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What Would You Do: The case of the copied ID

An elderly couple appearing concerned with a notary present.

To boost your knowledge of Notary standards of practice, the NNA presents a situation based on a real-life Notary case and asks the question: What would you do?

A husband and wife contact you and ask if you can notarize their signatures on documents to purchase a condominium. However, when you meet with the couple and they ask you to notarize the wife’s signature, she apologizes. She doesn’t have her official ID but offers you a photocopy of it as an alternative method of identification.

While looking at the photocopy, you notice the identifying information is dated from 30 years ago and expired. To make matters more confusing, the signer looks quite a bit younger to you than what you expect from the date of birth indicated on the ID copy.

The signers apologize because the ID photocopy isn’t very good, and the wife explains she looks different because it’s old identification information. They ask if you can go ahead and complete the notarization for them anyway since this is an important purchase for them.

What would you do?

Is the photocopy satisfactory as proof of identity, and does the signer’s explanation that it’s an old copy seem reasonable? Or are the discrepancies a red flag? How would you handle this situation? Would you agree to the notarization, refuse the notarization, or choose another option?

Share your answers in the comments section below. We may mention your response in next week’s Bulletin article, when we offer the recommended answer to this notarial challenge.

David Thun is the Editorial Manager at the National Notary Association


Related Articles:

What Would You Do Answers: The case of the copied ID


Additional Resources:

NNA Notary Hotline


174 Comments

Add your comment

Kim M

08 May 2024

Several red flags here would require me to refuse to notarize until I could sufficiently establish the identity of the wife. The ID must be the actual ID and not a copy, it's too long ago expired, and the physical appearance of the potential signer doesn't match the age stated on the ID. The husband can't be a credible witness as he has an interest in the document being signed, and I don't have personal knowledge of them. I would recommend she bring an acceptable ID, then make an entry in my journal that I refused.

colleenstringfellow@gmail.com

08 May 2024

This scenario from the start raised multiple flags for me. That being said, I would not complete the notarization if all the signer had was a photocopy of an outdated ID. I would also follow my state laws as they pertained to outdated IDs and other options allowing me to complete the notarization.

Sandra Thomas

13 May 2024

Red flags indeed! Copies lack special features issued, copies are easily manipulated and could pose potential legal issues. In addition to expiration concern. I would ask the signer if they could provide the original. If not, I would explain the requirement and reschedule, if possible or cancel.

mschelestephens@gmail.com

16 May 2024

The entire situation is a red flag. First, the outdated photocopied ID card would not be accepted. We know many people are altering their bodies now to stay younger, but the wife will need to produce an updated photo. Especially, if she's proud of her new look, she would have an updated photo showing just that. Second, the meeting will be postponed unless they can produce another form of government ID, such as a passport. If a travel fee was charged it will not be refunded, and they would need to rebook and be recharged.

mlgiles894@gmail.com

16 May 2024

I agree Kim, several red flags. As a result, I would have to refuse notarization as a fraud-deterrent until proper ID is shown and reschedule. Documents must be authentic and certified.

Teresa Tyler

20 May 2024

I would refuse to noterize the document it to many red flags and I could be helping them commitment a crime and o would be found guilty also.

Annette scoca

20 May 2024

What if I knew them both personally?

Lawrence Chmielewski

20 May 2024

I would not notarize the documents due to expired identification.

Igotthejob100@gmail.com

20 May 2024

I will not notarize any documents with a copy of anything and the actual person must be present. The entire scenario sounds fraudulent. I would explain the regulations and that I need the actual ID, the customer and the ID must be up-to-date.

Omayra A.

20 May 2024

The moment the copy was presented, I would refuse the notarize. Copy or not, the expiration date is expired, that alone is a no go for a notary.

Sylvia White

20 May 2024

Photo copies are not acceptable. I will ask for the original before I would sign the documents or have the husband sign on the document as a witness that she is who she said she is. By doing this I will not be held liable for anything if this is fraud.

Joseph Martinez

20 May 2024

I would politely decline Notarizing their documents.

Sharon Brandon

20 May 2024

I would respectfully decline to notarize the document.

Mary Kathleen Presley

20 May 2024

No. Never ever use a copy. Even when they provide a copy I require the actual original. I compare them prior to sending the copy back in the package. Never use an expired ID. Ask if they have an unexpired passport or other qualified ID. Only then will you compare age and photo with the person in front of you. Otherwise politely refuse to complete the assignment.

Maria Bradshaw

20 May 2024

I would apologize and let them know that I will not be able to do this. Also let the wife know that she needs a more updated picture identification. That 30 years is just too much for me to jeopardize my business. But I am willing to meet them again once they get everything completed.

