Are Electronic Signatures Legal?
Yes, electronic signatures are legally binding in the United States and many countries around the world.
There are two Acts that establish the legality of electronic signatures in the United States – the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, 2000) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999). Both ESIGN and UETA establish that electronic records and signatures carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional paper documents and handwritten signatures stating: A document or signature cannot be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
Not all eSignature solutions are created equal. Only DocuSign warrants ESIGN compliance.
United Kingdom (UK)
In the UK, the equivalent legislation to the ESIGN Act in the USA was also established in 2000, and is called the UK Electronic Communication Act. DocuSign is the only company that warrants its eSignature solution to be compliant with this act.
The adoption of the European Directive 1999/93/EC of 13 December 1999 establishes a Community framework for the use of electronic signatures on electronic contracts in the EU. Thirty European countries (EU-27, Croatia, Turkey and Liechtenstein) have already implemented Directive 1999/93/EC. Electronic signatures are actively in use in Europe, and DocuSign’s advanced signature is legally admissible and enforceable in the European Union.
Rest of the world
Almost every civilized country in the world has adopted an electronic signature law, and the vast majority recognize DocuSign’s form of electronic signature as meeting the definition of a valid electronic signature.