KBA with ID Scan Authentication

As a notary, when you do not have personal knowledge of your signer, many states require that you verify their identity using the KBA with ID Scan method.

What is KBA?

KBA stands for Knowledge Based Authentication, which is a process that involves checking public database information against the info that you and your signer have entered into the transaction.

Most states that allow for RON also require the KBA process to be used for signers whose identities need to be verified before notarization can begin.

If your signer fails authentication, see what to do next.

What is required for KBA?

  • a valid SSN or an ITIN for people who pay taxes in the US
  • enough US based history to create 5+ personal questions to answer (this will include things like past addresses, cities or counties lived in, cars purchased, etc.)
  • a valid form of ID such as a drivers license or a passport - we will accept both US issued forms of ID and foreign IDs as well
  • a computer for the RON and Zoom processes, which will require audio and video abilities, and a smartphone for taking ID pictures

If your signer does not meet these requirements, we suggest that you contact your state and see what they need you to do in such situations.

Here are the basic steps of the KBA with ID Scan process:

  • Your signer will enter the expiration date of their chosen form of ID
    • The screen will explain the format it requires the date to be entered, please have your signer pay close attention to that as they enter the date. They may also choose the date from a calendar option as well.
    • We ask for this first in order to rule out anyone with an expired ID that your state will not permit, and to avoid wasting too much time with a verification that will ultimately fail.
  • Your signer will accept legal consent and enter their SSN and DOB
    • The screen will ask for the last 4 digits of the signer's SSN
    • If your signer does not have an SSN but instead has an ITIN for paying their taxes in the US, then they may enter that number into the SSN space instead.
  • Your signer will be given 5 KBA questions, which are multiple choice, and they must after all of them correctly. If they miss one, they may have to answer more questions to continue forward.
    • These questions will cover similar information as that found on a credit report, but it is not pulling the signer's credit report at all, instead it is using public records.
    • Questions can include, but are not limited to, the following: cars purchased, addresses lived at, streets nearby, landmarks, cities / states / counties lived in, etc.
    • These questions may go back up to 30 years, and your signer has a limited time to answer, as a security measure to prevent fraud.
  • Your signer will see a pop-up window to begin the Credential Analysis step to verify a picture of their ID.
  • Once all these steps have been passed, your signer will proceed to create or enter their password and begin signing the documents.

What to do when your signer has trouble?

  • Have your signer start over from the beginning if they fail once, by returning to their email and clicking the link to access the login process again. They must go though the KBA process again entirely to try and pass before they can proceed.
  • If your signer forgets their password, they must go through KBA once again before they can reset that password and try to login once more. This can feel like they are stuck in a loop, but it does work if they can pass KBA several times in a row.
  • Each signer can only attempt the KBA process about 3 times per day, so even if they pass several times in a row, they can become locked out after too many attempts. This is a security measure against fraud and is not something we can get around or change.
  • If your signer gets a "Sorry / You Have Failed" error message instead of seeing questions after entering their SSN and DOB, they may have failed for one of the following reasons:
    • The signer is young and does not yet have enough established history to create personal knowledge questions
    • The signer is a new citizen and also does not yet have enough established history in the US
    • The signer has recently changed their name, and so all their information is still associated with their previous name
    • The signer goes by more than one name, and so their information is spread out across several names without a majority match to the name entered on the transaction
    • The signer entered their SSN and / or DOB incorrectly
    • The signer's name was entered into the transaction incorrectly
    • The signer is locked out for 24 hours and cannot try again until that time is up
  • If your signer fails at the ID scan step of the process, which comes after successfully answering the KBA questions, then it could be for one of the following reasons:
    • The ID has expired
    • The ID picture is blurry, out of focus, in shadow, or has too much glare
    • The ID picture is cut off, and does not have a dark boarder around all four edges
    • The ID picture is sideways or upside down / in portrait when it should be landscape
    • The signer's name on the ID does not match the name entered for them in the transaction
    • The signer's address on the ID does not match public records for the signer's known locations
    • The signer's DOB entered on the first step does not match the DOB on their ID
    • The signer is using a Passport Card, and has not chosen the "ID Card" option - the "Passport" option is only available for the book, not the card version
  • If your signer fails too many times in a row, or attempts the process several times, they will be locked out of the entire KBA process for 24 hours and you will receive an email stating such. You must wait the full 24 hours before they can try again, or before you send them a new transaction.
  • If your signer is struggling with KBA, and you want to try something else, check with your state RON laws, an attorney, or the agency that will be accepting the final documents to see how you should handle situations where KBA is not working for some reason.
    • Check to see if your state allows for other methods of authentication, such as Biometrics, or getting a Credible Witness involved.
    • If you must change, we recommend creating a new transaction and a new Zoom meeting so that you have clear evidence of how the signer was authenticated from start the finish.