Electronic Signature & Records Association
110 Horizon Drive Suite 210
Raleigh, NC 27615
The Electronic Signature and Records Association (ESRA) annually celebrates the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton on June 20, 2000.
In 2010, Congress passed a resolution to observe the date as National ESIGN Day to raise awareness about eSgnatures and promote its advantages in electronic commerce and other industries.
Prior to the passage of ESIGN, the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) was introduced in 1999 and was adopted by 47 states, as well as DC. UETA provides that when a law requires a written record or a signature, an eRecord or an eSgnature can satisfy that requirement when the parties to the transaction have agreed to proceed electronically.
With the introduction of ESIGN, it and UETA solidified the legal landscape for use of eRecords and eSignatures in commerce by confirming that eRecords and eSignatures carry the same weight and have the same legal effect as traditional paper documents and wet ink signatures.
One important aspect of ESIGN is the provisions made for consumer protection. While the ESIGN Act does not apply for every type of document, it laid the foundations for the conversations we’re having today.
“It’s been quite a journey since the passage of the ESIGN Act as eSignature has become mainstream while providing secure, reliable, and auditable efficiencies to just about every industry and has changed both business and consumer expectations. Additionally, eSignatures have had a positive impact on our environment as we reduce paper and preserve trees to combat climate change. Throughout COVID-19, this technology has literally saved lives by enabling secure transactions to take place while adhering to guidance provided by public health officials.” – Michael Magrath, OneSpan
“It was obvious in 2000 that the ESIGN Act would change the way humans execute agreements. However, it was not clear how organizations and individuals would learn about the viability, legality, and usage of the emerging enabling technologies. Led by evangelists of eSign law like ESRA and its members, today you can sign electronically to purchase a house or a car, sign a contract, or file your taxes. Thanks in no small part to the flexibility and forward-thinking nature of the ESIGN Act, this industry has been able to grow rapidly and keep pace with rapidly shifting technologies and business practices.” – Larry Torri, Wacom
“For over 20 years, the ESIGN Act has been the legal foundation for the electronic execution and management of agreements in an expanding digital economy. It has enabled businesses and consumers to have trusted, enforceable contracts and loans in a fully digital, remote environment. The ESIGN Act has been an accelerant for digital adoption, providing for the speed, reduced costs, and efficiencies of digital transactions, as well as the ease of the digital consumer experience expected today. Withstanding the test of time, the ESIGN Act has served the judiciary, business, consumers, and the evolution of technology for over two decades. An amazing feat.” – Stephen Bisbee, eOriginal