Nanci Wilson

20 May 2024

I find several things that would raise red flags and for these reasons, I would refuse the notarization of the document.. FLag 1:, I am sure they know that in order to get something notariized you MUST have a valid, up to date ID-FLAG 2,Tthe ID the wife is submitting to the Notary is not only a copy, but 30 yrs old. Flag 3, there is no way to validate that the woman is who she says she is since she has nothing else with her as ID. No other option but to refuse to notarize the document. Also,they both needed their signatures to be notarized because they are both purchasing the Condo, yet the 'husband' is saying that he would like only his wife's name notarized. Maybe this woman is not really his wife, & the man will take the paper to a place where the notary knows him to get his signature notarized. It all sounds like something underhanded to me.

Paulette

20 May 2024

You cannot except it. It’s not valid.

Daisy Summerville

20 May 2024

I will not use my signature on it because everything that is notarized should be updated and her identity is not

Kathleen Jackson

20 May 2024

refuse the notarization. Too many red flags.

Debra L Zeiber

20 May 2024

I would not notarize the document with the photocopied ID. If they have the money for the condo, I'm sure that they could go to DMV and get a state ID for $20.00. I would still put this in my journal in case something comes up about it later.

B. Alves

20 May 2024

I would absolutely refuse to notarize the document with a outdated copy of identification.

Tom Flagg

20 May 2024

I would not have notarized this document. I would want an ID that meets protocol to have it notarized. There are too many red flags for me. I would tell them I need to investigate with my State to get an answer. They would agree to tell the person. " No"

Rob V

20 May 2024

A valid, physical id must be present before a document can be notarized. Explain to the customer their options: another form of valid id or proof of id through credible witnesses (who have valid id's, personally know the individual and agree to be sworn to their identity). If a valid id is still not present you should refuse to process their request. P.S. DMV assistance can be mentioned so that they can pursue a valid identification card other than a driver license.

Susana

20 May 2024

The ID being expired more then 5 years is a definite no, notarizing on a copy of an ID is a no. Despite all the red flags to look at this objectively. The notarization may be able to take place if the wife can provided any other form of government identification which is current or expired (insert state law) in NM a year from the date of notarization. There is also a possibility that the notarization can happen by use of an oath of a credible witness known to officer with appropriate identification.

Paulette Duckett

20 May 2024

Immediately! cancel my services in this case. It’s clear that somethings all wrong here. You have had to established current credentials when purchasing a home moving forward. Therefore, with that said” I would follow my state laws of coarse but in this case I would not notarize due to their urgency, outdated ID of the wife and of their story. Home buying is an huge investment the wife and husband should’ve known these credentials would have been a major factor moving forward in a purchase and or in this case of notarizing that requires a legal and current ID for both notarizing and purchase if this had been done before purchase or at the TABLE already. Too many red flags for me to have had move forward. Would have redirected them back to their Realtor or Broker to have their documents notarized due to the outdated copy ID and the inconsistency of their story. We must protect ourselves from falsifying, manipulation and scamming. No legal issues to saying “NO to Notarizing in this case.

Sue Haley

20 May 2024

I would ask for a different form of ID. If that didn’t work I would have to stop the closing

Barbara Kotch

20 May 2024

Would request they reschedule when they have proper ID - no photocopies.

Michal

20 May 2024

Too many red flags to count! I would explain that I need an original ID issued within the last 5 years. If they could not produce that document I would tell them that I could not do the notary at that time. Per California state law, I would explain that I would be happy to do the notarization at a later time if she can produce a valid ID or if they bring two credible witnesses who can identify the wife (and explain that the credible witnesses must both have valid identification).

Laura Barraza

20 May 2024

I would offer to notarize the husband's signature and I would refuse the copy of her ID card to notarize and confirm her identity.

Donna

20 May 2024

I agree with what many of you have stated. However, we clearly state or at least I do that all parties have to a valid official.form.of id. The presentation of a photo copy negates the valid part already. Not to mention it was expired. Btw who keeps a copy of an ID that is 30 years expired??? 🤔 Just my take on it all. Have a blessed everyone.

Yvonne

20 May 2024

Since there are several red flags, I would not notarize.

Mary Keebler

20 May 2024

I would not notarize the document with out a proper ID.

Mary G

20 May 2024

Too many red flags indeed! I do not accept photocopies, as mentioned before they can be easily manipulated. I require original document whether it state issued ID or Passport both being valid. If customer can not supply, then I do not notarize and will reschedule when customer has acceptable ID. We also provided the state laws pertaining to expired ID's and other options as well.

Judi Stutz

20 May 2024

A copied ID, a temporary ID, or a temporary DL are not forms of legal ID. In this situation, I would have to decline the notarization without a valid form of ID. This transaction could be mortgage fraud.

