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Notarization in Absence of Valid Photo ID or with Expired ID


Ensuring the identity of individuals involved in transactions is a primary duty of a notary public. Typically, this involves verifying a government-issued ID with a photo and signature to confirm the signer's authenticity. Such checks serve as a crucial deterrent against fraud and forgery, bolstering the security of the process. But what if someone lacks a valid photo ID, or their ID has expired, been lost, or stolen? Can documents still be notarized under such circumstances? Absolutely!

In both Oregon and Washington, a government-issued ID with a photograph and signature, not expired more than three years before the notarial act, suffices for verifying the signer's identity. Yet, if the ID's expiration date surpasses three years or if the signer lacks available ID, there's another viable avenue.


ID Alternatives for Notarization

An alternative method for a notarial officer to ascertain a signer's identity is by relying on a "Credible Witness." In this context, a credible witness is an individual who can vouch for the identity of a person unable to provide sufficient identification themselves. Here, the notarial officer hinges on the testimony of someone who solemnly swears to personally knowing the signer.

For a credible witness to serve as identification for a signer, they must meet specific criteria:

  • The notary must either personally know the witness or obtain satisfactory evidence of their identity through an approved ID document not expired more than three years.

  • The witness must have personal knowledge of the signer.

  • Both witness and signer must be present during notarization.

  • The witness must take an oath administered by the notary.

  • The witness must sign the notarial journal and provide their full name and contact address.

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



Notary on the Fly NW of Washington & Oregon offers professional mobile notary services in the greater Portland metro area and Remote Online Notarization nationwide. Our traveling notaries are trained, experienced, licensed, and insured. We come to you at your chosen time and place. Whether you require notarization at home, work, or any other location, trust Notary on the Fly NW of Washington & Oregon to schedule your appointment. We ensure punctual and professional completion of your notarization needs.

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