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  • Writer's pictureMitch Tandeske

Notarization without photo ID or with expired ID

One of the primary roles of a notary public is to verify the identity of the individuals involved in a transaction. Checking a government issued ID including a photo and signature helps ensure that the person signing the document is who they claim to be. Requiring identification helps prevent fraud and forgery. It adds an extra layer of security by making it more difficult for someone to impersonate another person and fraudulently sign a document. However, what if a person does not have a photo ID, or what if their photo ID is lost, stolen or expired? Is it still possible for documents to be notarized without ID or with expired ID? Yes!

In Oregon and Washington, if the signer has a government issued ID document containing the person's photograph and signature with an expiration date not more than three years before the performance of the notarial act it may be used by the notarial officer to verify identity. However, if the expiration date is more than three years or if the signer has no ID available there is another option.

ID documents for notarization

One of the possible ways for a notarial officer to identify a signer is reliance on a "Credible Witness". A credible witness, in the context of notarization, is a person who can vouch for the identity of an individual who is unable to provide sufficient identification on their own. In this case, the notarial officer relies on the testimony of someone who swears, under oath, that they personally know the signer.

For a credible witness to be used as identification of a signer they must meet the following requirements:

  • The notary must either personally know the witness or get satisfactory evidence of the witness’s identity through an approved identification document that has not been expired more than three years.

  • The witness must personally know the signer.

  • Both witness and signer must be present during notarization.

  • The witness must take an oath from the notary.

  • The witness must sign the notarial journal and provide his or her full name and contact address.

  • The witness should be honest, competent, and impartial. Therefore they may not be named in the document in any capacity in which they would financially benefit. As a best practice a witness attesting to identity should not be named in any capacity within the documents.

Notary of Portland offers a professional mobile notary service in the greater Portland metro area and Remote Online Notarization nationwide. Our traveling notaries are trained, experienced, licensed and insured. We travel to you at the time and to the place you choose. When you need a notary at home, work or any other location, choose Notary of Portland to schedule your appointment. We will arrive on time and complete your notarization professionally and promptly.


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