are high that she already has another form of ID ready.

Jamille A McClendon

01 Mar 2021

I’m a NSA in the state of California and recently I saw on the news where a disabled woman was the victim of deed fraud where someone literally took her home and she had to hire an attorney. Based on the attorney, it will take them a year to unwind all parties involved as its a trickle down effect. The notary took the ID and did what she was supposed to do but it still was not the woman on the ID. The woman who signed her journal had the proper ID but had on a face mask and was not confined to a wheelchair as the actual homeowner was. Based on this particular situation alone, I wouldn’t risk taking it. I would need another form in of ID like a passport or any other California required ID that shows the full face - there has been a lot of fraud since the pandemic and I wouldn’t want to risk a possible fraudulent case, nor my commission.

Linda Millstone

01 Mar 2021

I would accept the ID. There are other distinguishing features not hidden by the mask (eyes, eyebrows, hairline, ears) plus height & weight on the license. If the state agency required the mask to be left on I would have no choice but to accept it as a California notary.

Rick

01 Mar 2021

Even with a 2nd ID, it could be masked. Some middle eastern countries issue passport with a covered face for women. You can only see their eyes and they are required to be masked for religious reasons.

Bobby Wilson

01 Mar 2021

Would ask them to provide a "real I D", maybe California would do this, but no state would actually permit such! Bad question on unrealistic probability. If they had such an ID, I would encourage them to MOVE!

DORIS LAUL

01 Mar 2021

I am dubious of this ID. I would contact the CA DMV while the person is there to check if that office is doing licenses with masks on, and whether they designate "Veteran" on licenses. I would also ask for another form of ID. If the person cannot produce one, and I can't get through to someone at the DMV, I would refuse the notary and tell the person to come back with another form of ID.

Janice G

01 Mar 2021

I always request a thumbprint for my journal and I would ask for a second form of identification. If they are trying to do something fraudulent, they would be hesitant to have their thumbprint on file.

Vicki Schlom-Scott

01 Mar 2021

In California personal experience: In July 2020 during the midst of the COVID-19 crisis DMV required physical appearance to complete the renewal of driver's license. With mask on during this visit, at point of photo was required to REMOVE mask and replace after picture.

Deborah Bernard

01 Mar 2021

Common sense should tell you the DMV would not have you wear a mask for your photo.

Christine Lacorte

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of ID with a photo and document both in the journal.

Eileen Roe

01 Mar 2021

The masked photo was a clerical error at the DMV, where they took her photo with the mask on, then realized the mistake and took another one without the mask, and accidentally processed the first photo. Unless she was on a reality TV show like Impractical Jokers, she would never try to get a document notarized using the masked ID. That situation would never occur in real life.

rbechthold@ksninc.com

01 Mar 2021

Why am I not surprised this happened in California?! Our DMV has been in the news over that last few years for less than stellar performance. To the question posed...I would require a second ID. Even though there is no precedent, the liability of allowing the wrong person's signature or appearance to be notarized is not worth taking the chance. If the person didn't have a second ID I, like many others, would refuse to notarize and request they return once they have a corrected ID.

Flor

01 Mar 2021

Although this scenario may seem made up and just illogical it has happened. I live in Orange County, California where a DMV department actually issued a license with a facemask covering. When I found out about it I was in complete disbelief. Common sense would outright say not to do this! The DMV has said they issued the incorrect picture on the driver license and would be correcting this. With this said, we all know the purpose of having an ID is to identify the being and we all look for the PPSS, photo, physical description, serial #, signature. Having your face half covered is not an adequate photo and should not be accepted. But we are sure living in different times, so I’m very curious to find out the answer by NNA.

Steven J Levinsky

01 Mar 2021

A driver's license with a mask is not valid. In the case in California (Lesley Pilgrim, 25) Ms. Pilgrim took the picture twice because she didn't remove the mask fast enough when the clerk requested she do so. CA DMV sent the license copy with the first photo. Ms. Pilgrim was required to take the license photo over again. https://nypost.com/2021/02/22/woman-needs-new-drivers-license-after-dmv-sends-photo-of-her-in-mask/ I would refuse to notarize the document unless the client could present a different form of picture ID.

