The Model Notary Act, which most states have adopted in part or in whole, requires a notary be presented with at least two acceptable forms of identity before notarizing a document. At least one form of identification should contain a recent photo.
Acceptable identification can consist of a government-issued or tribal driver's license or identification card, valid passport, or official military identification card. In states where notaries are required to maintain a notary journal, the notary records the identification numbers of the evidence provided in the notary journal.
State notary laws and regulations usually do not require that evidence of identity of the party signing a document be presented if the notary already personally knows the identity of that party. The safer method, however, is for a notary to request appropriate evidence of identity every time a document is notarized.
The Model Notary Act allows verification of a person's identity through the administration of an oath or affirmation by at least one credible witness who is personally known by the notary and the individual signing the document. The act also allows for witness verification by at least two credible and disinterested witnesses who personally know the individual and who present satisfactory identification to the notary.
Roger Jewell has been a professional writer for over 20 years. He is a published author for both the Graduate Group and PublishAmerica, and is also a freelance writer. Jewell is a former attorney and private investigator. He earned his law degree from the University of La Verne School of Law.