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Handling Name Discrepancies During Notary Signings

A Comprehensive Guide to Handle Name Discrepancies

Notary signings play a crucial role in legal transactions, ensuring the authenticity and validity of important documents. However, encountering name discrepancies during the signing process can present challenges and potential roadblocks. In this blog post, we'll explore what to do when faced with a name discrepancy during a notary signing, offering practical tips and guidance to navigate the situation effectively.

What is a Name Discrepancy? A name discrepancy occurs when the name on a document does not exactly match the name on the signer's identification or other legal documents. This discrepancy can arise due to various reasons, such as misspellings, variations in name format, or changes in marital status.

A Comprehensive Guide
Handling Name Discrepancies During Notary Signings

Steps to Take When There is a Name Discrepancy:

  1. Verify Identification: The first step in addressing a name discrepancy is to verify the signer's identification thoroughly. Request valid, government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or passport, and compare the name on the identification with the name on the document. Ensure that the identification provided matches the signer's legal name as closely as possible.

  2. Clarify the Discrepancy: If a name discrepancy is identified, clarify the situation with the signer to understand the reason behind the difference in names. Ask the signer if they have used any variations of their name or if there have been any legal name changes, such as through marriage or divorce. Document any relevant information provided by the signer for your records.

  3. Confirm Legal Authority: In cases where the signer's name has changed legally, such as through marriage or divorce, confirm their legal authority to sign the document under their current name. Request additional documentation, such as a marriage certificate or court order, to verify the name change and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

  4. Use Discretion: Exercise discretion and judgment when addressing name discrepancies, taking into account the circumstances and validity of the signer's identification. If the discrepancy is minor and does not raise any red flags regarding the signer's identity, you may proceed with the signing after obtaining clarification from the signer.

  5. Make a Notation: If necessary, make a notation on the document or in your notarial journal to acknowledge the name discrepancy and document the steps taken to address it. Include any relevant details, such as the reason for the discrepancy and any additional documentation provided by the signer.

  6. Seek Legal Advice if Needed: In complex cases or situations where legal implications are involved, consider seeking legal advice from a qualified attorney to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. An attorney can provide guidance on how to proceed and mitigate any potential risks or liabilities associated with the name discrepancy.


Encountering a name discrepancy during a notary signing can be a challenging situation to navigate. However, by following these steps and exercising diligence and discretion, notaries can address name discrepancies effectively and ensure the integrity and validity of the signing process. Remember, when in doubt, it's always best to err on the side of caution and seek guidance from legal professionals.

For more information and resources on notary signings and handling name discrepancies, visit [Website Name]. Their comprehensive guides and expert advice can provide valuable insights and support for notaries facing complex situations during the signing process.

By staying informed and prepared, notaries can uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in their practice, even in the face of challenging circumstances like name discrepancies.


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