E-Sign Act vs. UETA: What are the similarities and differences?
There are two acts designed to validate electronic signatures: the E-Sign Act and UETA. While there are many similarities, there are also a few key differences. Learn more about e-signature laws.
The two U.S. e-signature acts.
The two primary electronic signature acts in the United States are the E-Sign Act and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA). They’re both designed to recognize e-signatures as valid and enforceable under U.S. law on any forms, contracts, and government documents.
Both acts outline four requirements for an e-signature to be valid:
- Intent to sign — E-signatures are only valid if both parties intend to sign.
- Consent to do business electronically — Both parties acknowledge that they agree to do business electronically, either explicitly or implicitly.
- Association of signature with the record — E-signatures must leave a mark (either graphical or textual) on the document that can be associated with the record.
- Record retention — Both parties must be able to access and save the signed document.
Differences between the E-Sign Act and UETA.
The main difference between the E-Sign Act and UETA is the scope. Congress passed the UETA in 1999. It implies that circumstances and context define the legal validity of an e-signature. States could adopt the UETA as they saw fit. So far, 47 states have adopted UETA, while the remaining three passed their own e-signature laws.
The E-Sign Act was passed in 2000 as a federal regulation to resolve disputes between different state laws. It says that each state may accept or reject guidelines in the UETA, but it must have some laws that validate electronic signatures. In other words, no state can outright deny the authenticity of e-signatures, but they don’t necessarily have to use the UETA in its entirety.
If you need to apply e-signatures that fall under both the E-Sign Act and UETA, try verified software like Adobe Sign. Discover what more you can do with Sign to easily add legal signatures to documents with just the click of a button.