Carol Voydanoff

20 May 2024

I would ask the signer if she had any other picture ID. If not, I would suggest she get an updated ID and schedule a new signing date.

Cindy

20 May 2024

If she cannot produce a current, valid and original id, it will not be notarized.

Andrea Stumon-Claiborne

20 May 2024

I would refuse notarization and ask them to provide another proper form of identification. A copy could easily be a manipulation of identification.

Patricia Archinal

20 May 2024

" I am so very sorry, however, I can not accept a photocopy of a driver's license. If this is a copy of your real license, I suggest you get it renewed. This one expired xx months ago. I really am sorry that we can not finish our transaction." "Let me give my contact a call and see if there are any other solutions." I would excuse myself and go outside to make the call, taking my notary seal, record book and documents with me to preserve the privacy of the notorial stamp and log.

Guy Case

20 May 2024

My approach is to head this situation off from the first contact. Educate, educate, educate. Hello Mr. and Mrs. This is... I've bee asked to meet with you for signing and notarizing documents. Mr. and Mrs. do you both have government issued photo IDs? Great. Or discuss further. Are they both current or expired less than 1 year? (Colorado) Great. Or discuss further. Mr. and Mrs. I will need to see the actual IDs. Photo copies, paper IDs, digital copies and pictures do not meet the ID requirements of notarial law. (Colorado) Mr. and Mrs. are you both able to explain the purpose of each document in your own words without being coached? Great. Or discuss further. We are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, the 14th, at 9am. Does that work for the two of you? Great. Or discuss further. Please confirm the address where we will be meeting. Thank you. I look forward to meeting both of you on the 14th at 9am at your home.

Tracy

20 May 2024

I would refuse to notarized the documents without proper ID or other acceptable proof

David Eckstrom

20 May 2024

If the husband’s is is current/valid I would explain that I can notarize the husband’s signature but explain I could NOT notarize the wife’s signature because of California requirements. The ID must be current and with a current picture. I would offer to come again And notarize the wife’s signature once she got a current physical ID and no copies. I would explain California does not allow me to use the copied, outdated ID.

David Runco

20 May 2024

I would refuse the notary

Jennifer Eguia

20 May 2024

Kim M. nailed it on the head. The only thing I would add is if they protested that I could still use it, I would show them the section on ID requirements from my state's Notary Primer & let them know that I am sorry I can't help but I'm not willing to break the law.

James Mccalla-Geaham

20 May 2024

Refuse to notarize

Ethel Hamilton

20 May 2024

I would follow my state's requirements for a valid ID...issued by a governmental agency, i.e., driver's license that's not expired, valid ID issued by governmental agency (usually for seniors no longer driving), or a valid passport. Credible witnesses (2) would be acceptable. However, all of this would have been established over the phone when they made the appointment, NOT upon my arrival!! Been burned before; and upon my arrival, the ID had expired!! Save yourself time and gas.

Alida

20 May 2024

I wouldn't notarize the document. The first requirement is to have a current and proper state ID. The fact that it is 30 years old is one red flag, that it looks different from what the subject looks like is another red flag. ONE red flag is enough for ME not to notarize. I would politely state that I am not able to accept this particular ID so I am not able to notarize their documents at this time.

Brenda G Pugh-Phinizee

20 May 2024

I woud refuse to follow through with the notarization process. not sure if I would trust a crediable source or witness. because it could be a set up. not unless you could get in touch with the lender and ask questions. I don;t think I would want to get to involved in this type of problem. I really believe I would remove myself completely from the situation and let the lender or who every is in charge handle it.

Dale Gibson

20 May 2024

Many states have now authorized electronic ID's housed on mobile phones but through a special app. In this case being that the client's ID has expired AND it may be in a questionable mobile phone location I would refuse and require a different identification.

Victoria Anton

20 May 2024

I have had this happen more than once. REFUSE to notarize. One time the ID had been expired for 12 years, another time her child lost her ID and the real estate agent sat their like hear no evil see no evil and speak no evil. I sent both to DMV to get a current ID. FL does not allow for looking at a copy, you MUST see the original ID.

Mohammed

20 May 2024

I would not notarize the documents due to expired identification.

screwedupklown@gmail.com

20 May 2024

To stop the Notarization.. pull the documents and ask them for a different, current form of id

Debora K. Braun-Ganled

20 May 2024

I wouldn’t notarize. It’s not an acceptable ID.

Denise

20 May 2024

Copy of ID from Signer is not allowable and acceptable. Must be original unless she/he has brought two credible witnesses with her.

kerryeli@yahoo.com

20 May 2024

I would refuse the notary as I don't believe the paperwork. This is too much of an issue for me to get involved with. I wouldn't put my integrity on the line for this.

