Hotline Tip: What If An Older Signer Lacks ID?

I was contacted by an 84-year-old signer who doesn't have a valid form of ID. She is signing a document giving her daughter authority to make decisions regarding the signer’s medical needs. Since the signer doesn’t have an identification document, I’m not sure if I can notarize this. What should I do?J.T., Inglewood, California

You can notarize the document for the signer provided she can provide satisfactory proof of her identity as defined in state law. In California, if the signer doesn’t have any acceptable form of identification documents (driver’s license, passport, etc.) then you would have to use one or two credible identifying witnesses to identify the woman. If she cannot provide credible identifying witnesses or another acceptable form of identification, then you cannot proceed with the notarization.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. — The Editors


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