Electronic documents make life easier, but they may carry legal and security risks. Since you are not physically contacting the other party, how do you know if they have signed the document? At the heart of this discussion is the question: Is a typed signature legally binding? Let’s find out.
What Is a Typed Signature?
Also known as electronic or e-signatures, typed signatures are more than just your name written on a document on a digital device.
The law defines a typed signature as an electronic process, symbol, or even a sound used to authenticate a document or record a contract. Simply put, a typed signature is a way of entering into legal agreements without pens and papers.
That said, not all typed signatures are valid. There are some basic requirements that all electronic signatures must meet before a court recognizes them as legal and binding.
Example of a Typed Signature
There is no single format for typed signatures, and each signature is implemented differently.
A common example of an electronic signature is your username
and password you use to access specific documents and web pages. Scanning documents and sending them by email is also an example. However, these come with the lowest level of security.
More advanced and qualified electronic signatures come with security protocols like digital certificates and encryption.
Note that a typed or electronic signature is only one form of digital signature. There is a distinction between the two that we will discuss shortly.
Is a Typed Signature Legally Binding?
According to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Acts (UETA) and Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), electronic signatures are legally binding if all parties choose to sign digitally.
Similar laws exist worldwide, such as the electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) regulation in the European Union. These regulations also encompass the fact that digital signatures go beyond typing your name or PIN into an online form.
For instance, clicking “I Agree” on a website or using fingerprint authentication on a device also constitute digital signatures. So does using an e-signature solution like Signaturely.
Typed signatures are also legally enforceable. In fact, with digital measures like tamper sealing, authentication, and tracking, typed signatures provide stronger court admissible evidence than handwritten signatures.
Is a typed signature legally binding in my country?
Along with international and federal regulations, typed signatures are valid in all U.S. states. Of course, laws governing typed signatures vary between countries. You can check out electronic signature legality in your country with Signaturely’s legality guide.
The latest tools and software enable you to quickly create legally enforceable documents that are in line with local and international laws for digital signatures.
What Makes An Electronic Signature Legally Binding?
As mentioned above, both handwritten and typed signatures are considered legal signatures. Much more goes into making an electronic signature legally binding than just the format. For instance, there should be a clear indication that other parties typed their signature out of their own volition.
The court will consider whether you intended to make the signature and whether you intended to signify your agreement to the contract. In other words, the court is more concerned with the contents of a contract than how it was signed.
When we consider what makes a contract legally binding, it all comes down to agreement and value. All parties must agree to the terms of the contract, and something of value is exchanged (e.g. a product in exchange for cash).
Of course, whatever is agreed upon and exchanged should be lawful and based on realistic demands. Not to mention, all parties must have the legal capacity to sign the document (which usually precludes minors).
How Do You Indicate a Typed Signature?
There are several ways to indicate type signatures. A common example is what is known as a ‘conformed’ signature. This signing method allows for fast and easy authentication of digital documents.
Basically, a conformed signature replaces the usual signature line with a “/s/”, followed by your typed name. Here’s an example:
/s/ Mark Johnson________
Attorney at law
This is just one way to indicate that a typed signature is being used to replace a traditional handwritten signature. The legality of such an indication depends on state laws.
How Do You Make a Typed Signature?
Considering the benefits of typed signatures, it helps to create a standard electronic signature for all your contractual needs. It saves precious time, and could help prevent the impending carpal tunnel!
The best part is that you can use eSignature software or a signature generator to get an electronic signature within minutes.
Reliable signature generators not only help you customize a digital signature that goes with your personality; they guide you through the legal aspect as well. Otherwise, you may end up with an impressive signature, but one that doesn’t hold up in court.
How to Make a Typed Signature Using Signaturely
Considering that electronic signatures are as legal as their written counterparts, why not make your life easier with Signaturely? They’ll help you create a professional digital signature within seconds, free of charge.
Start by creating a free account from their homepage. Next, choose between the option of drawing or typing your signature.
Once you create a signature, you can upload a document to be signed, input the signature, and export the pdf to your device or the cloud. You can also send documents to request an electronic signature from other parties.
Not only is your digital signature legal, but thanks to 256-bit encryption, Signaturely ensures that your documents remain secure. The software is AATl compliant as well.
There are several benefits of using Signaturely for typed signatures. You can save time and paper while digitally tracking and storing your documents, and you’ll be able to sign hundreds of documents effortlessly.
Common Question Related To – Is A Typed Signature Legally Binding?
Still wondering if a typed signature is legally binding? Here we answer some FAQs for further clarity.
Does a signature have to be handwritten?
No. Your signature can be typed or scanned as well. Since the passing of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act in 2000, electronic contracts and signatures have the same validity as paper documents. Local laws may vary from state to state, but overall, you can conduct your business legally with electronic signatures.
Can you sign a document by typing your name?
Yes, you can, provided you indicate that you are using a typed signature in lieu of a handwritten one. This is most commonly done using the /s/ marker, followed by your name on the signature line.
What is the difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature?
We indicated above that there is a difference between electronic and digital signatures. We can understand the former as just a digital version of the traditional, handwritten signature. However, a digital signature is a broader term encompassing a variety of tools and technology to authenticate, identify, and secure digital assets. Examples include:
- Digital certificates
- Tokens (primarily used in the banking sector)
- Biometric data
- Username and password authentication
Each type of digital signature comes with its own characteristics for operation, reliability, and legal validity.
Here’s What You Should Remember About Typed Signatures
To sum up, there are several kinds of typed signatures, and all of them offer several benefits as contract management solutions. Moreover, technological advances in recent years have made it possible to make these typed signatures even more secure. That’s why it has become easier to implement electronic signatures in an increasing number of areas and sectors—a trend that is likely to continue in the post-pandemic world.