Kathi Brennan

20 May 2024

I would not sign!

Fannie Monroe

20 May 2024

Refuse if documentation is questionable.

Marlette Sinclair

20 May 2024

I would let her know that the copied ID was expired and is of no use. I would also let her know that even if it was not expired a photocopy could not be used as a means of identification without accompanied by the original ID

Jeff Bassett

20 May 2024

Too many issues, copied ID, Outdated by 30 years, picture does not look to match to the person, this all screams potential scam. It is easy for someone to quickly get a state ID and or other qualifying state ID sources to verify the person. I always note in my journal the ID, type state ID number and contact information as presented. Certain states have varying requirements. But from what was stated, this is a great way to pull off a crime that has the notary in court testifying in the future. You always have the right to say you will not be able to notarize a document. If your ever uncertain, hold off and check with your local BAR association.

Pamela Adams

20 May 2024

My answer would no I cannot notarize anything without a valid I.D. We took an oath and we must follow the rules 🚷

jerryziglar@gmail.com

20 May 2024

I would go ahead and notoariize provided there have not been any substantial changes to the id.

Tineka

20 May 2024

I'm going to refuse the ID and not notarize the documents. Having an outdated photo copy would make me second guess authenticity.

jerryziglar@gmail.com

20 May 2024

I would go ahead and notoariize provided there have not been any substantial changes to the id.

Tineka

20 May 2024

I'm going to refuse the ID and not notarize the documents. Having an outdated photo copy would make me second guess authenticity.

Rudene Thomas

20 May 2024

Since the driver's license is expire, I would ask the signer for another document such as a passport or employee identification for verification. If the signer does not have either of those documents then I would advised them that I can not proceed with the signing and that the signer must have an up to date driver's license.

Constantine Edosah

20 May 2024

I will not notarize the documents due to too many red flags.

jerryziglar@gmail.com

20 May 2024

I would refuse to notarize without current ID.

John Fuller

20 May 2024

Do not do it.

Cherilynn

20 May 2024

I would decline to notarize and reschedule appt. If I personally knew them, then I would proceed.

Jade Gable

20 May 2024

No, I would not accept outdated proof. I would ask for 2 more proof of identity with her picture on it. EX. A Costco card and Passport. Otherwise it will not get notarized.

Peicie D.Mikell

20 May 2024

I would refuse the signing with the wife until she shows me the proper ID with the correct birth date,picture and expiration of her most recent ID. It’s illegal here in the State Of GA to notarized anyone with out dated identification.

Derek Wilkins

20 May 2024

This is definitely a good practice. We learned that only valid identification is accepted. Notaries must adhere strictly to state laws and exercise due diligence in accepting only valid, original identification documents to protect themselves from legal liability and to uphold the integrity of the notarization process.

Laurel

20 May 2024

A copy of any I.D. whether current or expired is not a valid form of I.D.

Priscilla McGriff

20 May 2024

The copy of the photo I'd is not satisfactory due to it being expired for one thing. We should always have the original ID due to anybody can have a copy of someone else's ID.

Rosie Matta

20 May 2024

My first reaction is be "careful, red flags". I would let them know that this is not an acceptable form of ID because it is expired. Then, I would call the title company to inform them and ask them how to proceed. Maybe docs could be signed by husband on her behalf after docs are redrawn to reflect a POA? But regardless, informing the title company immediately there at the table would be the best.

Rafael

20 May 2024

Are you for real???? What is the question ????

Vicki Fisher

20 May 2024

I would stop and give no further unless she had other acceptable ID such as a passport. Also call the signing service and let them know you cannot notarize.

Dianne HINCKSON

20 May 2024

I would have to ask for a current ID or decline to assist Norway’s around. It

Audrey M Prevost

20 May 2024

I would not notarize under those conditions. She would have to provide some other form of current and valid identification before proceeding further.

Deanna J Jekayinfa

20 May 2024

I would have to refuse to provide notary services. The ID is a copy - a copy of a drivers license or id can't be used for identification purposes. An expired ID can't be used for identification purposes.

pedro Luis bernal

20 May 2024

very good article. Thank you

Judith Seki

20 May 2024

No way.

Antonio M. Cardenas

20 May 2024

I will not Notarize that document with a photocopy. It lacks the security features we look for when analyzing an identifiable personal document.

Robyne Hock

20 May 2024

Too many fraud red flags in this scenario … as for providing that notarization, it’s a hard no for me.

m

20 May 2024

Refuse the job.

