BLAIR CATO PICKREN CASTERLINE, LLC ATTORNEY CYNTHIA DURHAM BLAIR CONDUCTS SOUTH CAROLINA’S FIRST IN-PERSON ELECTRONIC CLOSING
COLUMBIA, SC, February 17, 2023 – Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC is pleased to announce that Cynthia Durham Blair, founding owner and attorney in the firm’s Columbia office, has conducted the first in-person electronic closing in South Carolina history.
While South Carolina law has allowed for electronic signature and electronic recording of documents in the past, electronic notarization was not permitted. The South Carolina legislature authorized in-person electronic notarization in 2021, and on May 18, 2021, Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act into law. The Act allows a notary public to register as an electronic notary and sets forth the requirements for electronic notaries public and electronic notarial acts. On November 28, 2022, Ms. Blair was commissioned as the state’s first electronic Notary Public.
Ms. Blair conducted South Carolina’s first in-person electronic closing in Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC’s Columbia office on February 17, 2023. Melissa W. Dunlap, Deputy Secretary of State Chief Legal Counsel, and Kataria Watkins, Director of Notaries, Boards & Commissions, Apostilles & Authentications from the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office were in attendance to document the milestone. At the start of the closing, all parties were sent text messages with a code to verify their identity. Once confirmed, they were able to review the closing package and sign their documents electronically. Ms. Blair then notarized their signatures electronically. The closing process took approximately fifteen minutes and was entirely paperless.
“Nearly everything is done electronically in 2023. We are thrilled to finally be able to offer South Carolina consumers buying, selling and refinancing real estate the option to have their real estate closing conducted entirely electronically. This process revolutionizes the way that real estate transactions are handled in the State of South Carolina by ensuring efficiency and ease of process for all parties – buyers, sellers, attorneys, and realtors.” said Ms. Blair.
Ms. Blair is a member of Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC, where she assists clients with real estate transactions and compliance issues across the real estate industry. She is a past President of the American Land Title Association (“ALTA”). Ms. Blair currently serves on numerous committees and taskforces of ALTA all for the improvement of the real estate title and settlement industry. She has also served as an officer and director of both the Palmetto Land Title Association and the Mortgage Lenders Association of Greater Columbia. Ms. Blair is a past Chair of the Real Estate Section Council of the South Carolina Bar.
About Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC:
Celebrating its 9th anniversary this year, Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC is a full-service law firm, providing legal services in real estate, business, labor, probate, and estate planning. With more than 14 attorneys, the firm has offices in Columbia, Lexington, Mauldin, Spartanburg and Camden, South Carolina. For more information, please visit www.blaircato.com.