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Notary Public: Spotting a Fake ID

Notary PUblic Spot Fake ID

A guy and a girl walk into your office to use your notary public services. No big deal, and quite typical. There are no red flags raised, as the couple seems charming, attractive, and very friendly. The paperwork that they need to have signed concerns the transfer of some property. Again, very common. As you get ready to notarize the documents, you ask them for their identification cards. That is when things take a turn for the worse.

The couple hands over their driver’s licenses and you do a double take. The man standing before you has brown hair, glasses, and a goatee. The woman is tall, blond, and very tan. The images on their identification cards resemble Father Time and Lucille Ball. Something just ain’t right here, Son.

Unfortunately, spotting fake ids isn’t always so clear. You might be handed a driver’s license that looks just like the person handing it to you. However, there are slight differences only the trained eyes of a professional notary public can see. Dr. John Patrick Keefe II has a pair of these eyes and can spot a fake id from a mile away.

Here are some ways that a notary public in OKC can tell if an id is bogus or not:

  • The signer’s appearance does not match the description of the ID: It’s imperative to compare the signer to the description listed on the ID. If the ID says the signer is 6’2 with blue eyes, but the person standing before you is 5’4 with hazel peepers, you should be leery.
  • Misspellings on the ID: If you notice misspellings on the ID card, this should raise some red flags. Legitimate agencies do not make spelling mistakes, and the ID is most likely a counterfeit.
  • Check to see if the ID has been tampered with: Does the photo on the ID appear as unusually thick or bubbled? Is the laminate on the card peeling, cracked, or damaged? These are all signs of foul play.
  • Look for state-specific watermarks and security features: When a state issues a driver’s license or ID, there are going to be watermarks, logos, and icons apparent. A true blue notary public in Oklahoma City will be familiar with their state’s identifying markings and can spot ones that just don’t quite match up.

The Three Ways Notaries Public Can Identify Signers

  • Looking over the identification card is the most accurate way to determine whether a signer is who he or she claims to be. The notary public, as discussed above, can use some methods of determining whether the ID being presented to him or her is authentic or fake.
  • Personally knowing the signer is another way to determine whether he or she is who he or she says he or she is. However, not all notaries public have this luxury, so they must revert to #1.
  • Having credible identifying witnesses present during the signing helps. That means that a third party must know the signer personally and can attest to the validity of the person’s identity. This method is sometimes referred to as the “human ID card.”

In any case, as a notary public, it’s your job to make sure your signer is who he or she claims and to ensure that their IDs are not fake. Dr. John Patrick Keefe II is a perfect example of how the notary public process should be handled.
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