Linda Suzanne McDougall

20 May 2024

Of course that would be a invalid identification just common sense but through the Patriot Act. I have heard stories of a daughter getting her elderly father to go to the bank and to someone they considered a friend so the Notary knew them. Then the daughter came back with a bogus POA siting that her dad had changed his mind and wanted her to have the property. Well it wasn't true. So the Notary was charged with fraud and the bond didn't even begin to cover expenses. I have bern a notary public for 40 years this year and I would never put myself in this position. While we as public servants for our state are obligated to notarize when asked, we can turn it down for this reason 100 percent and more reasons like them not lucid, safety intoxicated etc.

Jean Y Doran

20 May 2024

Would not notarize. Too many red flags.

Gladys Manuel

20 May 2024

I wouldn’t notarize the document. I would tell them once she has a valid ID to give me a call and I would gladly help them at that time.

Delia Granados

20 May 2024

Refuse to do notarization. Request a current official ID.

Alicia Warren

20 May 2024

Several red flags for me. The copy explanation and expired ID. I would have to respectfully decline to notarize the documents.

Rays Koshy

20 May 2024

You cannot accept an expired id even if it is expired by a day but you can notarize if you know them personally.

Sandra Kay

20 May 2024

I would have to decline notarizing this one, way to many red flags. I would explain to the couple why I can't except the expired license letting them know first of all is it's against state laws further more I would inform them that a copy of your id is unexceptab weather expired or current.

Angie

20 May 2024

That would be a big NO for me. Too many red flags here. As a side note: I had a friend whose husband had a copy of her ID and secured a second mortgage on their home by having his mistress pose as my friend using her "ID". My friend had no idea about this debt until they were splitting assets and liabilities in the divorce a year or so later. (This was at least 20 years ago.)

Dee

20 May 2024

I would refuse to notarize the documents they would have to produce the original ID

Alayne Pierce-Collins

20 May 2024

I would refuse notarization because there are too many red flags and too many excuses to cover up what is clearly deception.

Czolgus Evans

20 May 2024

Unless there was Identifying Witness readily available, I would not notarize the documents

Ronna

20 May 2024

Absolutely decline the notarization.

Monica A

20 May 2024

CA notary here. I would not accept an expired DMV ID (unless issued within 5 years). I would ask for another form of ID such as a valid Passport. The signer would have to have 2 credible witnesses (not named in the document) to verify the signer's identity. The same goes for a spouse's military ID card; I recently had the widow of a serviceman present her military spouse ID as identification. First, her photo and ID card were from the early 1980's (40 years ago!) This was a young photo of herself. Second, she told me "military ID cards NEVER expire". I explained I would need a more recent form of ID and she was kind enough to give me her current DMV license.

Judy Dickson

20 May 2024

I would explain the situation and refuse the notary. I once had a boss show me a photocopy of a Drivers License he happened to have in the system, to use as ID in place of the client's actual ID that they did not bring with them. I refused the notary, which actually made him quite angry in the moment. He even tried to get my supervisor to force me to do the notary. My supervisor refused to get involved. Later, after he had time to calm down I explained that what he was asking me to do was illegal.

Christy Cordova

20 May 2024

Without an acceptable alternative form of identification or someone willing to vouch onsite, I would have to refuse this notarization.

Valencia Martin

20 May 2024

Before making the trip to the couple's home I would first ASK what the document is that needs to be notarized and what form of identification they have. Provided it is a document I COULD notarize (e.g. a birth certificate) I would then explain that I needed VALID identification for both parties, explain what VALID means (original, current, with photo) and then ask what forms of original, valid forms of identification they could produce. If they answer that they do not have any valid form of identification, then I would decline making the appointment.

Michael R. Wilder

20 May 2024

I would inform them that I could not accept that as valid ID, explain why, and then provide them with a list of the other forms of ID that are acceptable in my state. I would not accept a photocopy even if the date that it showed was valid because it is entirely too easy to doctor documents online. No, a signer should have the official piece of identification available for the Notary's examination. If they can not provide one, I would end the signing, inform the signer to contact their lender or whomever and that I would need to step out to make a phone call. I would then call whoever I had numbers for and go from there. That is pretty much the only way to handle this. This is our primary task as Notaries. To prevent fraud by ensuring that the people are who they say that they are, and the only way that we have of doing that, short of the good word of someone else, is to verify that the identification that is presented is legitimate, valid and actually of the person presenting it. If the signer fails to do that, we as the Notary, at least the one who doesn't want to lose their business, will have little recourse but to decline to conduct the signing.

Dominique M. Payton

20 May 2024

You’re buying a condo… You would be required to produce an up to date identification card. No, get me something up to date that looks like you. Or get someone else to do it.

Luella M Wilson

20 May 2024

I will only accept current ID from anyone I do not personally know.

Mary Kaye Bates

20 May 2024

No way. Cannot accept a copy of the ID - must be the original. Plus expired date.

