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Are electronic signatures legal?

Albeit revolutionary and convenient, eSignature technology’s novelty still raises certain concerns within users unfamiliar with it. One of such questions is whether electronic signatures are legally binding, which is exactly the topic that we are going to cover below. In general, eSignature laws vary from country to country. We will mainly focus on the American electronic signature rules, for they are among the most advanced ones and usually serve as a model for other nations.

Fast fact: Be it an electronic signature or otherwise, its validity ultimately rests on the evidence that surrounds the creation of said signature and on the preservation of its document rather than whether it’s handwritten or not.

The US’ overall attitude towards electronic signature is as follows: a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”. It is expressed in the first section of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (a.k.a. the Federal ESIGN act), one of the two major acts that regulate the legal state of eSignature in the US. The other being the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), their goal is to lay the guidelines for the use of electronic signature tools in an interstate commerce.

So, in general legal signatures can easily be electronic. However, they are divided into types depending on the specific technology, some being more widely accepted than others. The types are: common eSignature (the most basic and least secure type), advanced/qualified eSignature (carries almost the same legal value as a handwritten signature), and digital signature (the most reliable of them all and accepted even by government entities and banks).

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As you can see, electronic signatures are just as reliable as usual ones, and are much more convenient than those. So what are you waiting for? Download KeepSolid Sign, get a 14-day free trial, and see how dramatically your paperwork improves!

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