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October 2, 2018

Facial recognition techniques can help you spot a fake ID

Filed under: Identification For Being Notarized — Tags: — admin @ 12:43 am

Newer identification cards have easily recognized security features such as raised lettering, microprinting, embedded images or holigraphic images.

However, you can feel the ID for raised lettering which is a sign of forgery. You can also feel the edges of the ID to see if layers have been added. If there is overlapping lettering, laser perforated images, or peeling lamination, you probably have a fake.

According to the blow linked NNA article, Notaries failed to spot a fake ID 28% of the time. According to me, this is why you take journal thumbprints as the thumbprint is definitive proof of identity.

You can analyze the signer’s facial features as hair styles and colors could have changed since the ID was created (or since yesterday.)
Look at the shape of the ears
Check for dimples
Verify the ridges of the eyebrows (and hope they don’t shave their eyebrows.)

In my experience, identifying women is a lot harder than men. I also feel that it would be better to have formal courses for Notaries to spot fake ID’s as the entire point of our career is to positively identify people correctly.

Please visit this NNA link as well.
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/08/using-facial-recognition-spot-impostors

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You might also like:

Scanning bar codes on an ID in Washington State?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19729

Notary Public 101 — Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Identification requirements for being Notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

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January 23, 2018

What’s your sign?

As a Notary, there are various aspects to our job. The most important according to Carmen is identifying people. But, most Notaries just look at the name, and photo, and if it is close enough, that is good enough. If the name is missing a middle initial on the ID that exists on the document that is bad news. But, most Notaries just say, “close enough.” If you say “close enough” too many times, you might end up in court on an identity fraud case which could end you up in court for weeks with no salary, and you might lose a lot of your regular customers as well.

So, how can Notaries make identifying people more reliable? Here are some quick points.

1. If the name don’t match, you must not attach.
Most Notaries say you can over sign but not undersign. This is a Lender preference not a law. If the ID says John Smith and the document says John W Smith you are taking your commission in your hands if you Notarize the signature.The Lender might not mind, but you might end up in court over this if fraud is involved and once in a blue moon it will be.

Most states make sure that middle initials are in ID’s, but not all people are from one of those states. There are out of state people, foreigners, and people who changed their names due to marriage or some other reason, not to mention people with name variations. People from Mexico culturally have two surnames on a regular basis.

So, you have to be prepared for this type of situation even though it only happens 1-6% of the time. If you are going to notarize anyway, what can you do?

(a) Ask the signer what sign he is while holding the ID. If the fake ID has a fake birthday the signer will not know his fake sign. He might be a Leo that is pretending to be an Aquarius. On the other hand, the fake ID might have a real birthday but a fake name.

(b) Get a thumbprint from the signer in your journal. That way the investigators can catch him after the fact if there is any funny business. Thumbprints also deter frauds as they often would prefer not to be notarized than risk being thumbprinted.

(c) Ask their height or birth date.

(d) Ask for a birth certificate if they have one. That doesn’t have a photo, but does have the DOB which is something you can use to cross-check information.

(e) If they have a Social Security card, that is not an acceptable ID, but the first three numbers are part of the zip code where they were born. You can cross check check the info by asking them where they were born.

(f) A gas bill is NOT generally an acceptable form of ID for notarization. However, if you want to verify a middle initial, it is better than nothing.

What you can’t do.
Do NOT accept a signature affidavit AKA statement as a form of identification. That is a document for the LENDER and the source of the information is unknown and not official. Sources for government ID’s are official which is why you can normally trust government issued photo ID’s.

Summary
You need to know your state laws on identifying signers. Many states do not require the name on the ID to exactly match the signature on the document or even for the complete name on the document to be provable based on the ID. Many states leave it up to your judgement. Just because you are following the law does not mean you won’t end up in court as a witness or conspirator to identity theft which is why you as a Notary must take as many precautions as possible.

If you are notarizing for a long term customer and want to take liberties to ensure that your business relationship does not end prematurely, then you might use the above techniques. If the customer means nothing to you, I would strongly consider JUST SAYING NO to any request that is at all questionable, especially those involving ID’s that have names shorter than that on the document.

But, the fastest way to verify if an ID is fake is simply to ask — what’s your sign?

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You might also like:

Credible Witnesses – the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

Notary Public 101 – Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

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January 16, 2018

Credible Witnesses, the ins and the outs.

Not all states allow credible witnesses, and some states like California have odd rules for credible witnesses. I also have opinions about credible witnesses as I used them frequently.

Some states that allow credible witnesses require only one witness. One that knows both the signer and the Notary.

Some states don’t allow credible witnesses at all.

While other states allow the use of two credible witnesses who both know the signer but do not know the Notary. Or one credible witness who knows both.