Terry Young

01 Mar 2021

Felicia from Tennessee makes a good point that there are other identifying features on a driver's license (Height, weight, hair, eyes) that we can and should be using to confirm a signer's identity. We should be looking at the individual features in addition to the totality of the face and description. For me, not having a visual to compare the nose, mouth, cheek bones structure, teeth (when one smiles), potential scars, leaves with half of a person's identification. I'm not comfortable looking at half of a person's face and making a notarial identity confirmation. I would ask for a second government issued ID that does not include any face covering. I also agree with the numerous previous comments that any governmental issuing authority that creates such an identification document is not using any common sense too much discretion that if I remember correctly violates the federal REAL ID requirements. In my state, driver's licenses are good do not expire for ten years and one can receive one online renewal that doesn't require a new picture. Creating a ID card such as the example that is potentially valid for 20 years is short sighted. If I were the person getting that ID card, I would insist on removing the mask for the short time it takes to have my picture taken.

Tonja Smith

01 Mar 2021

I would tell them I can’t accept it and ask for a different form of acceptable ID. I can’t imagine the DMV issuing an ID where you are nit asked to remove it for the picture ID.

Candiceangotti@gmail.com

01 Mar 2021

IT WAS A MISTAKE!! State of California admits the oversight! They took another pix without the mask, but sent her the wrong one!!! California woman has to retake her driver’s license photo at the DMV after her new identification card arrived with a photo of her wearing a face mask. Lesley Pilgrim, 25, says the mask protocols were strict at the DMV in Laguna Hills and she didn’t remove her face covering until she was told to — and that was after one picture was already snapped. Another photo was then taken with the mask off. That’s why she was stunned when her REAL ID arrived showing her in the mask, she says. The California DMV says it’s investigating the incident, calling it an “oversight.” “Customers are asked to remove their face covering when a photo is taken. In this instance there was an oversight. The customer should have been asked to lower her mask for the photo,” the agency told KTLA in a statement. “The DMV is investigating how this may have happened and has reminded staff of proper procedures. The DMV contacted the customer and an appointment has been scheduled for a new photo to be taken.” REAL IDs are recommended for all Californians who wish to use their identification cards to board domestic flights. Those without one will have to use their passports after Oct. 1, 2021.

Deborah

01 Mar 2021

This is very tricky but something we may encounter. I think I would ask for another form of ID and note why I didn’t use the mask DL. I also thought having her put her mask on to view the ID and her standing before me with a mask on if it’s a perfect match it’s her all good. I wear my hair down most of the time but my ID was once taken while hair was up in a ponytail. We are identifying the person standing in front of us they may look slightly different the the ID photo taken months or even years earlier. They could be heavier, smaller, have loss of hair, missing teeth so picture and person may not exactly the same at that every moment. We just need to validate that the signer is the person on the ID.

Dee Beard

01 Mar 2021

I would not think that would be an official/valid ID.

Magda Alvarez

01 Mar 2021

Is an id , so i would just ask nicely if i can see another form of id with a full picture.

Wendy S.

01 Mar 2021

This is a true case in California. As long as all the requirements are there - ID issued by acceptable agency, description of person and current ID there should be no reason you could not take this as proper ID. The descirption usually only has height, weight, eye color and hair color - you can see all this in the masked photo. Also, you can see eye shape and ears to get an idea that this is the person in front of you. If in doubt as to identiy, then you would have to refuse as you would with any ID presented

Diane Ott

01 Mar 2021

I would not perform the notary as this prospective client is obviously presenting a falsified or forged identification card. No government agency takes photos with a mask on for identification purposes.

Sarah Lopez

01 Mar 2021

I would question the authenticity of this ID regardless. Now a days they will not even let us wear out prescription glass for identity. @nd form of picture ID or a reliable witness to verify person's identity.

