Are eSignatures Legal
A question that we are asked quite often via email, telephone call or via our social media pages is whether eSignatures are in fact legal? The short answer to this question is yes, but only they are if collected and processed correctly.
Electronic signatures have been recognised as a legally binding means of signing documents and contracts in most countries around the world for a number of years now. eSignlite complies with eSignature regulations set by the UK and other developed countries .
To abide by eSignature regulations eSignlite uses the latest SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption on all pages, including signing pages. We store all signed documents on our secure server and log the IP addresses of our members and of document signees.
Regulations state that the signed document must be submitted complete and by the signee so on eSignlite the client will see the document with their signature in place before submission as the signature is added at the time of submission and the whole document converted to a portable document file (PDF) on the fly for instant viewing after signing.
What Isn't Legally Binding
There are a number of eSignature websites and plugins too for systems such as Wordpress, most of these will simply save the signature to a file during form submission and either add it at the other end or have the end user add it to documents later which isn't just not legally binding, it is in fact illegal as you are copying a signature of another person and using it illegally on another document.
To stay within the law the client or signee must be the person adding their signature to the document and converting it to a portable document file as is the case with eSignlite, no one else can use your signature in any way.
You may also see some websites utilising 'tick to confirm' checkboxes on their forms with some even stating that by ticking the box you are essentially adding your electronic signature. This is total nonsense, a misuse of the phrase electronic signature and has no legal standing.
If you have a website that uses a system such as this then you should stop immediately