In the past, the only way to legally sign a document was to use a pen and trace a line of ink across a sheet of paper. Today, things are a lot different, and electronic signatures are the most common way to sign things.
Knowing when a document is properly (and legally) electronically signed can be confusing, even though US federal law has defined what counts as a legal electronic signature for more than two decades. One question we hear a lot is: are typed signatures considered “legal?” The short answer is yes, but there’s a little bit more to it than that. Read on to find out what.
Most e-signature solutions, including Constellation1 eSign, allow users to draw or create a stylized signature that looks like it was written by hand. Users can then add it to the documents they want to sign. Signing this way often makes all parties feel secure, combining the old (handwritten signatures) with the new (electronic documents and forms). But signatures don’t necessarily have to look like handwriting to hold up in a court of law.
According to the definition provided in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-Sign Act), the US federal law that regulates electronic signatures in nearly all 50 states, an e-signature is an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. To cut through the legalese, an e-signature can take a variety of forms (even an audio file), provided it meets certain criteria.
All of the following are considered valid types of e-signatures:
Typed signatures are therefore legally binding, as long as the other E-Sign Act requirements, which we covered in a previous blog post, are followed. As a reminder, these are:
Are you still confused about the validity of e-signatures? If so, don’t there be any doubt about the validity of your electronic signatures: you can rely on the best e-signature solution in the industry! With Constellation1 eSign, you can sign and send documents with complete confidence and peace of mind. Our solution is secure, trustworthy, and lets you add non-repudiable signatures to your important documents and manage signing sessions from anywhere using your smart devices.
Do you have specific questions about whether eSign will stand up to the electronic signature requirements in your industry? Get in touch and our dedicated e-signature team will be happy to tell you about our industry-leading features in greater detail.
You can read our previous post on the legality of eSignatures here.
* Disclaimer: The Constellation1 team are not lawyers and this blog post does not constitute legal advice.