Does the name on your customer’s ID have to match exactly the name on the document you are notarizing?
For example, your customer’s current driver’s license says Mary Smith, but the name on the document she wants you to notarize says Mary Katherine Smith.
Would you notarize the document?
The Pennsylvania Notary Public Law does not address this specific question. However, you could notarize the document, especially if other documentation or identification, such as a company-issued identification card with the name Mary Smith that satisfactorily proves to you that Mary Katherine Smith and Mary Smith is the same person.
According to the Pennsylvania Notary Public Law, Section 12.1 Determining Identity of Person Appearing – (a) The officer notarizing the instrument shall know through personal knowledge or have satisfactory evidence that the person appearing before the notary is the person described in and who is executing the instrument. For the purposes of this act and section 5 of the act of July 23, 1941 (P.I. 490, No. 188) known as the “Uniform Acknowledgment Act,” ‘personal knowledge’ means having an acquaintance derived from association with the individual in relation to other people and based upon a chain of circumstances surrounding the individual, which establishes the individual’s identity, and “satisfactory evidence” means the reliance on the presentation of a current, government-issued identification card bearing a photograph, signature or physical description and serial or identification number, or the oath or affirmation of a credible witness who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual.
Many notaries rely on best practices and will notarize documents in these situations as long as the customer has other identifying documentation. It is also important to note that the customer must sign the documents with the same name that is on the documents.
If your customer does not have any documentation to prove to your satisfaction that he or she is one and the same person as on the document, then you must refuse service.