I was at my last notary appointment for the day and was looking forward to the weekend. This would be a quick appointment - one form; one signor; a piece of cake. But when the customer presented me with his Driver's License I froze. The name on the License matched the name on the form that needed my notary stamp, but the photo did not look anything like the man seated in front of me. Was he an imposter? Was this my first case of I.D. theft?
I looked up at the man and then back down at the license in my hand, hoping to find some semblance of one in the other but I couldn't. The man seated across from me was thirty-something, tan, slim, and handsome. The photo on the Driver's License was of a man who appeared to be fifty-something, pale, and fifty pounds heavier. He could pass as someone's grandfather. Something was terribly wrong. If I could not properly identify the man I could not notarize his form. He was not going to be happy. I cleared my throat and then asked cautiously if I he had another form of picture I.D. Fortunately, for both of us, he did. This time it was a U.S. Government issued identification card and to my relief the photo on this card looked exactly like the man seated across from me at the table. Whew! That was close. I quickly placed him under oath and completed the notarization.
It was not the first time I questioned a customer's identity and it probably won't be the last time. We live during a time when surgeries lift, tuck, bypass, enlarge, reduce and color our appearance - sometimes overnight, many times permanently. We are good about updating our wardrobe and our attitude to go along with our new look, but forget to update the photograph on our identification cards. It usually doesn't present a problem until we least expect it to: standing before a Notary or going through security check at the airport.
Take a moment to look at the photograph on your Driver's License or Passport. I know you look younger and perhaps a few pounds lighter, right? But is it how you look today? Would it cause someone to question your true identity? If so, consider updating it now before it becomes an issue.
Michelle L. Riley d/b/a Huntsville Mobile Notary is a sole proprietorship. She provides mobile notary, loan signing agent, and field inspector services to the residents of Northern Alabama.