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Notarizing When Names on Identification Card and Signature are Different

posted May 29, 2016, 2:34 PM by AG Pro Serve Intl.

What happens if a person need to get a signature notarized but signs with a different name from the one on the identification provided? 

This can happen in different circumstances; one might be when individuals neglect to update their identification cards after changing their names.

What should a notary do?

In FL, notaries should direct them to their local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to make the necessary changes before notarizing.

There are instances when some people may need to still sign with their former names even after updating their ID cards. Example: when a woman changes her name after marriage and has to sign a document, such as a warranty deed, in her former name.

Notaries may notarize her signature if she signs both names and they may also want to indicate that fact in their notarial certificate.

How to indicate that on the notarial certificate:

For an acknowledgment, you could state, “The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of ________, 20__, by Mary Smith, who represented to me that she was formerly known as Mary Jones, and who provided a Florida driver license, No. 123 45 678 890 in the name of Mary Smith as identification.”

You may also want to include information such as the date of birth, expiration date, or physical description. You may always provide additional information in your certificate, especially if it helps to clarify the circumstances. You may also want to include information about supporting documentation concerning the name change or additional identification cards, if available, in your journal.

FL Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries: What should I do if a person produces identification with a name different from the name being signed? p.61

If you encounter this situation, simply tell the person to update his or her identification card so that you can notarize. And remember that, if in doubt or you have other concerns, you may also refuse to notarize. It is better to err on the side of caution than to cause legal problems for others and oneself.

by Alessandra Jackson

AG Pro Serve Intl.