It’s been five years since legislation was passed to recognize this special observance and fifteen years since the Electronic Signatures and Global & National Commerce Act (ESIGN) came into law. This blog post features one of the key players in convincing Congress of the importance of calling out what was once a little known technology.
A Recollection from Ken Moyle, DocuSign Deputy General Counsel for Policy:
It was June 30, 2010. I had just boarded a plane back to Seattle from DC and I pulled up the live video feed from the House floor to watch for a few minutes before take-off. Representative Jim McDermott (D-Wa) was leading a debate in support of declaring it National ESIGN Day. I was thrilled when he also thanked DocuSign for spearheading the effort.1
Why did we need a National ESIGN Day?
It had been ten years since the passing of the Electronic Signatures and Global & National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and unfortunately, many businesses were still in the paper dark ages. Paper and ink were widely used in banking and insurance; lawyers and legislators were unaware that eSignatures were as valid and enforceable as handwritten ones; and government agencies had not updated their practices. To encourage greater adoption, both the U.S. House and Senate passed concurrent resolutions declaring support for National ESIGN Day.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, DocuSign was hosting the ESIGN Summit with its special guest, President Bill Clinton (the original signer of the ESIGN Act in 2000).2
What marks this year’s celebration?
In the five years since the first National ESIGN Day, we’re delighted to see progress on many fronts, including:
- More online services offered by major banks, insurers, wealth management firms, and just about every other kind of business
- Adoption by legal and professional communities as a stronger, more secure way of transacting with clients and the government
- Federal and state government entities accepting – and sometimes preferring—electronic versions of filings and records
In closing, Ken offers a quote from President Clinton.
In his remarks at the ESIGN Summit, President Clinton said, “We`ve learned throughout all of human history that trust is the basis for all commerce. We have to work harder to get countries not to block it.”
We’re on it! And we’re looking forward to ESIGN Day 2020, when we can post on our progress toward globally trusted online transactions.
Visit the 15th Anniversary Celebration page.
1. From congressional record: “I would especially like to acknowledge Seattle-based electronic signature platform provider DocuSign for being a leader in the electronic signatures and records industry and for helping spearhead the coalition to recognize June 30 as National ESIGN Day.“
2. When President Clinton signed the bill into law in June 2000, he said, ‘‘just imagine if this had existed years ago. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have had to come all the way to Philadelphia on July 4 for the Declaration of Independence. They could have emailed their John Hancocks in.’’