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Can I notarize for an absent signer using an ID copy?

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I work for a trucking company, and we hire escorts for some of the loads that we haul. I have an escort that needs paperwork notarized for my office so they can escort our drivers, but they are on the road and unable to come see me in person. Can I notarize using a copy of their driver’s license without them here, or do they have to be present in front of me? We have used the same escorts for a while now and know them.K.C., Missouri  

No. A signer must personally appear before the Notary at the time of notarization. Missouri law states: “A notary shall perform a notarial act only if the principal… [i]s in the presence of the notary at the time of notarization” (RSMo 486.645.1[1]).

For more information, please see our article and video “How do you notarize if a signer can’t be present?

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 consultants 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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