Benchmark Title Company, LLC



John Howe


We seem to get a lot of questions as to why we require two forms of identification, one being a form of Photo ID, when we check folks in for a closing. Simply put, we want to know that you are the people supposed to be there for that closing, plus we like to call you by name, it just seems to make people more comfortable, and we all know that closings can be stressful enough.

Various reasons come to mind, not the least of which is “Identity Theft”, and or “Fraud”. A couple of examples that have happened in the offices of title companies that were caught based on the two forms of ID process, thereby preventing any serious wrongdoing.

Divorce situations can cause some interesting actions by some of the parties, such as a husband attempting to sell the property without the wife’s knowledge, attending the closing with a woman posing as the estranged spouse. Or the twins posing as one for the other because the appropriate twin had a different function to attend so he sent his brother to the closing for him.

Requiring two forms of identification was the contributing factor in exposing these attempts at forgery, fraud, identity theft or a combination of these issues. It seems that in cases like these the party may have somehow gotten the drivers license, which is a photo ID, and assumed that it would do be sufficient for proof if identity. Yet when a second form if ID is requested, perpetrators seldom have a second form with the same name in there possession.

In the case of the twins, it was not an attempt at fraud, and the correct party was contacted and arranged to come to the closing at a later time. That situation could easily have been prevented with the use of a “Power of Attorney”. The other example, maybe that one should go into the “Stupid Crook Book”, volume three.

And finally, the obvious reason is that our closer will be notarizing some of the documents that you will sign and the “Illinois Notary Act” is very clear as to what form of identification is required.

I hope that this “Title Tip” will clear up some of the concerns that people have regarding our requirements for identification.

Please understand that we are bound by the “Graham, Leach, Bliley Privacy Act” and all information in our files pertaining to your identification, short of a court order, will not be given out to anyone at any time, for any reason.

Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email:  

John Howe

Doreen Miller, Esq.
Vice President and General Counsel

Michelle Null
VP Escrow Operations

Bethany Bond
Marketing Director

Serving you from three convenient locations:

Main Office:
1124 Hartman Lane
Shiloh, IL 62221
Ph: 618-239-3750
Escrow Fax: 618-239-3707
Title Fax: 618-239-3757
Fax Orders: 618-310-1589
President: John Howe

318 North Main St.
Columbia, IL 62236
Ph: 618-281-9700
Fax: 618-281-9705
Manager: Randi Schur

4215 S. State Rte 159
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Ph: 618-288-1695
Fax: 618-288-1852
Manager: Sara Sowell

Benchmark Title is celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary!!!

With 10 years of the highest quality of service, & the most accurate product in the industry, we would like to say
Thank You for making us successful!!!!

Dates to Remember

May 29 - Please wish our President John Howe a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

June 6, 2008 - First Horizon Golf Tournament for Habitat for Humanity at Arlington Golf Course.  Contact Jamie Hollenkamp at 618-288-8656 or at

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