The 123ContactForm digital signature field prompts users to provide the electronic equivalent of a handwritten signature on paper documents. You can include the digital signature field within contracts and agreements (such as the universal partnership agreement form), payment forms and any other form that requires a proof of identity and intent.
As the form gets filled in, 123ContactForm securely delivers you the graphical signature as created by the person who filled in the form. You can receive signatures as embedded images in your email notifications and you can even print the signed forms to be filed in your physical records.
The Electronic Signatures In Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) is the present US law on digital signatures which became effective in October 1, 2000. It grants digital signatures and their records the same legal effect, validity and enforceability as for signatures on paper documents. This extends to 123ContactForm, meaning that a web form bearing a digital signature is just as legally valid as a paper agreement.
ESIGN reinforces the legal validity of electronic records of transactions, as long as the records “accurately reflect” the substance of the contract and are “accessible” to people who are entitled to access it “in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference, whether by transmission, printing or otherwise.” This is perfectly possible through the 123ContactForm Submissions section, from where you have the power and right to make data accessible to those who need it.
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) is a model state act which has provided the legal framework for the validity of digital signatures prior to the implementation of ESIGN Act. UETA includes the broad definition of e-signatures as meaning electronic sounds, symbols, or processes attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. This includes the way 123ContactForm records digital signatures.
Section 14 of UETA reinforces the validity of automatic electronic transactions: “…contract may be formed by the interaction of electronic agents of the parties, even if no individual was aware of or reviewed the electronic agents’ actions or the resulting terms and agreements.” In conclusion, a form transaction that is consented by both parties is legally valid and doesn’t require the confirmation of a notary or other third party. Section 11 even allows for a notary public and other authorized officers to act electronically, effectively removing the stamp/seal requirements.
United Kingdom regulations concerning the legal validity of digital signatures:
The law in vigor in the UK is the Electronic Communications Act of 2000, which confirms the legal status of digital signatures and grants them the same validity as pen and paper documents. The regulation requires for the digital signature to abide by three criteria in order to be legal: be uniquely linked to the signatory, capable of identifying the signatory and created using methods that the signatory can maintain under their sole control. 123ContactForm gives the necessary environment for all of these criteria to be met, therefore the 123ContactForm digital signature field is compliant with the UK Electronic Communications Act of 2000.
There are certain simple requirements of the ESIGN Act that 123ContactForm users too need to act upon, while building their digital signature forms. For instance, both ESIGN Act and UETA state that individuals should be respected the right to use a paper signature instead of a digital one if they want to. Therefore, be prepared to hand out a printed version of the 123ContactForm web form if asked for it.
Section 8 of UETA provides that the information be available to all parties. As a form owner, you should therefore make sure you send a copy of the signed form to the sender (by enabling the option from the Settings → Notifications section of the 123ContactForm editor).
To conclude, the 123ContactForm digital signature field is ESIGN and UETA compliant, and you can use it with no worries in any transaction or exchange. If you need any guidance on implementing and using a digital signature field on your form, our Support team is always here to help.