Marion Evans-Prince

20 May 2024

I agree with all that.This will be a notification that I will not be able to complete.I will definitely inform them that the identification needs to be the original and reschedule.

Deborah Williams

20 May 2024

I agree with ALL previous comments. This is a non-negotiable flat out NO. No fees will be returned. Rebooking required with requisite charges. This case study reminds us to know the laws of our state! No $gain is worth participating in fraudulent activity.

D.A. Hernandez

20 May 2024

I would not do the notorization. You can not verify a photo copy of an id, regardless of the date.

marionp62662@gmail.com

20 May 2024

Most definitely.I will refuse this nreservation.There are so many things wrong. I agree with everyone and also learned a little bit more about notarizing copies of identifications.So I really appreciate. The feedback which will help me become a better notary.

Stephanie Commandest

20 May 2024

I would decline to notarize their documents. Identification has to be the actual state ID card, not a copy. Anything from 30 years ago is definately a red flag.

Clifton Palmer McLendon

20 May 2024

I would decline to notarize. Identification must be original and current.

Ellenor Altman

20 May 2024

No, I would ask for an original copy and not expire

MC

20 May 2024

Aside from all the red flags listed, I thought California could not accept an ID that has been expired more than 5 years from the Issue Date.

Lucy keller

20 May 2024

I would not take it.

Lucy keller

20 May 2024

Sorry, I would see if there was another option and if not then I would refuse the notarization.

Lanieda Briggs

20 May 2024

Our job is to positively identify the signers by satisfactory evidence as being who they say they are. Before my signings I always ask for two forms of unexpired IDs. But in this scenario if I did not ask over the phone, I would contact the authority that gave me the signing and alert them that their borrowers do not have appropriate ID. I am not comfortable with the method with which they have chosen, providing outdated, expired IDs. Perhaps they could reschedule and give them time to get updated IDs, which they will have to have anyway. While the state might be okay with expired IDs, in certain circumstances, I don't think lenders would be. I would be happy to assist at that time. Please advise. It is my reputation and certification in jeopardy and we need to protect ourselves from fraudulent acts. People who want to do right don't have a problem providing proper documents of identification.

Michelle J Clayton

20 May 2024

I would see if they had sone other type of Id that is current with picture on it either passport, military id, county or government issued work id. If they dont’ have any of those I would not be able to go through with signing unless she had 2 credible witnesses with valid id that would be there to vouch for her.

ochoa.rose1@yahoo.com

20 May 2024

I would have to refuse notarization. To many red flags. First outdated ID, photo show a totally different person and just dosen't make sense.

Betty Rodriguez

20 May 2024

The ID presented must be a valid ID.

Betty Rodriguez

20 May 2024

I would not notarize any document if the person doesn’t have an ID with her or the ID has expired..

Frank M.

20 May 2024

I think that the comments by: Kim M & colleenstringfellow@gmail.com as well as a few others, summarize it very well. There are too many red flags,

alishap@ppls2ppltaxservice.com

20 May 2024

I would not notarize this document for them. If you have a feeling of doubt, follow your feelings. Something is not adding up.

gerald

20 May 2024

in south dakota we can't accept photo copies, cell phone pictures or pictures of a DL or passport or any other form of ID, I would polightly advise her of this. I keep a copy of the notary book from the sec of state and have the 8 rules highlighted in case I need to show the person why certain things aren't allowed. been doing notarizations since 2004 and early on learned to be able be ready to explain and show why I can't notarize certain things.

Lana Carr

20 May 2024

I would stop the transaction and say I can't proceed without valid current government issued identification.

Elrico Hurley

20 May 2024

“I’m sorry however the U.S. Patriot Act requires me to verify your identity with an original state or federal photo ID. If you happen to have a state id card or a U.S. Passport, or other acceptable form of ID I would be happy to start our appointment today. If not, please let me know when you do have a current and valid ID and I would be happy to come back to finish this appointment.”

Sonia M.Medina

20 May 2024

I never do it .

Rachael Davis

20 May 2024

This is definitely a red flag. I would advise the couple that we will be unable to move forward with signing the documents,until they are to provide the verification required.

Penny

20 May 2024

I wouldn't accept it.

Delores Hackett

20 May 2024

I would refuse and explain that a current and valid ID is needed.

Connie

20 May 2024

Too many red flags. I would not notarize.

Miriam Adams

20 May 2024

Photocopy is unacceptable. Would contact title to see if the Lenders are okay with moving forward with 2 credible witnesses (who has proper identification for themselves) for the wife, and place the credible witnesses under Oath.

jyotsna.shukla1012@gmail.com

20 May 2024

I will refuse to notarize the document even if the copy of the ID has not expired because for notarization physical real ID is required as per SOS.