The problem is how credible witnesses are used. Credible witnesses are normally used when the Notary gets to a Notary appointment and the signer has no ID. Or sometimes the ID has the wrong name. Hurry, get a credible witness or the notarization is over! So, you grab a neighbor, or coworker who swears they know you well.

The problem is that knowing you as a neighbor is very different than knowing you well enough to have your middle name(s) memorized.

You could test a credible witness out and ask, “What is this man’s middle name?” If they don’t know it, I would not think of them as a credible or reliable source of information. The law might allow you to use them but does it really make sense. They are just going along with whatever middle name the signer claims to be.

Or, you could use your judgement while picking credible witnesses. Personally, I feel that a family member or spouse is a quality choice for a credible witness as family members will know the other family members middle names. But, my friends who I’ve known for 30 years I do not know their middle names — sorry to say.

Additionally, in California, the credible witness has to swear that the signer cannot easily obtain an identification acceptable to the state of California such as a driver license, passport, etc. So, if the signer has an ID, but the names do not match, it would be bending the law to use a credible witness in that situation. If you don’t believe me, read page 12 of the 2017 California Notary Handbook.

All in all, I would say that using credible witnesses as a way to get out of a bind is something that should only be done if the credible witness really knows the person intimately and knows their middle names intimately off the top of their head. Otherwise you are just finding loopholes. And God forbid if you don’t take journal thumbprints you are asking for a court case and an FBI investigation! Be cautious as a Notary. It is easy to get in trouble and big trouble!

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You might also like:

Credible witnesses – the process explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16695

Where do credible witnesses sign the notary journal book?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2508

Credible Witnesses from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=452

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October 17, 2017

Notary Public 101 — Identification

Return to table of contents for Notary Public 101.

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IDENTIFICATION

As a Notary Public, the most important thing you do is to identify a signer. Different states have different rules for what identification document you can use and how someone is to be identified. If a Notary fails to do a good job identifying a signer, that Notary can quickly end up in court as a witness or defendant. In my opinion if you don’t do a good job identifying signers, you might as well not be a Notary Public.

Identification Documents & Characteristics
Commonly accepted ID’s include passports, driver’s licenses, state issued ID cards, military ID’s. Green cards (permanent resident cards) are not necessarily allowed, so look that one up in your handbook. As a rule, an acceptable ID must be:

Current — (there are exceptions in California, Tennessee and perhaps other states that allow the ID to be issued within five years even if it is expired.)

Government Issued — Some Notaries think that a signature affidavit or gas bill is a good secondary form of ID, but those are not government issued and you don’t know what the source of the information for the names on them are.

Photo ID — An acceptable ID should have a photo. I do not think that many states allow social security cards as secondary identifications. However, you can look that up in your handbook.

Physical Description — the ID would say your height, eye color, etc.

Serial Number — the ID should have a number such as A58362D.

Expiration Date — the ID should have an expiration date somewhere. Normally there is an issue date as well somewhere.

Signature — the signature on the ID is important because you will need to compare that to the one in your journal and on the document made by the same person.

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THE NAME ON THE ID

Different states have different rules for what the name on the ID should say relative to the name on the document. Some states do not require the names to match. Others require that the Notary be reasonably sure that the person in the ID and the person on the document are the same person. Reasonably sure is a wishy-washy term. You can never be 100% sure it is the same person because ID’s can be falsified and there could be multiple people with the same name as well as multiple people who look similar to each other. Identifying humans is easier than identifying squirrels, but there can still be confusion. The name on the document’s signature must be provable to the name on the ID, otherwise it would be questionable and risky to notarize that signature.

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PROCEDURE

When you do a Notary act, you ask for the signer’s identification. You record that information in your journal and you keep a journal whether your state requires it or not as that is your only evidence in court. You compare the name on the ID to the name on the document. If the name on the document is not provable based on the ID then you are advised to decline the notarization, especially if it is for a Deed. Here is a summary of the ID and acknowledgment notarization process.

(1) Ask for ID.
(2) Record ID information in journal
(3) Have signer(s) sign your journal and the document(s)
(4) Compare the name in the document to the name on the ID. Make sure the name on the document is provable based on the ID.
(5) Make sure the signature in the journal, document and ID all match.
(6) Fill out the certificate, sign and seal.

Examples of provability in ID
ID says John Smith — document says John W Smith…. name is NOT provable.
ID says John W Smith — document says John W Smith… name is provable
ID says John William Smith — document says John W Smith… name is provable based on the ID.

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FAKE ID

Keep an eye out for fake ID’s. There are guide books that can yelp you identify a false identification. If there is peeling lamination or the signature is above the lamination then it is fake. You can ask the signer what his sign is or what his birthday or height is. If he does not know his sign or birthday based on the ID, then his ID is fake. If he does know his sign that is great, but does not prove the ID is real.

