When it comes to checking signers’ IDs, Notaries have to make two, key judgment calls: whether the ID is real and whether the signer is an impostor.
Experts in each of these areas offered their tips and guidance to attendees at NNA 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
Telling Real From Fake IDs
Glenn Garrity, a 21-year law enforcement professional and founder of G2 Identity Management, said that spotting fake IDs can be particularly challenging because high-quality fakes are easy to obtain on the internet. However, newer IDs contain easily detected security features, such as raised lettering, embedded or holographic images, micro printing and more, Garrity said.
He teaches a technique used in many states known as FLAG: Feel, Look, Ask, Give:
• Feel the ID for raised lettering, such as the signature or date of birth. Feel the edges of the ID and the photo. If the raised lettering isn’t there, or the photo feels raised or the edges can separate, the ID is probably fake.
• Look for the visual security features, such as overlapping lettering, laser perforated images and ultraviolet features, which can be seen using an inexpensive UV light. If you can see the perforated image without holding the ID up to the light, then it’s probably fake. You also should look at information on the ID, such as height, weight and age. If the description does not match the person, that’s a red flag.
• Ask questions, such as what’s their zodiac sign or zip code.
• Give the ID back. This is when you make your best judgment about the ID. If you suspect it is fake, Garrity recommended that you get out of the situation and report your suspicions to your local authorities or the issuing agency.
Garrity also urged everyone to keep a copy of the I.D. Checking Guide handy. The Guide, which is updated annually, has examples of IDs and many of their security features for each state and U.S. territory.