Classification of Law
Mexico's legal system is a mixture of Roman civil law and Anglo-American common law systems. Civil law operates in areas such as family relations, property, succession, contract, and criminal law, while statutes and principles of common law origin are evident in such areas as constitutional law, procedure, corporations law, taxation, insurance, labour relations, banking and currency.
Civil law systems are based on concepts derived from old Roman law, distinguishable by their reliance on having a comprehensive set of rules and principles codified and easily accessible to both citizens and legal professionals. Codified laws are regularly revised to reflect the current environment, and have stronger emphasis in civil law countries than any precedent set by earlier court cases. Civil law countries cover more than 65% of world’s legal system, including the majority of continental Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
E-Signature Legality Summary
Mexico does not have a dedicated law regulating electronic signatures or records. The most relevant laws in Mexico addressing the enforceability of electronic signatures and electronic commerce in general are the following:
- Federal Civil Code; and
- Federal Commerce Code
Further, all regulations regarding commerce, and specifically electronic signatures in Mexico, are of federal jurisdiction. There are no local laws containing material regulations regarding electronic signatures.
Types of Electronic Signature
An “electronic signature” includes any electronic data included within a data message, or attached to, or logically associated to the same through any technology, which is used to identify the signer with respect to the data message, and to indicate that the signer approves the information contained within the data message, and which produces the same legal effects as the handwritten signature, being admissible as evidence in trial.
A “data message” is “the information generated, sent, received or filed through optical or electronic means or through any other technology.”
Mexican law recognizes an electronic (digital) signature as “advanced” if it also complies with the following requirements:
- If the creation data of the signature, within the context in which the same is used, correspond exclusively to the signer;
- If the creation data of the signature were, at the time of the signature, under the exclusive control of the signer;
- If it is possible to identify that any alteration to the electronic signature (tamper-evident), occurred after the moment of the signature;
- With respect to the integrity of a data message, it is possible to identify any alteration to the electronic signature (tamper-evident) that occurred after the moment of the signature; and
- Contains a digital certificate applied by a government-approved certification service provider.
When the applicable law requires a document to be in writing, the data message containing the information must meet the following requirements to be enforceable:
- it must be entirely kept in its original version;
- it must be entirely conserved and kept available for subsequent consultation; and
- the electronic signature must be attributable to the signers;
Pursuant to the Mexican Civil Code and Commerce Code, an electronic signature is valid to express the consent and/or agreement in any legal act (between particulars). Provided the electronic signature matches the definition and requirements, there are no restrictions and/or limitations as to the form or shape that the electronic signature shall have.
Documents That May be Signed Electronically
In Mexico, electronic signatures are frequently used for all transactions between private parties that are not subject to the regulation, supervision, submission, etc. of a regulator of governmental authority (i.e., it is not advisable to sign a contract electronically if eventually such contract will be filed with a governmental agency). Therefore, except for those involving government filings, documents generally are eligible for the use of electronic signatures.
Mexican law does not afford greater validity to an advanced electronic (digital) signature. If disputed, the party seeking to enforce the electronic signature, including an advanced electronic (digital) signature, has the burden of proving its validity (except for those cases in which the advanced electronic (digital) signature includes a digital time-seal attached to the document).
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, so DocuSign cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.
Last updated: September 07, 2021
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