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Notary Bulletin

Does the signer's name on the document have to exactly match the ID?

Does the signer’s name on the document have to be exactly the same as it appears on the ID? For instance, I have a client whose ID reads "Mary Jane Smith-Jones", but the document reads "Mary Jones" and the client signs "Mary Jones". What name do I put in my notary certificate?V.N., Nevada

Not necessarily. The name you are notarizing is the name as it appears on the document.  As the Notary, you must decide whether the ID of “Mary Jane Smith-Jones” adequately proves her identity as “Mary Jones.” The name on the ID is one piece of information that can help you make that determination. The other features of the ID — physical description, photo, and age as determined from noting the date of birth — can also help you as well.

You would enter the name as it appears on the document into the Notary certificate wording.  If you wish, you may make a notation in your journal regarding the name on the identification vs. the name on the document.

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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Additional Resources:

How To Handle Name Discrepancies



View All: Hotline Tips

5 Comments

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Shelly Blasingham

17 May 2021

Super helpful. Thank you. I have had this situation come up and wondered if I handled correctly. Appreciate the confirmation.

Artur

17 May 2021

I really wish you went a bit further and answered the obvious opposite scenario (you never do). What if the ID said Mary Jones, but the document had the name Mary Jane Smith-Jones? In that case, the ID would not be valid. Be kind enough to explain why I am correct.

National Notary Association

24 May 2021

Hello. Please see here for additional information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/tips-tutorials/handle-name-discrepancies

JoJo

31 May 2021

What are specific documents in real estate loan closings that require 1. administering an oath or affirmation 2. jurat certificates? I know it depends on the loan package but confirmation of certain documents (like affidavits) would be helpful.

National Notary Association

02 Jun 2021

Hello. "The Notary Signing Agent's Loan Documents Sourcebook" provides detailed information about different types of loan documents and their requirements. You can find more information about the book here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/loan-document-sourcebook

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