Electronic signatures (e-signatures), which indicate an individual's agreement to a contract, have gained widespread acceptance and usage worldwide. With over a billion users comfortable signing documents electronically, it raises the question: Are electronic signatures legal?
The answer is yes, electronic signatures provided by idSign are indeed legal. Moreover, idSign takes it a step further by offering a decentralized solution built on blockchain technology, making it even more compliant and trustworthy compared to centralized options like Docusign, Pandadoc, or SignNow. Since idSign operates on a blockchain, the logs and records of signature transactions are stored on a public ledger, preventing any deletion or modification. This decentralized approach enhances compliance and establishes a trust-less system, ensuring that the data stored on the blockchain remains tamper-proof.
With idSign, there is no centralized database, and the company never has access to customers' data at any time. This zero-knowledge system ensures maximum privacy and security for users. By leveraging the transparency and immutability of the blockchain, idSign provides a highly compliant and trustworthy platform for electronic signatures. Now let's explore what makes an electronic signature legally binding. The U.S. federal government passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) in 2000, along with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which confirms that electronic signatures are legally binding if all parties involved choose to sign digitally.
Electronic signatures can take various forms, ranging from simple images of a signature attached to an electronic document to more sophisticated PKI-based signatures. Methods such as clicking "I Agree" on a website, signing with a finger on a mobile device, typing a name or PIN into an online form, or utilizing the idSign platform can be used to create electronic signatures.
Electronic signatures are valid in all U.S. states and are granted the same legal status as handwritten signatures under state laws. Similarly, in other industrialized countries, electronic signatures hold the same weight and legal efficiency as handwritten signatures and paper documents. While specific laws may vary, you can consult idSign's eSignature Legality Guide for detailed information on the legal requirements in your country. When electronic signatures are combined with tamper sealing, strong authentication, advanced security measures, and an audit trail, they provide robust evidence in court, surpassing the reliability of simple wet signatures or scanned images. Audit trails automate the data capturing process, eliminating the chance of human error and facilitating the establishment of authenticity and resolution of signature disputes in both state and federal courts.
For each document, idSign automatically generates and stores a complete, time-stamped history of every action taken, including sending, viewing, printing, signing, or declining. The system maintains a Certificate of Completion that includes details such as the Envelope ID, the identities of the sender and signer(s), a graphic representation of signatures, and the date, time, and IP address associated with each action. These certificates are available to all parties involved, and idSign securely stores electronic copies of the Certificates of Completion in its decentralized data centers.
Furthermore, idSign offers advanced features, including multiple built-in, advanced authentication tools, and PKI-based signature options to comply with specific regulations such as eIDAS in the European Union and FDA 21 CFR Part 11 in life sciences. These features ensure the platform's suitability for various industries and regulatory requirements. Electronic documents and signatures are widely enforceable for both business and personal transactions in industrialized countries worldwide. idSign allows for the electronic signing of numerous common business documents, such as offer letters, contracts, purchase orders, real estate transactions, insurance applications, and more.
However, it's important to note that there are exceptions to the validity of electronic signatures. For instance, certain documents like wills, divorce agreements, court orders.