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THUMBPRINTS

If you value your life, ask for journal thumbprints. They can keep you out of court. People might complain about being asked to be thumbprinted as it can seem like an invasion of privacy and a hassle — but a thumbprint is the only way an investigative agency can have a paper trail leading to an arrest of an identity thief. Thumbprints are the only unique form of identification a Notary can use at this point in time. No two thumbprints are alike, and they cannot be forged at a Notary appointment unless they wear a latex thumbprint on their thumb which would be easily detectable.

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You might also like:
Is it legal to photo copy a military ID?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22120

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May 11, 2017

Notarize App turns your iPhone into a medium to get notarized!

On the road? Need to get notarized in a hurry? Well now you can! If you have an iPhone and the notarize app, you can just get notarized over the phone. Eliminate the hassle of trying to find a Notary at the last minute. This procedure has been legal in Virginia since 2011. Just go to your App store and get the notarize app today! You can be notarized using your phone in any of the 50 states plus Washington DC.

Virginia is trying to be modern which is probably why they allow this. However, the lack of personal appearance ruins the whole point of requiring a notary!

Just upload your document using email, cloud or dropbox, or other app with similar capabilities and then prove your identity by taking a photo of your ID. Never mind that 100 signing companies also have a photo of your ID and can claim to be you! Then, you can be connected on video “face to face” (or non-face to non-face) and then the notarization will take place. There is a $25 fee per notarization and the app is FREE.

Next year they will probably come out with the Marriage App, where you can marry a nice Russian girl (no questions asked). The app will process immigration paperwork and even find a flight for your new honey to board to come to the United States. If you don’t like her, just use the new app called SwapWyfe and get a new Russian beauty (who looks good without make up).

You might also like:

See the original Notarize App article
https://9to5mac.com/2016/02/04/notarize-licensed-notary-iphone/

New Notary Apps that you really need!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9797

FASS has a brand new app
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17477

See our string on apps
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=apps

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November 15, 2016

How to spot fake ID at a notarization

Most Notaries study Notary law. But, do we keep handbooks that are up to date about spotting fake ID’s? Perhaps we should . Our primary task as a Notary is not to make people feel good, and is not to get the job done either. It is to identify signers and make sure that fraud doesn’t take place. It is better to say “no” rather than to get a Notary job done wrong — hence the name “no”–tary. Otherwise we would be yestaries and the world would go down the tubes.

ID Handbooks
The NNA and other vendors have books going over every state’s identification documents. They can tell you about distinguishing features, new watermarks, and other telltale signs that the ID is genuine.

Jeremy’s Solution — an online ID database
Personally, I think there should be a computer system to let the Notary look you up on a Federal or state database — but, that’s just me.

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Things to look for one the ID

(1) Physical Description
Sometimes the physical description doesn’t match the signer. With ladies changing their hairstyle frequently, it is hard to tell their identity.

(2) Mispellings
Then, there could be misspellings in the name or a wrong name variation.

(3) Tampering
Obvious signs of tampering are almost a guarantee of a fake ID. I saw one of those once and only once.

(4) Watermarks
Finally watermarks are used in identification documents and currency to prove authenticity. It is possible, but hard for a fraud to replicate an authentic watermark. In China I’m sure they’ll figure it out as faking things is their specialty. But, for the rest of us it would not be so easy.

(5) Lack of raised lettering
Many of the newer ID’s have raised lettering. However, without a guidebook, you won’t know which states and which identification years of issue have raised letters.

(6) What’s your sign?
Ask the signer their sign. If they are using a fake ID with wrong DOB it will be very difficult for them to immediately recite their sign. You can also ask for their zip code to spot a fraud.

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Most Notaries do not inspect ID’s carefully. They just record the information in their journal. Unless something fake is jumping out at them, they will not notice that something is wrong. It pays to get a handbook and become and expert. After all, the whole point of being a Notary is to deter fraud. In my opinion, each state’s Notary division should require all Notaries to be experts at spotting fake ID’s in addition to other critical related skills. Maybe one day technology and training will improve.

Smokey bear says — say no to forest fires. Notary Jer says — say no to fake notary identifications — if you can spot them.

You might also like:

Seven error free ways to identify a signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15288

Notarized document expired identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8294

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October 19, 2013

Notarized Document Expired Identification

Filed under: Identification For Being Notarized — admin @ 8:18 am

Using expired identification cards

As a notary public, you will be bombarded with various types of identification — some will be current, some expired, some foreign, and some forged.

Expired ID? Check the issue date!
Some states allow an ID to be used for a particular number of years after the issue date. Many identification cards will document the issue date somewhere on the ID even if they don’t say what that date is. You can kind of guess what that date represents because it is not their birth date or expiration date. Using expired identification cards might be legal in particular states. California and Tennessee allow a notary to use an ID within five years of its origination date / date of issue.

