General Question

irondavy's avatar

Are electronic signatures legally binding?

Asked by irondavy (727points) December 13th, 2009

Software like Zosh and Agree2 claim to be legally binding signature options, but people in various discussions around the web seem to disagree. I haven’t found a concise, believable explanation of the legality of signature software solutions like these. Anyone know?

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10 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

They are, indeed, legally binding. The problem has been adjudicated.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

I think they are. Cos I know that sometimes if you do some sort of interview over the phone and they need you to sign it somehow they are able to ask you something like “Do you understand that everything you told me is the truth to the best of your knowledge under purgery of law??” or something like that and you say “Yes.” and them recording it can be considered legal as long as they tell you they are recording you and that is what they are doing it for.

SoulSearcher's avatar

Yes they are.

pjanaway's avatar

Yes, but some places don’t accept them, such as HM Revenue & Customs as I recently found out.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Of course they are. Otherwise they wouldn’t be asked for.

sndfreQ's avatar

Insofar as purchasing of real estate and escrow, it was as far as I knew it.

john65pennington's avatar

Yes. once a signature or a prescription is transmitted over Federal communications, like a FAq, it becomes a legal and binding contract, etc.

Binsky's avatar

First off I work for an electronic signature vendor, eOriginal, and we come across this question quite a bit and the short answer is, yes electronic signatures are legal and considered to be the same as ink on paper signatures. However there are a few laws (UETA and ESIGN) that define the steps and standards required so that your electronically signed documents are considered fully legal and compliant. For example establishing consent to esign a document. You can find more information on the legality of electronic signature on our compliance page on our website here: – there are also links to more information on the UETA and ESIGN acts on that page. I suggest when evaluating an electronic signature vendor, you should ask about their process and if the adhere to standards outlined in UETA and ESIGN.

kirstenpowell's avatar

yes. Electronic signatures are legally binding as they’ve been approved as a legal standard, but in order to legally sign a document, you must use a digital signature with an approved certificate. Products that produce such certificates are available online. The best way of finding such tools is via the approved partner websites, such as Adobe and Microsoft. You can try CoSign which is a good tool.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Yes they are legally binding. I think Clinton used an Electronic signature to sign his Income Tax Return the year the IRS started accepting electronic signatures.

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