Susan M.

01 Mar 2021

I would advise the signer that her DL is not acceptable as identification and let her know what other documents can be used if she can produce them. I would also log her thumbprint in my journal as additional identification.

Kate Alder

01 Mar 2021

I would not accept an ID where the person's face is covered by a mask in the photo. That is acceptable in California

Teresa

01 Mar 2021

It will be interesting to read the real life scenario that this is claimed to have come from. I work for a licensing agency and we require you to remove your mask when taking a picture. Having a mask defeats the purpose of identifying the person on their identification card.

Michael S Polusky

01 Mar 2021

Unmask the person! I will say that people today have more then one picture ID to prove who they are. Patriot Act allow the use of two ID’S of proof. Are we now going to jump off the cliff over this. We can use common sense unless you don’t have any. If not, don’t notarize them person. We are not building space ships here

Gilbert

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of ID without a mask.

Pamela D Langford

01 Mar 2021

It was previously stated in a comment that this was an oversight and the DMV required to person to retake the picture without the mask. However, I was faced with this dilemma, I would simply ask the signer to provide an additional form of identification before performing the notarial act.

Sandi Walters

01 Mar 2021

I received my Real ID in California in mid-2020 and was asked to remove my mask for the photo. If I saw a mask on a CA DL, I would think it was fraudulent.

Claire Fujishige

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of valid id.

Ramona Sinhart

01 Mar 2021

NO agency should take photos with the person wearing a mask! I would not accept the ID! Notaries should NOT be open to legal problems because of this form of ID!

Richard P CLAUTTI

01 Mar 2021

I would not accept a masked I.D. , I would ask for two other forms of I.D. one with a picture and ask the person to remove their mask for me to compare.

Carla

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of id, as well of reading the details of their Driver license (height, weight, etc).

Dina

01 Mar 2021

I would not accept this....I do not believe a state department would even allow a photo to be taken with a mask ON. Common sense applies here. I ask people to bring their masks down so I can verify all the features vs their photo. Common people...any notary that accepts this ID should NOT be a notary.

James W Gray

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for a secondary ID as well and if there is a Certificate from the Lender requiring me to certify as to the Signer's identity I would request that the Signer provide me with a witness who would verify the signer's identity, sign my notary journal, provide me with their identity and leave a thumbprint as well.

Katherine E Harmer

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for additional identification. If there is no other, I use a fingerprint in my notarial journal. I am sure that if she was impersonating someone else, she would not be willing to leave her thumbprint.

E R Tolson

01 Mar 2021

The client would have to provide additional up-to-date identification without a mask. With voter fraud and everyone wanting to take you to court on the rise, one has to ask themselves, would you be able to provide to a court of law that the person behind the mask is who they are, beyond any doubt. Civil Law Notary (LA-Non Attorney)

Renee Goodrich

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form. If unable to present another form, I would accept the ID as presented because it's a valid ID, error or not. If she looks like the person on ID as masked would accept as satisfactory evidence. It has a photo, physical description, signature and identifying number based on what has been presented. The ID was not fraudulent.

Dan R Petherbridge

01 Mar 2021

It is a "real ID" for Federal purposes and meets all the elements of a valid government issued photo ID. I would ask for another photo ID to be safe though. I'm certain this is an error by the CA DMV as I doubt this was intended to be issued this way. Do others ask for the client to remove their masks when comparing the normal ID to the client? This is sort of the opposite.

Angela Bradford

01 Mar 2021

I would ask the signer to remove the mask.

Angela Bradford

01 Mar 2021

I would ask the signer to remove the mask.

mario caimotto

01 Mar 2021

the i.d. is fake. it lists the issue date as 8312009. no was was mandating masks then. also, no real i.d. then either

Roberto

01 Mar 2021

I would. In addition to the driver's license, I would require her to provide a military ID since she is a Veteran. Of course, there's the credible witness scenario also.

