Digital has overtaken the modern office. Subsequently, traditional wet (pen-based) signatures, while still valid, are outdated. The new standard is to write your signature online. This electronic way of signing is fast, convenient, and every bit as legal as using a wet signature.
Table of Content
- How can I write my signature electronically?
- What is the difference between eSignatures and digital signatures?
- What are the laws that govern eSignatures?
- Are there limitations on where you can use electronic signatures?
- Tips to Write Signature Online
How can I write my signature electronically?
All you need to write your signature online is website-based software from a third party, such as PDF.co. Simply visit the provider’s website and register for their service. Others who need to sign the document will need to register, as well. Some providers will charge a one-time or subscription fee for you to register and write a signature online. Once you’ve registered, upload the document you want to the provider’s website. Some providers will allow you to convert your document to PDF format during this process.
That’s good because PDF is the gold standard for contracts and similar digital documents. But you can use other software you have to save your document as a PDF if needed before uploading, too. Next, add signature fields into your document. It’s most common to place them at the end of the document. But depending on the agreement, you can place them wherever they make good sense.
The most important thing is that the field placement allows everyone to read the electronic signature easily. From there, specify the name and email of everyone who will sign. When you confirm this information, the provider’s system will send an email invitation alerting everyone about the document. Each person then must click in the appropriate signature field and sign the document. PDF.co allows you to sign by typing, uploading an image, or drawing. The last step to write your signature online is to confirm your signature. The system should show you’ve signed the document and alert the others you’ve specified that the signature is done.
What is the difference between eSignatures and digital signatures?
Electronic signatures commonly known as eSignatures are not very much different from digital signatures. An electronic signature is a general term while digital signatures are a type of electronic signature.
Notably, eSignatures are virtually represented where the signer types their name or draws its representation using a stylus showing that they agree to outlined conditions just above the signature line.
Digital signatures are considered a more secure type of electronic signatures. They contain encrypted and coded messages that are unique to the signer and which prevents impersonation. The encryption makes the document or signs hard to tamper with ensuring the security and authenticity of the signatory.
In usage, the two terms have been used interchangeably to refer to one and the same thing-electronic signatures. However, a digital signature is a more appropriate term considering that the signature is not handwritten and is electronically designed even though eSignature is widely used.
What are the laws that govern eSignatures?
The federal ESIGN Act of 2000 is the one in charge of electronic signatures. In the year 1999, the state Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) came to power which is specific to different states and considered more comprehensive than the ESIGN Act of 2000.
Are there limitations on where you can use electronic signatures?
As much as e-Signatures have gained popularity and penetrated every business including government transactions, there are events that are exempted from using eSignatures as per the ESIGN Act of 2000. The state will still require the physical presence of the signer or handwritten signature when dealing with the following documents.
- The signing of a will, codicil or trusts
- Agreements of adoption
- Divorce agreements
- Court orders and notices
- Utility service cancellation notices
- A notice for eviction or foreclosure
- Repossession notice
- Product recall
Tips to Write Signature Online
A good eSignature should be your goal so that all your electronically signed documents look neat and authentic. You don’t want a scenario where your business partner calls to confirm if you are the one that signed the document. Hence, investing in drawing a good looking signature requires practice and consistency using the right tools.
The first step is to choose the best font and the practice signing using it. Among the best fonts, calligraph produces the best results.
Once you get the right fonts, draw your signature as many times as possible. This is to achieve consistency in the pattern that you create as well as achieve a neat and presentable signature.
After perfecting on your desired signature on a white clear background, scan it for storage or take a clear image of it and keep safe.