So, if you ever need to sign a document on the go and want to pull out your Ipad or Iphone and use one of many applications available for those devices such as Easysign or HandySign and you are told that “YOU CAN’T DO IT” just pull out your United States Statutes list and scroll to volume 14 page 464 or just show this blog. The essence is that YES, YOU CAN SIGN ANY DOCUMENTS ELECTRONICALLY, as long as you meet a few requirements (read below). And Only the person signing a document need to demonstrate the willingness to use the electronic signature not the person for whom you are signing the document. Lets start that digital revolution, and dont forget, the less you print and sign paper forms and shred, the more trees you save… Read On about the law itself…
The following blog is my attempt to explain the ESIGN ACT also know as U.S. Pub.L. 106-229, 14 Stat. 464, enacted June 30, 2000, and codified as 15 U.S.C. ch.96, is a United States Federal Law also commonly known as Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act.
Although every state has at least one law pertaining to electronic signatures, it is the federal law that lays out the guidelines for the interstate commerce in general. The ESIGN Act further describes in its very first section that a contractor signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it in electronic form.” Furthermore, the ESIGN Act Section 106 defines electronic signature as any electronic means related to technology having, electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic or similar capabilities. The term electronic record means contract or other record created, generated, sent, communicated or stored by electronic means. Finally, the most important component of this article is electronic signature defined as the term “electronic signature” means electronic sound, signal or process attached to or sent with a contract or other records and executed or adopted by a person with an attempt to sign the record.
In order for the electronic signature to be given full legal force of authenticity, two things must happen:
1. The consumer must sent electronically in a manner “reasonably demonstrative that consumer can access information and the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent”.
2. That the business that provided the consumer with a way of signing electronically must retain a record of the transaction and the record must accurately reflect the substance of the contract and is accessible to people who are entitled to access it in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference whether by transmission, printing or otherwise.
All in all, the ESIGN Act allows consumers or businesses to attach their signatures electronically to any contract or document in state, interstate or international commerce and this signing would be afforded the equal protection under the ESIGN law which has been enacted for the past 12 years since 2000. The ESIGN Act affords the same protection to electronic signatures as if signed by hand on paper! So go ahead save some trees and USE ELECTRONIC MEANS OF SIGNING DOCUMENTS