Are eSignature Legal in the US? Understanding the Validity and Acceptance

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E-signatures are fast becoming the preferred choice to sign documents. They allow users to sign important documents from anywhere in the world. Whether its accepting offer letters, signing lease agreements, onboarding documents, or sales contracts, one can use e signs for signing almost all types of documents. But the question remains, are esigns legal? Do they hold the same value as traditional signs? Let’s find out.

Is eSignature Legal?

E-signatures are legal in the United States. The Global and National Commerce Act and the Uniform and Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) set forth the legal framework for electronic signatures in the US. These acts establish the legal equivalence of electronic signatures with handwritten signatures, provided certain conditions are met.

What are the US eSignature Laws?

E- signatures are important in the US as they enable individuals and businesses to sign and execute legally binding documents quickly, easily and securely which makes the work easier. They are subject to two main laws in the US: The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA). These laws provide the legal framework for esignatures and ensure that they are legally binding.

ESIGN was enacted in 2000 and established the legal validity of e-signatures in interstate and foreign commerce. Under the Esign Act, a signature cannot be denied legal effect simply because it is in electronic form. However, it does not apply to certain documents such as wills, trusts, and papers as they are under the jurisdiction of specific state laws. The ESIGN Act applies to all transactions in which the parties have agreed to conduct business electronically.

The other law legalizing esignature is UETA, a model law that 47 states have adopted, including the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. It provides a legal framework for governing electronic transactions. UETA provides all legal framework of electronic transactions and establishes the legal validity of esignatures. It applies to transactions between parties that have decided to perform business electronically.

Are E-Signs Legally Enforceable?

Esigns can make the signing of documents a more efficient and convenient process. But the question arises is whether they are legally enforceable in the US or not. So, the answer is yes provided they fulfill the following requirements:

Consent: Consent is a key requirement for e-signatures to be legally binding. The signer must consent to use an e-signature to make an electronic signature valid. This means the signer must know and agree they are signing an electronic document.

Association: The signature must be linked to the electronic record in question that the signer intends to sign.

Record Retention: The electronic record must be retained in a format that is accessible to all parties who are entitled to access it.

Final Words

E-signatures have proved to be the safest, legal and the most convenient way of signing documents, making it easier for users to sign anywhere and everywhere. Do you need to speed up your document signing process? Try SignBulb today!