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In the United States, electronic signatures (e-signatures) are governed by a two-tier model consisting of federal and state laws, with the primary federal law being the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN). Additionally, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) has been adopted by 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, each with its own variation of the law. New York has a law similar to UETA.

OVERVIEW

Welcome to Wilma's in-depth guide on electronic signature legality in United States. This comprehensive overview is designed to help businesses understand the intricacies of e-signature laws in United States, essential for navigating the digital contracting landscape effectively.

Wilma E-Signature Legality: United States

The ESIGN Act, enacted in 2000, establishes the legal equivalence of electronic signatures and traditional ink signatures. It applies to electronic records and signatures related to transactions. A "transaction" under ESIGN encompasses various types of business, consumer, or commercial affairs, including the sale, lease, exchange, licensing, or disposition of personal property, services, and real property interests.

ESIGN - A FEDERAL FRAMEWORK

UETA complements ESIGN by providing a consistent legal framework for e-signatures across most U.S. states. It aligns with ESIGN and ensures that electronic signatures have the same legal effect as traditional signatures.

UETA - STATE-LEVEL CONSISTENCY

E-signatures are legally valid and widely accepted for various use cases in the USA, including:

  • Business contracts and agreements

  • Employment agreements

  • Real estate transactions

  • Consumer agreements

  • Financial transactions

  • Healthcare consents

  • Government forms and filings

Exemptions

While e-signatures are generally accepted, certain documents may be exempt, such as wills, court orders, and specific real property transactions. State-specific laws may further define exemptions.

USE CASES

To ensure compliance with e-signature laws:

  • Obtain clear and informed consent from signatories.

  • Implement secure e-signature solutions with authentication and audit trails.

  • Retain electronically signed records securely and accessibly.

  • Stay informed about changes in e-signature laws and regulations.

COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

This guide provides a general overview of electronic signatures' legality in United States. However, it is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing electronic signatures and digital transactions are subject to change. Wilma cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. For specific legal advice, consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

DISCLAIMER

ESIGN and UETA define electronic signatures as "any electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record."

Documents That May Be Signed Electronically

E-signatures are generally eligible for use in a wide range of transaction types, including HR documents, NDAs, software licensing, technology, and consumer transactions. However, some transaction categories may require further assessment before proceeding, such as corporate resolutions, procurement, and real estate.

PERMITTED ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

Wilma offers advanced e-signature solutions designed to meet the legal and compliance requirements for electronic signatures in the USA. Our platform ensures secure, efficient, and legally compliant e-signature processes, allowing businesses to streamline transactions in the digital age.

WILMA'S E-SIGNATURE SOLUTIONS

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