Was I that wrong

OK here I go. still new here. Had my second signing this morning from First American. Sounded easy enough just a Quitclaim deed. Printed it out and called the signer. She was not the nicest person I’ve talked to. anyway when I got to the signing first of all it was at a house that was under construction way under no inside walls. That’s fine she had a “table” we could stand around and sign. I pull everything out she gets the deed. I show here where to sign and she does. I get the stamp and Journal out. Stamp the paper and fill out the Journal. When I ask for her ID she give me a CDL that expired on 3-31-2020 over a year ago. Here’s my mistake I didn’t look to see if it had been issued in the last 5 years. I know that’s my fault. I told her I couldn’t use it. She then gave me her Costco card I said I can’t use that so she tried to give me a business card with her picture real estate license and I told her none would work. 'Then she showed me a picture of her “real ID” which I said I had to hold it and see it. so I didn’t complete the signing. Called the title company on my way out because I wasn’t going to stick around and talk to me like this. it was bad. The title company after talking and me doing my search realized I could sign if the ID was less than 5 years old. The title company said they would check and see because when they talked to her she gave a date of issued that was less than 5 years ago. Title then asked if she showed a picture to them with the issue date less than 5 years would I go back and finish which I said yes. the picture she sent was of her “real ID” When I told the lady in title that she didn’t have that ID with her she said “I know” I asked what do you want me to do they said. "its fine we’ll get another notary for her. Was I that far off? should I allow her to sign when she had a picture of her ID? This sounds crazy to me. sorry this was so long.

You check ID’s first before anything else.


No-you are not wrong. A photo of her real ID? Hello…easily photoshopped-anyone could do this, even from a phone! And on a grant deed/quitclaim? I wouldn’t.

Inkmeup is right-check ID first for any signing. I have had situations where upon discovering an expired ID I was able to use two credible witnesses but that’s also up to the lender-some won’t accept them.

1 Like

Yes still getting used to the process. Thanks for the input. I feel a lot better. From what I’ve read here the sometimes the escrow company or lender don’t really care they just want the packet back with the stamp and signature.

You were not wrong in any way. As far as I know all states require valid current government issued ID with photo, for any situation with notarizations, including any kind of loan signing or real estate transaction, to proceed. That’s almost always a driver’s license, but can also be a valid, current passport or military ID (though check the laws of your state to be sure).

The main deal breaker in your story is that the customer’s driver’s license was expired. That’s the end, unless she had another valid government issued ID with photo, such as a passport.

Your only mistake was not asking for ID as the very first thing, which I am sure many of us have done. I have, once or twice, but in my own case, the customer was able to produce a valid (current) driver’s license, and we were able to proceed.

1 Like

She sounds shady. You made the right call.

That was my thought. who carries an expired license for over a year?

Don’t beat yourself up over this. I’ve made my own fair share of mistakes over the 3 1/2 years I’ve been doing this. And I would have done exactly what you did until just a short time ago, when I read an article in NNA monthly magazine (I think but not sure that’s where I read it). Anyway, in Oregon we can accept a license that is expired for less than two years. But I didn’t know that for at least 3 years. What I thought was really interesting is that your client was a real estate agent driving around with an expired license. Not real smart, plus I would think she was increasing her own liability if she was driving clients around. Anyway, chalk it up as something you learned and don’t agonize over it. You sound like you are conscientious and have integrity, and that is the important thing.

1 Like

Title companies can guide you on what’s acceptable on a document or a signature, etc but they can’t suggest you do something against your state laws & that’s when it becomes your job to uphold the Notary Laws of your state. NNA can answer your questions and I recommend you become a member. This Forum is mainly to share stories but I don’t recommend using it to get training. You are going to get just as many opinions and bad info as good. I would never base any of my decisions off answers received here which is why I never ask here. Plus notaries are likely to only know the laws in their own state.


When I call and confirm I always ask the signer if they have a current photo ID. If they do not I have not wasted a trip or a print. At the signing first thing I always do is check photo ID, without that signing does not progress. You also need to know what your state allows for expired ID’s. Here in Texas there is no grace but I am aware that not all states are as stringent. Did you ask First American for a print and trip fee?

You weren’t wrong in the sense that you couldn’t take her ID but they may have been some steps to take to avoid this situation in the future. When you call to confirm the appt ask them if they have a current valid ID. When you go to the appt instead of signing the docs first do your journal first. Ask for their ID and at that time you will know if that ID is one that you can use. If it is then you have them sign the journal then the paperwork. It runs so much smoother that way. Hope this helps.