National ESIGN Day 2013: This Sunday
Did you know this coming Sunday is National ESIGN Day? Three years ago, June 30 was designated by the U.S. Congress as National ESIGN Day. DocuSign led the charge to commemorate the day because on June 30, 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act was signed into law by President Clinton, creating a vast opportunity for companies of every size and industry to benefit from the speed, security and convenience of electronic signatures.
All of us at DocuSign will celebrate this day because we passionately believe that electronic signature is essential to efficient and environmentally sustainable business practices, and we’re proud to lead a movement that is transforming the way business is done all across the globe. This is true for most every business and organization of every size: the power of electronic signature is proven every day by the momentum we’ve seen since the passage of the ESIGN Act.
What’s interesting for us today is how ESIGN works as a great and virtually all-encompassing law that supports electronic transactions of most every stripe. When the law first came about, some myths were perpetuated—and what’s great is that now, 13 years later, we have well established the legality of electronic signatures and busted through many of the myths:
ESIGN: Far beyond consumer transactions: Although there’s a section of ESIGN that specifically covers consumer transactions, ESIGN actually covers most B2B, B2C, C2C, and B2G (government) commercial transactions, when government is a player in the marketplace.
Not just for sales and leasing: ESIGN was based on the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which covers the aforementioned B2B, B2C, and C2C transactions. When there are exceptions within UETA and ESIGN law, for the most part they represent laws that had already gone electronic and had their own rules (for a particular vertical or industry). Rest assured, electronic signatures are available for almost every type of transaction you can think of – and more.
Case law supports ESIGN: ESIGN has been in place now for 13 years, and ample case law supports it, as long as you use eSignature in such a way that it’s fair to the counterparty, if they can understand what’s going on, if they can follow the process and if you don’t use the electronics to obscure what’s happening. DocuSign meets all the requirements of ESIGN to give our customers the assurance that DocuSigned documents are just as legally binding as they would be if signed the “old fashioned way.” In some cases, judges have looked at what company had done, screenshots of the electronic signature process, and have published opinions that said, in effect, you are wasting my time disputing an electronic signature.
Extensive types of contracts covered by ESIGN: If you look at the cases and types of contracts covered in the case law—arbitration, insurance, securities, life insurance, auto insurance—you will uncover very sensitive contracts. You can rest assured if judges are happy enforcing electronic signatures in those kind of contracts, why would yours different?
Instead of asking yourself, Why should I use electronic signatures, ask instead, Why not?: Is there a specific reason why documents are excluded from using electronic records and signatures? It’s important to select a trustworthy provider who meets all the legal and security requirements so your signed documents are legally binding and tamper-proof.
DocuSign supported the resolution to establish National ESIGN Day to celebrate all this fantastic progress made since the passage of the ESIGN Act in 2000. Just as important, we see National ESIGN Day as an opportunity to renew our commitment to educating the world about electronic signatures, and making sure DocuSign customers benefit from the easiest, fastest, most secure way to do business.
How are you going to celebrate National ESIGN Day? We will be celebrating right along with you—virtually, of course. Cheers!