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Identification requirements at Closing

To help defend against forgery and fraud, state notary laws include requirements that parties signing documents in a real estate transaction to provide acceptable forms of identification.

Although specific requirements may vary from state to state, here is a general overview of the type(s) of identification that are typically used to substantiate and affirm identity.

Acceptable Identification Documents

The document must be current and contain the document signer’s photograph, physical description, signature, and bear a serial or other identifying number.

  • Valid Driver’s License or non-driver I.D. issued by any state
  • United States Passport
  • Valid United States Military I.D.
  • Valid Canadian or Mexican Driver’s License issued by the official agency
  • Foreign Passport stamped by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Unacceptable Identification Documents

  • Temporary Driver’s License
  • Driver’s License without a photograph
  • Social Security card
  • Employee I.D. badge
  • Permanent Resident I.D. card
Closing document signatures must match the name that appears on the identification presented. An abbreviated form (John D. Smith instead of John David Smith, for example) may be acceptable. However, deviation is only allowed if the individual is signing with less than and not more than what is on the identification document. If your name has changed, or will change, prior to the closing, documentation must be provided to support the change.