Tuesday, August 20, 2002

carding friends and customers

In the course of my work-day, I notarize many signatures. We among the Delaware Bar have been well warned by the Delaware Supreme Court that no short cuts are permitted in this notary process. You can't mail me something with your signature on it for me to notarize. Nor can I notarize a document that you just signed in the other room, even though you walk it in to me. The notary process requires that I actually see you put the ink on the page. That much is quite clear.

But who are you? How and when do I ask for identification, where do I store the copies of your driver's license? What type of identification is sufficient? Does it really matter if an identification card has expired? How long must I know a person before I can say that I really know who they are? I have friends that I have known all the way from kindergarten through law school, but I have never actually inspected their identification. Is it enough that I have gone through 20 years of school with them? I have been to their homes and had meals with their alleged families (after all, I haven't examined the birth certificates and identification of the parents). If that many years is enough, what about someone I have known for 10 years? Or 5? Or 2? Or 3 weeks? Or 3 Days? Where is the cutoff? At what point do I have to ask for identification? If I know someone for 15 years, but I only see them about once a year, is that better or different from someone I have seen every day for 2 weeks?

I am serious.

No comments: