What Types of Documents Can I Sign Online Under the ESIGN Act?

Posted by Emily Maxie on 8/8/13 10:21 AM

Ever since the government passed the ESIGN Act in 2000, electronic signatures have been just as legal as handwritten signatures. You can use electronic signatures to legally sign most types of documents. Here are some of the most common places our clients use electronic signatures.

sign online esignHuman Resources Documents

      • Employee benefits enrollment
      • Employment applications
      • Benefits change forms
      • Time sheets
      • Performance reviews
      • Expense reports

Sales/Customer Acquisition Documents

      • Client contracts
      • Proposals
      • Customer service contracts
      • Term sheets
      • Customer agreements

Finance/Accounting Documents

      • Lease agreements
      • Expense reports
      • Tax filings
      • Disbursements
      • Contractor agreements
      • Purchase agreements
      • Purchase orders
      • Contract amendments 

Of course, there are many other documents that you can legally sign online. In fact, the ESIGN Act approves all types of documents for electronic signature except the following: 

      • Wills, codicils or testamentary trusts
      • Documents associated with adoption, divorce or other matters of family law
      • Court orders or notices, or official court documents (including briefs, pleadings and other writings) required to be executed in connection with court proceedings
      • Cancellation of utility services (including water, heat and power)
      • Default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure or eviction (or the right to cure) under a credit agreement secured by (or a rental agreement for) a primary residence of an individual
      • The cancellation or termination of health insurance benefits or life insurance benefits (excluding annuities)
      • Recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety
      • Any document required to accompany the transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides or other toxic or dangerous materials
      • Documents governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, as in effect in any State, other than sections 1–107 and 1–206 and Articles 2 and 2A

As electronic documents become even more common, we expect that future laws and regulations will relax these restrictions. After all, some types of electronic signatures are even more secure than handwritten signatures on paper!

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