The electronic signature in the United States of America

In the English-speaking world, a distinction is made between electronic signatures and digital signatures, whereby both are valid. The digital signature is made with a digital certificate, while the electronic signature is similar to the simple electronic signature of eIDAS: a signature on a document, click on an acceptance clause, drawing the signature with a mouse, finger on screen on an electronic document, the biometric signature … Therefore, in for this reason the American legislation is more flexible and permissive than European legislation with the application of electronic signatures.

The main federal standards are:

  1. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN).
  2. Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).

Individual states then have state-level electronic signature laws, most of which are based on versions of UETA. In general, American legislation states that signatures shall not be denied legal effect simply from being based on an electronic/digital format, but it is mandatory to have consent of all parties in order to carry out the any transaction electronically. Normally, the sale of property or reliable notifications are excluded from this area of application.