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Esignature legality

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Updated on:
September 8, 2023
September 8, 2023
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What are eSignatures?

An electronic signature is a digital or virtual representation of someone’s wet signature. A wet signature is a signature someone would create with pen and paper

Electronic signatures are used in a similar way that wet signatures are used to authorize transactions and show consent to an agreement.

Electronic signatures trump wet signatures due to convenience. You’re able to type your name or draw it out on a mobile application using nothing but your finger or a stylus. It allows you to sign documents from almost anywhere.

It’s important to note that electronic signature is the umbrella term used to denote all signatures of this type. It is often used interchangeably with the term digital signature but they’re not the same thing.

A digital signature is a specific type of electronic signature that uses cryptographic technology known as PKI (public key infrastructure). The PKI encrypts the digital signature and prevents unauthorized third parties from signing on behalf of someone else. These keys are issued and held by organizations known as certificate authorities and add an extra layer of security for every signed document.

Are eSignatures (electronic signatures) legal?

In a word yes. Many countries around the world are adopting specific legislation that elevates electronic signatures to the same standard as wet signatures. In the United States, the relevant act is called Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act of 2000 (ESIGN). This is further supplemented by the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).

Other countries have their own legislation but the end result is the same. Electronic signatures can be used for most transactions that require a wet signature.

Even though electronic signatures are now widely used, they’re not appropriate for every situation. Sometimes, a handwritten signature must be used. These situations include:


Court orders and notices or official court documents


Notices used for cancellation of utility service

Other areas of family law

Wills and Codicils

Notices used for cancellation of health or life insurance

Notices for recall of products

Documents that accompany the transportation of hazardous material

Electronic signatures and the accompanying ecosystem is becoming more and more advanced. For example, you can get important documents notarized from the comfort of your home with eNotary solutions.

Are eSignatures secure?

This is an important consideration because electronic signatures can be used to finalize important transactions ranging from business deals to buying property.

It can be disconcerting to put your personal information online, especially when there’s so much at stake. The good news is that the right eSignature platform can go a long way towards protecting your information.

Before an electronic signature transaction happens and is validated, there are many things that go on behind the scenes. The technical aspects of it all may be too much information but you can send contracts securely on Bonsai.

Conclusion TL;DR

Are electronic signatures legal? YES. In many countries and most industrialized nations, there is specific legislation that puts electronic signatures on par with wet signatures.

There are countless reasons why you’d want to use electronic signatures but the most obvious one is convenience. Not just for you but for customers and clients as well. With COVID-19 changing the way we do business, electronic signatures are only going to become more commonplace.

If you’ve not done so already, now is the time to adopt eSignatures into your workflow and reduce agreement completion time up to 80%. Are you looking for the right tool, to help you make the leap, choose Bonsai.

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