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Can I stop a notarization if I suspect the signer's ID is fake?

If I suspect a fake identification card has been provided by the signer, am I still required to notarize the document?B. D., Texas

No. If you are not satisfied the identification presented is valid you should refuse to perform the notarization.  The statute says “[a]n officer may not take the acknowledgment of a written instrument unless the officer knows or has satisfactory evidence that the acknowledging person is the person who executed the instrument and is described in it” (CPRC 121.005[a]).

According to the Texas Administrative Code, “good cause” for the Secretary of State to reject an application for appointment, revoke the commission of a Notary, or take other disciplinary action against a Notary includes “a failure to properly identify the individual whose signature is being notarized.”

This article from our Bulletin discusses suspicious identification in the State of Texas.

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.

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