Tammy Wood

20 May 2024

I would tell them if she (the wife) doesn't have an original issued license, I would need 2 witnesses to confirm her identity. For me it is better to be safe than sorry.

Paula Rivera

20 May 2024

To me there's several red flags. Major red flag is a copy of identification!! A no! no! Then the signer picture way different and expired definitely. I would say I'm sorry, but this cannot be accepted, and the appointment would have to be rescheduled when appropriate identification is unexpired, and I would contact the lender office.

Mike R. Garcia

20 May 2024

Red flags for sure, first I wouldn't except copies second the date from thirty years ago and expired. If I were to notarized them I will probably not see them again and not being legitimate or if I say I won't because I refused to notarized the form won't see them. To me it's not worth loosing my certification.

Carmen Henry

20 May 2024

I would explain we can not move forward if the client cannot produce a current and live identification.

savonburgnotary@yahoo.com

20 May 2024

NO, NO, NO Sounds like fraud to me

Lashawn P

20 May 2024

I’m not going to notarize the contract. Even if I knew them I wouldn’t because the id is expired.

Aracelia Cook

20 May 2024

I would not notarize the paperwork because there are too many inconsistencies. If the signer does not have up-to-date identification, it may be a fraudulent situation.

M Brown

20 May 2024

I would not accept a photo copy. Especially if it is expired and look questionable. I would have to reschedule.

Latonya Hurtado

20 May 2024

I would not accept a photocopy of an ID at any point during a notary here in CA. I would ask the client, for another form of identification such as a passport. I would then explain that a photocopy of an ID is not acceptable by the state of CA and refuse the notary.

SEESAN ED

21 May 2024

A GOOD notary should have properly communicated to the client, before going to the appointment about your requirements for their ID for notarizations. Like , the original of State-issued driver's license State-issued identification card U.S. passport issued by the U.S. Department of State U.S. military ID State, county and local government IDs Permanent resident card, or "green card," issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Foreign passport, Driver's license officially issued in Mexico or Canada, driver's license, etc.

Tihesheia Monday

21 May 2024

I would be unable to render my service without an updated hard copy drivers license.

Davina Strickland

21 May 2024

Because there are so many red flags in association with the copied ID, I would definitely let them know that I cannot proceed with the copy of the wife's ID and ask them for an alternate form of identification such as a passport, or any other government issued ID. If that isn't an option I'd offer to proceed with the husband only. If they do not want to proceed without the wife then they can come back once they've secured a proper ID.

Jasmyne Johnson

21 May 2024

I would refuse to notarize any documentation, until adequate and proper identification is presented. To further cover myself, I would ask that the mother be present to sign; it is obvious that the woman before me, is not the same woman.

Anna Bell

21 May 2024

I would not complete the notary.

Shari R. Spaid

21 May 2024

I would ask for an original updated ID. I can't think of any reason why some one wouldn't have one on them especially if they know they are asking to have something notarized. It would raise red flags with me immediately

Shawn Mitchell

21 May 2024

The package sent to me for the service should have listed those individuals that were required to sign the documents. The husdand, if listed as required to sign, would also need to prove his identity. Once the "wife" showed me the copy of an out dated ID, that would be reason enough to end the service politely and then immediately call the service who sent me and notify them of the situation.

Andre Jackson

21 May 2024

I would decline the signing

kim@assetstracer.com

21 May 2024

With the increase of fraud across the board, I would respectfully suggest rescheduling the appointment to a time after the signer gets current ID. If they disagree with that, I would advise that they find another notary. Even with people I already know, I still request ID in case something happens in the future where I would need to show evidence that I performed my duties properly (aka covering my rear end).

Juan Pablo Figueroa Rentas

21 May 2024

I agree with everyone there are to many red flags here and it would not be wise to notarized the document unless another form of identification is provided or reschedule for them to return once she is able to provide a valid picture ID. Annette in response to your question "What if I knew them both personally?" That is always an option and you can do so as long as you do not have any interest in the matter, then you could do it base of the fact of you knowing the parties personally. But you do want to ensure that there is not personal interest for you in this transaction otherwise you shouldn't be notarized the document at all in the first place and should be referring them to someone else in that case.

Christy

21 May 2024

I would refuse notarizing the documents and explain the reason why. Then I would advise them that as soon as she obtains an updated ID to contact me and I would be more then happy to assist them. Unless she had another form of ID , for example a passport, then I would be able to assist her. We must protect ourselves and the integrity of the notary process.

Linda Mack

21 May 2024

I would refuse to do it at the time, until up to date information is provided.

PETER OLUROPO AYENI

21 May 2024

I will reject it and explain why.

