August 30, 2014
It’s old news, as the law was enacted in 2000, but we are asked this from time to time: Are electronic signatures just as enforceable as physical or “inked” signatures?
Yes. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) passed in 2000 specifically proves that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.”
Many of those engaging in commerce of all sorts are commonly using electronic signatures today, including on real estate contracts and other documents. Documents that require an “acknowledgement” or “notary seal” still must be signed in-person, but otherwise, the act makes the e-signature just as effective.
Because of proof of signature, there may still be instances in which we want personal signatures, but for many of not most commercial arrangements, e-signatures suffice.