Legality of Electronic Signatures

Find out about the legality of electronic signatures and the International laws governing them.

Are Electronic Signatures legal?

Electronic signature transactions are a recognized and legally binding method of nearly all business and personal document transactions within the UK and around the world.

How can I be certain that the person purporting to sign using an electronic signature is in fact that person?

The evidence E-Sign provides within the remit of advanced electronic signature, as standard practice is:

  • The document has been accessed via the signatories e-mail account
  • The location where the document was accessed
  • The device used to access the document
  • The number of times the signer has viewed/accessed the document
  • The time when the document has been accessed
  • That the document has not been amended

Additional key identifiers E-Sign offers for additional assurance/security is:
The document cannot be signed by the signatory unless the following is provided and verified


  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Passport/driving licence number
Legality of QR codes

Legislative requirements for electronic signatures

A legally binding advanced electronic signature must meet the following requirements:

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

United Kingdom

Within the UK, E-Signs digital signature solution complies with the definition of an electronic signature under the Electronic Communications Act 2000.

European Union

Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions, commonly known as eIDAS, took direct effect in EU member states from 1 July 2016. It established a EU-wide legal framework for electronic signatures. E-Sign’s digital signature solution is compliant with eIDAS and EU electronic signature technical standards. E-Sign is also compliant with GDPR.

United States of America

E-Sign’s digital signature solution complies with the definition of an e-signature under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Digital Signature and Electronic Authentication Law.
ESIGN Act (2000) addresses e-signatures and e-records, allowing for electronic signatures in all 50 states when federal law applies. It defines an e-signature as an electronic sound, symbol, process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by an individual with the intent to sign and be legally bound.

How E-Sign complies with electronic signature law?

Unlike a hand signature, which is generally the same mark on every document, E-Sign’s digital signature is 100% unique to every document.

Signers identity is established by:
  • Email address
  • IP address
  • Location
  • Time and date stamping
  • Web browser and system information

E-Sign provides the following within its digital signature to ensure every document that is sent is secure and legally admissible. See full overview of E-Signs key features

  • Digital certificate authenticating all data and document interaction
  • Time and date stamping
  • Detailed document audit trail from inception to completion
  • Document integrity maintained and checked throughout the signature process
  • Secure storage of documents and data
  • Identification of users verified
  • Unique digital fingerprint created for every signed document
  • Unique signature fingerprint created for signatory

Still want to know more about digital signatures

For more information the following resources are helpful:

Stay up to date with E-Sign

Share this page