Tim Gatewood

01 Mar 2021

Tennessee law states a notary identifies a potential signer by "reasonable reliance" on one of the listed types of identification documents with certainrestrictions. It's left up to the notary to decide whether it is reasonable to rely upon the i.d. presented. Personally, I don't believe it's reasonable to say you've positively identified the person if their i.d. document has a defective photo, which this clearly is. So, no, I would not accept that i.d. Unless I knew the signer personally or they had some other form of valid i.d. per TN law, I would have to decline this notarization. (TN does allow credible witnesses, but that's so restricted as to be pointless in 99.9% of all cases.)

haroldayer@gmail.com

01 Mar 2021

Oh my goodness. First of all, I did not know any agency would issue an identification card with a masked face. This defies ALL common sense. I would never accept an ID if the face is covered by anything!

Deanna Walls

01 Mar 2021

Oregon DMV won't even take a photo with your glasses on! I agree with previous comments that it is highly unlikely any Government Agency would require leaving the mask on for a photo intended to be used for verification of identity. As an Oregon Notary, I would be inclined to believe that this ID had been falsified and would ask for another form of ID, and if not available, I would not notarize the document(s).

JOHNKAYAL28@GMAIL.COM

01 Mar 2021

I believe there is only one correct course of action: License with mask is unacceptable form of ID Must show another legitimate form of ID

RICHARD A LOCKLEAR

01 Mar 2021

require some other proof of identity

alejandro.juarez10@gmail.com

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for a different state approved ID because you can not verify the signers identity when it’s covered by the mask. That’s the main job of a notary is verifying identity if she can not provide another state approved ID then kindly refuse until she can get one

Kathleen Wilson

01 Mar 2021

I would require a thumb print in my journal and note in my journal why.

Calixto Marcano

01 Mar 2021

It is hard for me to imagine that the government facility would take a picture with the mask on... as it totally defeats the purpose. I myself would reject this as a form of ID

kc

01 Mar 2021

What are the rules regarding religious facial coverings? Conversely, what if the ID photo is unmasked but he/she refuses to remove their mask during the notarization?

National Notary Association

05 Mar 2021

Hello. Please see this article for suggestions: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2017/05/wwyd-answer-covered-face

Kabira Davis

01 Mar 2021

I would use the identification and compare it to the signer who should be wearing a mask. And verify the matched signature as well. For example, the eyes and shape of a face will be the same.

dmfloyd@bellsouth.net

01 Mar 2021

No I would not except the ID. In the state of Florida no face covering is allowed for any reason. Therefore, I would ask for another form of government issued ID without the mask.

Regina

01 Mar 2021

I would definitely ask for another form of Identification without any facial coverings.

Karen Abor

01 Mar 2021

I would ask for another valid government issued id such as a passport. Consider being in a court of law and attempting to positively identify an individual that had a face mask on. Questionable, at the very least? I'm not willing to move forward with such a notary because I would be thinking about future liability, errors and omissions and all that jazz.

Peter Howell

01 Mar 2021

I agree with Diane Ott. The ID presented in this example is a REAL ID. According to the California DMV website, “REAL ID cards are marked with a gold bear and a star” which this ID has. As a REAL ID, it must conform to exacting federal standards as outlined in the REAL ID ACT OF 2005, TITLE II—IMPROVED SECURITY FOR DRIVERS’ LICENSES AND PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION CARDS, SEC. 202. MINIMUM DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUANCE STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL RECOGNITION: (b) (5) A digital photograph of the person. Later in the same section, the law further requires: (d) (3) Subject each person applying for a driver’s license or identification card to mandatory facial image capture. Reading the actual law leads me to conclude that a REAL ID must have a picture of the person’s face. If it has their face obscured, it’s probably fraudulent. If I suspect it’s fraudulent, I would decline to do the signing and alert the lender as to my suspicions (and why). Also, as this attempted fraud would have happened during my performance of an official duty, I would inform the police or district attorney. I may also notify my state’s Secretary of State as the attempted fraud involved one of their commissioned officials. Here’s a link to the law, it’s on page 83. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-119/pdf/STATUTE-119-Pg231.pdf#page=72

Jo PB

01 Mar 2021

I would not accept this identification!

