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Enabling compliance with the ESIGN Act of June 2000

Digital signing requires that the signer use a credential (such as a digital certificate) that is bound to his or her identity. Binding the identity of a signer to the credential that is used for signing creates assurance that the individual who is signing a document really is who they say they are. When an identity-based credential is used, the signature is considered non-repudiable and is legally binding.

IdenTrust issues certificates under the IdenTrust Global Common policy which is owned and managed by IdenTrust and certified under the Federal Bridge policy. Certification under the Federal Bridge means that IGC certificates are authorized to be used for government agency applications, such as for digitally signing and sealing plans and other documentation. IGC certificates are considered identity-based because the identity information provided during the registration process is vetted for accuracy--only then can an IGC digital certificate be issued.

The ESIGN Act Authorizes the Use of Digital Signatures

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, Pub.L. 106–229, 114 Stat. 464, enacted June 30, 2000, 15 U.S.C. ch. 96) is a U.S. federal law passed by the U.S. Congress to facilitate the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically.

Although every state has at least one law pertaining to electronic signatures, it is the federal law that lays out the guidelines for interstate commerce. The general intent of the ESIGN Act is spelled out in the very first section (101.a), that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”. This simple statement provides that electronic signatures and records are just as good as their paper equivalents, and therefore subject to the same legal scrutiny of authenticity that applies to paper documents.

Agencies Relying on Digital Signatures to Sign and Seal Professional Plans and Documents

The use of digital signatures is becoming more commonplace both in the workplace and for personal use. Implementation of digital signing allows organizations to streamline signature and approval processes, eliminate paper and establish an audit trail.

Agencies can use and/or accept digital signatures created with IdenTrust IGC certificates. View a list of Agencies currently registered with IdenTrust.