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What Are e-signatures and are e-signatures legal?

The below information references two United States Acts which state that e-signatures cannot be denied enforceability solely because it is in electronic form. Both ESIGN and UETA establish that electronic records and signatures carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional paper documents and handwritten signatures.

  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, 2000) 
  • Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999)

In the UK, the equivalent legislation to the ESIGN Act in the USA was also established in 2000, and is called the UK Electronic Communication Act.

The adoption of the European Directive 1999/93/EC of 13 December 1999 establishes a Community framework for the use of electronic signatures on electronic contracts in the EU.

Ultimately, it will be up to the school or organization to determine if e-signatures are right for them.

What are e-signatures?

An e-signature is a digitized image of a handwritten signature. Once you have created your e-signature, you may apply it to your uploaded documents from the Manage Documents page.

Benefits of e-Signatures:

  • Speed - Ease of use, simple web based interface. Increases efficiency.
  • Time-Stamp - By time-stamping your e-signatures, you will clearly know when the document was signed.
  • Availability - Can be accessed and submitted from any mobile device with Internet capability.
  • Cost - Allows you to more leverage the upload document functionality without having to print and scan documents.
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