Check your state’s notary handbook to find out the current laws in your state regarding what types of identification are legitimate in your state! Using expired ID cards just might be okay just as long as they are not “too old”.

If you cannot get identification that is acceptable in your state, many states allow the use of credible witnesses that can swear to the identity of the signer. Those witnesses are normally friends, relatives, hall mates, or neighbors of the signer.

You might also like:

What’s your sign? A technique for spotting false ID.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19638

Credible Witnesses – the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

Notary Public 101 – Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

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July 3, 2013

How to get something notarized if you don’t have ID

If you don’t have ID, many states allow the use of credible witnesses. Two people could identify you before a notary public, sign the notary’s journal, and produce identification themselves.

But, honestly, if you need to get notarized, go down to your DMV and get a state issued identification card. You need it to go to a hotel, rent a car, get notarized, and more. You might need a copy of your birth certificate to get your ID. So, be prepared to figure out how to get your birth certificate. Don’t waste time. It is a hassle when notaries have to deal with clients who don’t have proper identification.

Personally, I have notarized many people. Some lived in bad areas where they got mugged, and the mugger took their identification. Others were old and had expired identification. Get with the program and get your identification ready.

It is sometimes hard or impossible to get something notarized if you don’t have current government issued identification.

Some states will allow the notary to notarize you if they know you well as being “personally known” to the Notary could constitute identification. Most states used to have that law because in the old days people tended to know people in their area quite well. But, most states have changed their laws, and no longer allow the notary to claim to know you as a form of identification.

Now you know how to get something notarized if you don’t have ID.

You might also like:

Show me your identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6353

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Signature Name Affidavit: Not a substitute for an ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3823

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May 9, 2013

Show me your ID

Show me your ID & you need to reimburse me for my lost time!

This is something a Notary typically asks a signer of documents. This time, the signer asked me, the Notary to show him my ID. Puzzled, I asked why. “These days, you never know who you are dealing with”, he said. I reminded him that the Title Company with whom he was working already informed him that I would be coming to notarize the loan documents. Because he seemed persistent and my goal was to complete the notarization & get paid (after spending the better part of an hour the night before printing everything in duplicate – 302 pages — and marking which docs needed to be faxed back), I showed him my Driver License and my business card which had the words, Notary Public next to my name.

The signer then had the temerity to tell me that someone form the Title Company had to reimburse him for the time that he lost waiting to sign the docs. To add insult to injury, he then nonchalantly tells me that because I was the Notary, the reimbursement should come out of my fees. Engaging the signer in this irrational argument with distorted logic would have been tantamount to banging my head against the wall. So, I listened attentively and ignored everything he said about reimbursement. I completed all of the notarizations and signings in 45 minutes and told him to contact the Title Company directly if he had any concerns. On the way out, he playfully asked to see my ID again. I politely said NO but gave him a couple of my business cards to give it to any of his friends who needed Notary services.

Lesson Learned: Don’t argue or engage in heated conversations with the signer who is angry over something you did not cause, contribute to or have any control over. Do your work correctly (you don’t want to go back a second time to correct your mistakes and this time the signer is even angrier because you made the error and what is worse you will not get paid the second time), get out, get paid and move on…

You might also like:

Identification for prison notarizations
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Notary Public 101 identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Expired identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8294

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April 4, 2013

How to get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature

Many people want copies of school transcripts notarized. Especially students from overseas. The notary can not notarize a document that is not signed by the signer. Additionally, the signer must be named in the body of the document to get an Acknowledged signature.

So, how do you get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature?

Simple… The notary can draft up a statement stating that you swear that the contents of the copy of the document are a complete, true, and correct copy of the original. It is even better if the notary can inspect the original and testify in writing to the fact that he/she has verified that it is a true copy.

What about notarizing a copy of a birth certificate or vital record?

Talk to your local county clerk and ask them how to get a copy of your birth certificate. Notaries are NOT allowed to notarize copies of vital records.

How do you get a photograph notarized?
You can’t.

Some agencies are happy if the notary affixed the corner of their seal to the back of the photo, or embossed the photograph. But, you can get a signed statement about the photo notarized, and then staple the corresponding photo to the Jurat certificate — be prepared to swear under oath that that is a true photo of you.

So, now you know how to get something notarized that doesn’t have a signature. You don’t. You simply get a sworn statement and a Jurat that DOES have a statement that you can swear to and sign. Easy! But, if you get an inexperienced notary who doesn’t know what they are doing, then the procedure might not be so easy. Shop around and get a notary who knows what they are doing.

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What if the signature is in the middle of the document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20525

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Can you send a loose acknowledgment?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16168

Notarizing John W. Smith
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16048

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