Belinda B Bennet

02 Mar 2021

As we deal with fraudulent activities I would look at an ID with a masked photo as a fake ID and would inform the signer I cannot move forward with the notarization unless they have 2 additional valid IDs that show their full face uncovered. I would also call the state that the ID shows issued from to inquire or make a report to validate the information afterward.

Marsha Lilly

02 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of identification, in order to protect the signer as well as myself.

Kathleen Jackson

02 Mar 2021

refuse notary

Glynise Cooley

02 Mar 2021

I would definitely require a 2nd form of ID with or without a photo. I would also compare signatures and if I am not convinced this is the person signing, I would politely and professionally explain my refusal to notarize.

Yvette

02 Mar 2021

I would check with the DMV if that was an acceptable method of photographing new applicants during COVID-19 and also request another form of photo identification such as a work ID to complement the Driver's license. Although in my state of Delaware a journal is not required, I do keep a journal and fingerprint disposable fingerprinting strips which I actually use. The use of the DL to verify the signature and the customer's 2nd id with signed journal entry and thumbprints I'd feel comfortable completing the notarization.

Yvette

02 Mar 2021

Response #2 -- Please disregard my initial response. On second review of the DL, I would request another form of identification because the holographic #0831977 differs from the #08311977 to the right of the photo on this driver's license.

Patricia Thomas

02 Mar 2021

I would ask the client for another government-issued form of ID. I would have to follow my state laws when dealing with the authenticity of IDs. I hope if a change was that drastic would be put into law for all to know; however, it would make sense to keep the current photo on the licenses.

beckey miller

02 Mar 2021

I would ask for additional I.D., and a signature verification.

Yahmima Banks

02 Mar 2021

Although it is a valid Driver License issued from the DMV, it was an "oversight" on their behalf. The mask covering ID wouldn't qualify in my opinion.

Denise Garcia

02 Mar 2021

Not sure. I would think we could accept this.

DaVan Johnson

02 Mar 2021

I would not accept this form of Identification and I'd ask for another valid form of photo identification like a passport. State regulations require residents to remove masks before taking photos for proper identification purposes. Another form of ID would include a passport.

Sharon Godlewski

02 Mar 2021

I would require a secondary form of photo ID such as a work ID or passport

Les Spradlin

02 Mar 2021

I know for a fact in the state of Texas you absolutely have to remove your mask for your picture. That is the only time you can remove it. I would tell the person I could not do it for her with a valid picture. I’m in Texas. .

Erika D Newton

03 Mar 2021

I would ask for another form of identification, such as a passport. If the signer does not possess another form of identification, I would refuse to proceed. I would also report the ID to the proper organization(s). I know that in CA, when having your picture taken for your driver's license or identification card, you are instructed to take your mask off for a few seconds - then replace it once your picture has been taken.

Marcella Goodwin

03 Mar 2021

I have seen many DMV photos that bare only a slight resemblance to the person in front of me whose signature I am notarizing! When that happens I will ask for a second form of ID. Unless I had personal knowledge of the person, I would not be comfortable notarizing the signature of anyone whose only ID is a masked photo.

kathy R

03 Mar 2021

Although I have heard you can verify the other information, such as weight ages, signature, eye and hair color, signature, I would personally decline and ask for another acceptable form of pictured Identification.

esther harris

04 Mar 2021

I would declined notarization

Lori Etheridge

05 Mar 2021

I had a friend years ago who needed a photo ID done for her country of origin, which was Muslim. She had to remove her face covering for the photo and, in fact, was not even allowed to wear make up. She told me the story and showed me the photo. I would not accept this as it is a mistake on the part of that state's DMV to send this photo ID out.

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