Whether you're a new or seasoned notary, at some point, you may be tasked to complete a notarization that involves a signer who can’t produce valid identification.

When this happens, the next course of action is to use a credible witness.

What is a credible witness?
It's someone who has agreed to legally vouch for the signer’s identity when they cannot produce valid identification themselves.

When do you need one?
They should only be used in situations where the execution of documents is urgent. The most common use of credible witnesses is for the elderly, hospital patients, or individuals confined to a home.

Steps to take when using a credible witness

  • Each credible witness will sign a written affidavit attesting to serve as the credible witness.

  • They will then swear under oath that the statements in the affidavit are true and correct.

  • The notary will need to apply their notary seal and follow all state requirements for the affidavit.

  • The notary should also indicate on the document being signed that the identification was made through the use of a credible witness and then record the event (with detail) in their notary journal.
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