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What is an electronic signature?

Last Updated: Jun 29, 2017 11:58AM PDT

RightSignature's signature pad enables you to use your mouse to sign a document, creating a valid electronic signature as defined by U.S. and E.U. legislation and directives. Any mark you make in the signature pad is valid, even if it does not resemble your handwritten signature. The courts broadly interpret the concept of "signature" and a signature need not, in fact, be a "signature" in the traditional sense of the word. For example, a rubber stamp has been recognized as a signature, as has a mark made by an illiterate, both of which illustrate the concept that any willful mark made by a party to a contract can be recognized as a signature.

Documents executed online with electronic signatures are legally valid and have the same legal standing as paper documents executed by hand. RightSignature's technology is in full compliance with the 2000 U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), as well as the European Directive (EC/1999/93), all of which were intended to encourage the rapid adoption of electronic signatures and decrease use of antiquated paper methods.

RightSignature's technology fulfills the U.S. definition of an "electronic signature:" an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record

RightSignature's technology also fulfills the more stringent E.U. requirements of an "advanced electronic signature:"

  1. it is uniquely linked to the signatory;
  2. it is capable of identifying the signatory;
  3. it is created using means that the signatory can maintain under his sole control; and
  4. it is linked to the data to which it relates in such a manner that any subsequent change of the data is detectable.

References for further reading:
"Electronic Signatures and Online Contracts," Nolo.com article
Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament
U.S. Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN)

For more information on the legal validity of documents executed with RightSignature, please see our Legality page.

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