Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

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

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, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

Additional Resources:

How To Handle Name Discrepancies

View All: Hotline Tips


Add your comment

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.


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:


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:

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.