When Are Wet Signatures Required: Top 3 Practical Scenarios

when are wet signatures required

With more people switching to digital signatures to sign documents, it’s normal to wonder whether there’s still any use for wet signatures. Apparently, yes. It’s not like you can always choose to sign using a digital signature on an electronic document. There will be instances wherein you’ll have no other choice but to take out your pen.

If you’re going to ask, “when are wet signatures required?” We’ve listed below some of the best possible scenarios wherein you’ll have to follow the traditional way of signing documents.


Table of Contents

What Is a Wet Signature?

wet signature refers to a handwritten personal marking that you’ve written on any paper document using a brush or pen with liquid ink. It is called a “wet signature” because it takes time for the ink to dry up on paper. Signing a document by hand also implies that you’ve personally acknowledged the writing, making it a bonafide copy that is enforceable and legally binding.

How to Create and Send a Wet Signature?

Creating a wet signature is easy as long as you have a pen and paper. It’s also up to you if you want to write your signature in a stylized or cursive manner. Since wet signatures are prone to forgery, you need to develop a unique handwriting style. If your signature is complex enough for others to imitate, it’ll help keep you away from identity thieves and hoaxers.

However, given today’s growing need for document digitization, the process of creating and sending wet signatures has evolved. By scanning and uploading your wet signature online, you can transform it into a digital signature. The latter is more secure and convenient to use. Plus, it helps protect your identity since every digital signature created has a unique identifier. 

When Are Wet Signatures Required?

When are wet signatures required? Well, not everyone has completely moved away from using wet signatures. Some offices and companies may also require you to provide a verified handwritten signature. At times like these, you have no choice but to abide by the rules.

Here are three practical scenarios as to when you’ll most likely be asked to sign a document by hand:

1.) Commercial lending transactions

In a commercial lending transaction, the lender may oblige its borrower to provide a wet signature when signing a loan agreement. This way, the lender can present the signature as legal evidence to which the borrower must bear the burden of disproving its validity in court.

Aside from loan agreements, lenders may also require borrowers to use wet signatures when signing promissory notes and other notarized documents. 

2.) Writing a will

A will may be something that comes last in your list of priorities. Even so, it’s one of those documents wherein you’ll have no choice but to affix your signature by hand. Since a written will can only be honored if it is legally signed in front of qualified witnesses, your handwritten signature will serve as proof that could help validate your will’s authenticity. 

3.) Signing a memorandum

In signing a memorandum of understanding, also known as MOU, all parties must provide a wet signature to certify their willingness to move forward with the negotiations leading to a binding contract. While a memorandum of agreement isn’t legally binding, it is crucial in high-stake dealings such as company mergers and acquisitions.

The following documents may still require wet signatures:

  • Promissory notes
  • Deeds of trust
  • Mortgages
  • Power of Attorney
  • Court Orders
  • Commercial leases
  • Adoption papers

To avoid facing any legal consequence, it would be best if you could seek legal counsel, especially if you are dealing with documents that may require a verified handwritten signature. Also, keep in mind that the rules for using wet signatures may vary per jurisdiction. 

Wet Signature vs. Digital Signature: Which Is Better?

With a digital signature, you can conveniently sign any document on top of your other tasks. There’s no need to travel between states or go out of the country to close a deal or seal an agreement. With wet signatures, you need to be physically present to complete the document signing process. While it may be beneficial in situations wherein digital signatures aren’t honored, the fact remains that it cannot protect your documents against theft or fraud. 

On the other hand, a digital signature can help protect your document against those with malicious intent. After digitally signing a form or contract, you can look for signs to see if someone has tried to change or alter the contents inside the document. You can also check the digital signature’s timestamp to prove that you’ve signed the agreement within the specified timeframe.

If you’re using a digital signature app like Fill, you can even keep track of all the changes made to your document using real-time notifications. You can also use our app to scan and upload your wet signature. After uploading your signature, you may then use it to sign any electronic document or PDF file.

With Fill, it’s easy to:

  • Maintain compliance while keeping your documents secure
  • Get your documents signed on time
  • Sign PDFs and other documents using your computer or smartphone

Wrap Up

Should you find yourself asking, “when are wet signatures required”? Just remember that not all offices and institutions are ready to accept a digitally signed document. If you find yourself in such situations, your best bet would be to use your wet signature and have those documents signed on paper. Nevertheless, it won’t change the fact that a digital signature can help protect your identity while keeping your spending costs to a minimum.

If you need a reliable way to create signatures and sign documents, consider using Fill. Our user-friendly digital signature tool has a built-in scanner that you can use to scan and capture any document. It also supports third-party integrations.

Start using Fill today.

Kent Cañas

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