Jul. 17 2020

The standard practice for closing attorneys to check the buyer and seller’s photo identification at closing provides a safeguard against any potential forgery and fraud – not to mention, the majority of lenders require that photo identification of borrowers be reviewed and photocopied at closing. Specifically, the loan closing package will often include a form requesting the type of ID presented at closing, as well as the issuance and expiration date. In addition to providing the requested information, the closing attorney must also certify that he or she has personally viewed the borrower’s photo ID and reasonably concluded the identity of the borrower.

Lender requirements aside, this is a practice to which closing attorneys equally adhere when handling cash closings. For obvious reasons, it is important to verify that the seller signing the deed is in fact who he or she claims to be. Moreover, many of the closing documents must be signed in the presence of a notary public, whose chief purpose is to prevent the fraudulent execution of documents. The notary public must personally observe the individual sign the document while also certifying that the individual was personally known to the notary or identified by the notary through satisfactory evidence.

Always remember to bring your photo ID when signing closing documents as a buyer or seller, and be reminded that it is standard practice for closing attorneys to check your ID at closing.

This legal update is published as a service to our clients and friends. It is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. Past success does not indicate likelihood of success in any future legal representation.


Katherine Lang Colhoun joined MGC Real Estate’s Charleston office in July of 2016. She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia. Katherine is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association.