|blgnv - assuming you are in Nevada - here is what your rules say...
IDENTIFYING THE CLIENT
How many pieces of ID should I require?
As many as necessary to give you satisfactory evidence that the person whose signature is on the document is that person. One may be sufficient. If you rely on an identifying document, that document must contain a signature and a photograph or physical description.
Should I note which ID was used in my journal?
Yes. The law requires that the notary enter into the journal a description of the evidence used to verify the identification of the signer.
If a credible witness is used, that person must also sign your journal. If you personally know the document signer, write "personally known" in the proper column.
Does a credible witness need to be present or can he or she verify identity by phone or letter?
The credible witness needs to be present.
Is a photo ID required?
The law requires a photo or physical description.
Are there any exceptions?
In 1997 the law was changed regarding identification of a person who is 65 years of age or older. If such a person does not have a picture ID, the person can be identified with a card issued by a governmental agency or senior citizen center. Use this method of identification only if there is absolutely no other way to identify the document signer.
Can I use an expired photo ID if the signature and photo match the person before me?
The statute doesn't address expired IDs. You, the notary, have to make the determination of whether the ID presented is satisfactory or not. You must be satisfied that the person making the acknowledgment/verification is the person whose signature is on the document.
How do I notarize the signature of someone who is from another country if that person's ID has been stolen?
The standard for determining identity is the same. If no written ID is available, a credible witness can be used. Remember, the credible witness must be present and known to you.
If I'm asked to notarize a document that is already signed, can I have the signer sign another piece of paper so I can compare the signatures?
The best procedure is to have the signer sign the document again in your presence, either above or below the original signature. You need not cross out the original signature. You may also have the person sign another piece of paper so that you may compare signatures. (Remember, however, this is not necessary when taking an acknowledgment.)
Can a "mark" be accepted as the individual's signature?
Yes, Nevada law, NRS 52.305 (1991) states:
1. The signature of a party, when required to a written instrument, is equally valid if the party cannot write, if:
1. The person makes his mark;
2. The name of the person making the mark is written near it; and
3. The mark is witnessed by a person who writes his own name as a witness.
2. In order that a signature by mark may be acknowledged or may serve as the signature to any sworn statement, it must be witnessed by two persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses thereto.