How important is my name on my photo ID? It is very important. If the document that needs to be notarized has “John L. Smith” and your photo identification has “John Smith”, the document can only be notarized using the name “John Smith”. As California notary publics we are only allowed to notarize the name that is shown on the signer’s photo identification. We can use less of a name but never more of a name. For example, if the photo identification states “John Lyndon Smith”, the document can be notarized with the name “John Smith”, “John L. Smith” or “John Lyndon Smith”. If his photo identification stated “John Smith”, the document cannot be notarized “John L. Smith”.
When a notary signing for today was scheduled, I mention the ID name requirement. The current driver’s license included “John L. Smith”. The deeds to be notarized had the name “John Lyndon Smith”. I asked the signer if he happened to have other government issued photo ID with “John Lyndon Smith”? He did not. Fortunately, the document was drafted in office, so they changed his name to “John L. Smith”. I notarized both deeds with “John L. Smith”.
In summary, your documents can be notarized with the same name or less of your name stated on your current government issued photo identification.
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