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What is the best way to make copies of a photo ID?

Photo of woman with long dark hair on phone. She is looking at papers in her hand. Text on image reads NNA Hotline Tip.

As a mobile Notary, what is the best way to make copies of documents such as a photo ID?A. D., California

There are times when a mobile Notary or Signing Agent is instructed to obtain a copy of the borrower’s ID while at a loan signing.  When calling to confirm the signing appointment, the best practice is to instruct the borrower to provide a photocopy of their ID(s) at the time of the appointment since it is their ID and you must respect their privacy.

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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2 Comments

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Lucy

09 Nov 2022

I have had signing agent wanting to take picture of my id and passport. Before I became a notary, I question it. Now that I am a notary, I do not think it's in the best interest of the client. If the company needs Pictures it should be sent directly to them. Taking pictures with phone doesn't protect the client as everything is stored in that notary email account.

Elaine Leadlove-Plant

11 Nov 2022

Lucy: You are correct, taking a picture of a government document on your telephone is a breach of the client's privacy. While many lenders and real estate broker make this requirement it is erroneous. The federal and state financial institutions requirement is that the notary or bank employee VIEW the identification and then record on a separate document the government agency issuing the document, the name of the document, the date issued, the date of expiration, the document number, is the address the same as on another ID, e.g. Driver's License, did the picture resemble the person presenting. Requiring a photocopy is the 'being lazy', there is absolutely no valid reason for my government issues passport, immigration card, etc. to be copied and I refuse every time the demand is made and quote the actual regulatory/legal requirement and limitation. If taking a picture were sufficient, why would notaries be needed?

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