HELP Quick Question

If the singers name is Jack Smith, III but the docs have his name as Jack Smith can I still notarize it?

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My apologies…I don’t recall what state you’re in…what do your laws say about ID…check your handbook

Last Name Suffix Discrepancy

One of the more common issues arises when Notaries are presented with documents in which the signer’s name appears with the last name suffix “Jr.” or “Sr.”, but the suffix is missing on the signer’s ID. It’s important to be careful in these situations, as there have been cases where dishonest sons with the same name as their father have tried to fool Notaries by signing using their father’s name instead of their own.

If you encounter this situation, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Check to confirm that the physical description and photo on the ID matches the signer appearing before you. If you spot an inconsistency or error (such as a driver’s license presented by an obviously elderly signer that lists his age as 22), stop the notarization.

  2. While you are not expected to examine a signer’s document except to provide information for your journal entry, be careful if you notice an obvious discrepancy. For example, if the document lists a “John Doe, Sr.,” applying for retirement benefits, but the signer appears to be in their early 20s, that’s a warning sign something may be amiss. If you have reasonable concerns the signer isn’t who they claim to be, don’t proceed.

  3. If a signer asks you to proceed with a notarization despite a discrepancy with the name as it appears on the document (“Oh, they put my father’s name on the document by mistake. Can you just notarize it anyway?”), don’t do it. Tell the signer you can’t complete the notarization until the error is corrected.

  4. Ask if signer has an alternate, acceptable form of ID with the correct name and suffix.

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