Are Digital Signatures Legal? 1 Easy Way to Find Out

are digital signatures legal

As more businesses join the digital transformation, it is fast becoming a norm for many organizations to process most of their paperwork digitally. Thus, the use of electronic or digital signatures has become more prevalent. According to a report, the global digital signature market size reached $2.8 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $14.1 billion by 2026. 

Despite the astounding rise in popularity of digital signatures over the last few years, a handful of individuals and organizations are still on the fence about using them. They often ask, “Are digital signatures legal?”

This article will shed some light on the enforceability of electronic and digital signatures and answer some of the most frequently asked questions, including “Are digital signatures legal?”

 

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Although digital signatures have been around for quite some time and are rapidly gaining traction in various industries and sectors, some people have expressed their reluctance to get on board with this method of document signing. Nothing beats the pen-and-paper method, they always say. 

Are digital signatures legal? The simple answer is a resounding yes. Digital signatures are indeed legally binding and enforceable.

In 2000, a federal law was passed and enacted to provide recognition of the validity of using electronic and digital signatures. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, widely known as the ESIGN Act, provided guidelines to make digital signatures legal and enforceable.

Also read: Are Electronic Signatures Legal? 1 Easy Way to Find Out

Why use digital signatures?

Regardless of the size of paperwork your organization is currently dealing with, switching to a more digital approach is proven to be more advantageous than the traditional method. Here are some of the reasons why you should start using digital signatures.

  1. Cost savings

Contrary to popular belief, investing in modern solutions does not necessarily cost you an arm and a leg. As a matter of fact, some of them are more accessible and more affordable than ever. In the case of digital signature software and applications, they cost way less than what you would spend handling documents using the good old pen-and-paper method.

When you use digital signatures, you do not have to print and mail anything, which means no need to spend hundreds of dollars on printing costs and courier services. You can also cut costs on archiving and storing your documents and easily store your paperwork on a cloud. 

  1. Enhanced Security

Aside from the question, Are digital signatures legal? Another concern most people have over digital signatures is the matter of security. Well, there’s absolutely no need to worry because it’s proven safe and secure. In fact, signing a document digitally significantly reduces document mishandling and unauthorized alteration.

When you use reliable digital signature software, you can also set up PINs, passwords, and codes to ensure that only those who are permitted to access your documents can do so. Digital signature software also uses high levels of encryption to protect your data.

  1. Faster Turnaround

While wet signatures are still widely used in today’s highly digital landscape, they are not the most efficient way to sign documents. Are digital signatures legal? Yes, they are. What’s more, when you use them to fulfill document requirements, you can expect a much faster turnaround time.

You can send a signature request in just a matter of seconds, and the signers can sign your document immediately, unlike the traditional way, which would take a couple of days to complete the process. Moreover, if you have a digital signature application in your arsenal, you could easily automate some redundant and time-consuming tasks. It’s a helpful tool that improves turnaround time and the overall efficiency of your organization.

Also read: Digital vs. Electronic Signature: Your 2022 Cheat Sheet

How to ensure the enforceability of digital signatures?

Now that you know the answer to the question, Are digital signatures legal? Let’s look at other ways to ensure that all digitally signed documents are enforceable and legally binding.

According to the ESIGN Act, one of the primary requirements to make digital signatures legal in any transactions is that both signers have to consent to use this method of document signing. To do this, you can add an electronic signature agreement template as an appendix to the contract or agreement, and you may add a clause stating that both parties agree to sign the document digitally.

Are digital signatures legal? Yes, as long as you use a platform that allows your signer to approve or decline your signature request. Another requirement that the ESIGN Act has for electronic and digital signatures to be legally binding is that there should be a clear intent to sign. Moreover, your signer must use a unique and legible electronic or digital signature when signing documents. The signature also has to be attributable to the person signing.

The best way to ensure that your digital signatures are valid is to use an electronic signature application like Fill. Not only does it guarantee the enforceability of your signatures, but it also simplifies the document signing process. You can send signature requests with just a few taps of a button, and signing is just as easy.

Additionally, Fill makes it more convenient for you to track the progress of your paperwork. Its instant notification also allows the timely completion of your paperwork workflow. Best of all, Fill uses the most robust security measures and military-grade encryption to keep your data protected against any malicious threats. With Fill, you do not have to worry about breaches and forgery. Your files are safe with us. And lastly, Fill is compliant with industry standards and federal regulations like HIPAA and GLBA.

Are digital signatures legal? With Fill, you will be sure that they are.

Conclusion

If you want a more effective and efficient document workflow, it’s high time you start using electronic or digital signatures in most transactions. Are digital signatures legal? Yes. They are legal in many countries around the world. There are also governing bodies and regulations ensuring that this modern way of signing documents remains compliant with the law. It also helps if you adopt the best digital signature practices.

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