JN

21 May 2024

I like the idea of a scenario but in this example there are way too many discrepancies to be plausible. Perhaps a future scenario could have subtleties not so obvious.

National Notary Association

21 May 2024

Hello. All our "What Would You Do?" articles are based on actual situations Notaries have experienced during notarizations, including this one.

Yvonne

21 May 2024

I would not refuse right away I would find out if they have any other identification that is current or a passport in my state I can take just under 3 yr expired if everything else is correct on the id but I would still request additional id and a credible witness. Otherwise I would have to refuse.

llewis@abigailsarms.org

21 May 2024

Red Flags due to expired ID and photocopy. I would kindly let the lady know the reason I can't notarize her document. I would let her know once she got a current valid ID I would consider notarizing if everything else look ok.

Arthur Candenquist

21 May 2024

I'd be very leery about using a form of govt. issued ID expired more than a quarter century ago, and photocopied. Rather than flat-out refusing to accept the outdated ID, I would put in a call to the Virginia Secretary of State in Richmond for clarification & decision. My action to notarise or not notarise would be based upon the opinion from Richmond. I understand that the purchase is important, but obtaining a current govt. issued ID is not a long, drawn-out convoluted process. I doubt waiting a day or so would create a hardship. ==AC

Gary E Estes

22 May 2024

I would refuse to do the notary since the id is a copy and is past 30 days of being expired.

PAM ALONSO

22 May 2024

I will only accept original and current photo IDs for identity verification, no explanations or excuses are acceptable.

Wendy Hunter

22 May 2024

I'm happy to see that everyone agreed that they would not be able to complete the notarization! One person did ask a good question - and that was what if they were both personally known to the notary? In that case, no identification would have been required - so, no red flags!

Roberta

22 May 2024

This screams RED FLAGS. I would respectfully decline and explain why. New home buying is both exciting and rewarding for the purchaser's; However it is not worth losing my commission.

Lanona jenn

22 May 2024

I wouldn't not do it

NAFTALI

22 May 2024

I WOULD REFUSE TO NOTORIZE

Elise Beraru

22 May 2024

In Virginia a person can vote with an expired ID as long as the expiration is less than a year. If the ID given to me met that criterion and was an original I would probably notarize, particularly if there was a temporary renewal certificate in hand. A photocopy? No way!

Barbara Citty

22 May 2024

Ask them to get the Original ID as a copy is unacceptable. If that is not possible to arrange for 2 credible witnesses with current identification who can identify you. No one that can benefit by or is named in the document.

Casaundra Robinson

23 May 2024

Absolutely not...

Alva

23 May 2024

I would not notarize the document.

angel21631@verizon.net

23 May 2024

Refuse and request up to date ID

David A. Lombardo

23 May 2024

You would think the couple would have their act together since it involves a big purchase such as a condo. Our notary laws in NC say "no go." I would inform them that unfortunately we would need an updated Government Photo ID with proper issue and exp. dates to proceed any further.

Molinda McDaniel

24 May 2024

Everyone has shared pretty much the same concerns in which I agree. I would refuse to notarize as well.

Sheryl D. Armstrong

24 May 2024

Determine if ID is Acceptable for Notarization and some states specify the types of ID a Notary may accept to identify a signer but many states leave the determination of an ID's suitability up to the Notary. Be aware as to what you should do. If your state does not specify what ID signers may use, the NNA recommends the Notary ask for identification documents issued by the state or federal government that contain a photograph, a physical description and the bearer's signature. These elements provide a basis for comparison with the actual physical appearance and signature of the person requesting the notarization. Other Acceptable Forms of Identification for Notary Services State-issued driver's license State-issued identification card U.S. passport issued by the U.S. Department of State U.S. military ID State, county and local government IDs Permanent resident card, or "green card," issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services* Foreign passport* Driver's license officially issued in Mexico or Canada* Digital driver's license* ID deemed acceptable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security* Inmate ID issued by the State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, if the inmate is in state or federal custody* Inmate ID issued by a county sheriff, if the inmate is in the custody of the county sheriff* *Only in some states. Although these are commonly accepted forms of ID, your state may have different requirements. Be sure to familiarize yourself with and follow your state's laws addressing acceptable signer identification. If the scenario does not line up with the particular state law in which you are in the notarization should not take place. Always beware of all red flags which have a reasonable doubt. Let us all be wise as we proceed in our journey of life skills.

Gladys R.

25 May 2024

The minute they hand over a photo copy of the ID I wouldn't have done the notarization. I wouldn't be able to see if the ID was altered in anyway.

Deborah

28 May 2024

Many things that alert you but only one is needed and that would be only copied of non compliance ID State that as an officer of the state of California and you are not allowed to notarize anything with a copied ID, that is not in compliance excuse yourself and leave

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