ID Card Not Matching Loan Documents

I had a refinance signing this afternoon with a married couple and received the documents yesterday. After going through the documents yesterday I contacted the husband and asked him to verify that both their first, middle, and last names were listed on their driver’s license or passports which matched the loan documents. He texted me back and said they did. I show up this afternoon and find out his wife’s Ohio driver’s license was missing her full middle name. Only the middle initial was listed so I asked for a passport which she did not have. She did have a military ID (CAC card), but I could not use it because it is missing the 5 identifiers. The military stripped their IDs completely over 15 years ago. In addition, the title company’s instructions were that no credible witnesses could be used for this transaction.

I contacted the signing company which I have used for over 2 years and highly respected to let them know. They called me back and said to use a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or the husband’s word and proceed. I was very upset that they told me to do that, and I told them that I cannot piece meal an ID per California state law. The signing company said they would send in another notary. After the call ended, I explained to the couple why I cannot proceed and the husband began arguing with me about why I was applying the California law standard to an Ohio ID. I explained that it is California state law, not my own standard. But he did not want to hear it. So I just packed up and walked out of the house quickly and swallowed my pride.

Once I got home, the lady from the signing company called me and asked why I did not use the military ID because the couple told the lender that I refused to use it. She stated that it is an acceptable ID. I explained to her that the military ID is missing some of the 5 identifiers and that I have high moral standards as a notary. She then said that I was applying my own standard, but I told her that I was not. I am very upset that the signing company and the title company which does not allow credible witnesses are asking me to bend the rules as a notary to close this loan. When the title company obviously has some standards for not allowing credible witnesses. I flat out refuse to break the law for any transaction because if you do it once, you will probably keep doing it and eventually wind up in court.

The couple also argued that the last notary accepted their IDs which is totally unacceptable. I hear that over and over again and it’s illegal in California. This was the first time in over 2 years that I had to walk out of signing for that reason. I am tired of being in this ID scenario because the previous notary did not do their job by upholding the law. I am also very upset that this particular signing company kept pressing me to proceed as if I was a gullible notary, but I did not budge. This company also wants copies of the IDs to keep with the file so that is something that can be used in a potential legal action. But what really bothers me is that they are going to hire another notary today to do this refinance signing in Winchester, CA. without using credible witnesses. If you are the notary that did this signing today with the ID not matching the loan documents, shame on you. Your thoughts?

You’re doing too much imo! I have had signings where the name on the docs are not on the ID because the name on the docs are of an alias of the borrower for example on the docs the name is bill and on the ID his real name is listed. all i did was make sure the alias was listed on the sig name id and kept it moving. i use militARY id all the time and only fill in what i can on the patriot act and don’t even take a pic.

I’m just meeting the minimum requirements of the law. I just called the NNA to see if the military ID can be used as a primary ID. Per the NNA, the military ID cannot be used as a primary ID because it does not have all 5 identifiers. Specifically, the military CAC card only has a photograph, expiration date, name, and DoD# on the back. It does not have the issue date, physical description, or signature. Per state law, whatever primary ID you are using to ID the signer must have all 5 identifiers. I know this is a sore subject for notaries to discuss, but this is something that was taught to me on day one of my notary class by a 20+ year signing agent. Military IDs used to have all that criteria, but the military stripped their IDs to comply with a SSN reduction program about two decades ago.

Always follow your State’s laws. Remember if you follow bad advice from a SS, TC, or fellow Notaries it’s your commission at risk, including the legal ramifications. I’ve had signers get belligerent about ID’s. I recently had a difficult discussion with a SS about notary self-notarizations that I refused to carryout. Sometimes it’s no worth the hassle.

You should expect to see more of this as the Refi business slows down.

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the military id can be used as a second form for patriot act form