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eSignature Legality Guide

eSignature Legality in Hungary

As an EU member-country, Hungary has legally recognized eSignatures since 2001, with The Act on Electronic Signature, established after the implementation of the EU Directive in 1999.

E-Signature Legality Summary

Under Hungarian law, a written signature is not necessarily required for a valid contract - contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically or in a physical paper document (Section 6:63 of the Hungarian Civil Code). To prove a valid contract, parties sometimes have to present evidence in court. Leading digital transaction management solutions can provide electronic records that are admissible in evidence under Hungarian’s Civil Code to support the existence, authenticity and valid acceptance of a contract.

In addition, Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (the “eIDAS Regulation”) came into force on 1 July 2016. The eIDAS Regulation repealed and replaced the e-Signatures Directive (1999/93/EC) and is directly applicable in the 28 member countries of the European Union.

The eIDAS Regulation is technology neutral and defines three types of electronic signature (SES, AES, QES). Article 25(1) provides that an electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or does not meet the requirements of a QES. Articles 25(2) and (3) give a QES the same legal effect as a handwritten signature and ensure that a QES recognized in one Member State of the EU is also recognized in other Member States. Finally, Recital 49 allows national law to set requirements regarding which type of electronic signature may be required in which circumstances.

Notable Changes in E-Signature Law Since 2020


Documents That May be Signed Electronically

Use cases where a Standard Electronic Signature is typically appropriate include:

  • Certain HR documents, such as non-disclosure agreements, privacy notices, benefits paperwork and other new employee onboarding processes, except employment agreements and termination notices;

  • Commercial agreements between corporate entities, including non-disclosure agreements, purchase orders, order acknowledgements, other procurement documents, sales agreements, distribution agreements, service agreements (except data processing agreements)

  • Consumer agreements, including new retail account opening documents, sales terms, services terms, software licenses, purchase orders, order confirmations, shipment documentation, user manuals, policies

  • Software license agreements for software obtained in the course of commercial distribution

  • Licenses of patents and trademarks

  • Intangible property transfers, including patent and trademark transfers (except collective and certification trademark assignments)

Further Guidance

Use cases that are specifically barred from digital or electronic processes or that include explicit requirements, such as handwritten (e.g. wet ink) signatures or formal notarial process that are not usually compatible with electronic signatures or digital transaction management.

  • Handwritten - all documents concerning family relationships and civil partnerships (Fourth Book of the Civil Code)

  • Handwritten - all documents concerning inheritance matters (Sixth Book of the Hungarian Civil Code)

An “advanced electronic seal” is an electronic seal if a legal person that meets the following requirements: (i) it is uniquely linked to the creator of the seal; (ii) it is capable of identifying the creator of the seal; (iii) it is created using electronic seal creation data that the creator of the seal can, with a high level of confidence under its control, use for electronic seal creation; and (iv) it is linked to the data to which it relates in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.

A “qualified electronic seal” is an advanced electronic seal of a legal person which is created by a qualified electronic seal creation device and that is based on a qualified certificate for electronic seal.

As a Tiered eSignature Legal Model country, Austria supports the concept of a QES (Qualified Electronic Signature), requiring independent accreditation for those signatures by an approved certification body. While QES is only legally required for limited types of transactions, as previously discussed, Austria as a member of the European Union, follows ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standards to define the technical requirements for a QES. In addition, Austria is in a minority of countries to have specific cases where a third type of electronic signature, the AdES (Advanced Electronic Signature) can serve as a replacement for a QES. An AdES does not have to be approved by a local Austrian certification body, but necessarily requires digital signature technology, and can be interpreted as having to meet certain ETSI certifications to be valid. Austria maintains a full list accessible to the public of authorized qualified electronic certificate providers together with other countries in the European Union.

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: January 20, 2023


  • EU Regulation No. 910/2014 (2014) (eIDAS)

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