Are Digital Waivers Legally Binding?

Two men shaking hands with white rope binding them

There are many benefits to using digital waivers for your business. These online documents, which contain a legally binding electronic signature, are accessible through services such as WaiverForever and can be used by companies across a variety of industries to execute sensitive documents and liability waivers.

However, understanding what makes these digital waivers legally binding is often more complex than looking at the signature on the document. It’s a complicated relationship between the waiver itself and the technology used to sign it. Today, we’ll explore the basics of eSignatures, and answer frequently asked questions about how to use eSign for your business.

What’s an eSignature?

So, your first question is probably, “What’s an eSignature?” Great question!

An electronic signature, or eSignature, is any legally binding way to approve an electronic document. An eSignature can appear as a digital recreation of the person’s handwritten signature or can be something created entirely online.

In the United States and European Union, eSignatures are now recognized with the same legal status offered to signatures made on paper.

While eSignatures are legally binding, there are core differences between eSignatures and digital signatures, which offer another level of security. Digital signatures are linked to a person’s identity using a digital ID issued by a trusted authority or service provider. This means that when the signee signs the document, their identity is uniquely linked to that file with encryption. The association can’t be removed.

What’s an eSign?

An eSign is just another way of referring to electronic signatures.

How do electronic signatures work?

There are a few steps to creating a legally binding electronic signature. First, the identity of the signer has to be authenticated. There are a few different methods that can accomplish this, including:

  • IP address
  • Operating system and browser information
  • Geo coordinates
  • Email verification
  • Date and time stamps

From there, the signer shows they intend to sign the document by making a digital mark or inserting their digital signature. After the document is signed, it has to be held securely to ensure the signed file is always readily available and can be tracked continually so there is no question of its provenance.

Are digital waivers legally binding?

If your digital waiver has been signed using a digital or electronic signature and the document is securely tracked and the signature is attributed to the right person, it is legally binding. It will hold up in any court of law just as a handwritten signature would.

Which factors need to be in place for waivers to Beegally binding?

 A few factors need to be in place for waivers to be considered legal.

1. The signer must have the intent to sign your document. It can’t be an accident.

2. They must give their consent to sign the document electronically.

3. The signature must be attributed to one person.

4. The signature must be stored with the document;– it can’t be separated at any time.

5. A copy of the waiver or document must be sent to the signer.

6. The waiver must be kept securely so it can be produced when required.

7. The signer should be able to opt out of digital signing and sign on paper instead.

The only exception is jurisdictions that don’t recognize eSignatures or eSign. While Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom have relatively permissive eSign laws, other countries around the world, such as China and South Korea, have a more complex two-tier system of rules for navigating eSignatures.

Regardless of which area you operate in, it’s wise to read up on digital waiver laws before you use them for your business. This helps to ensure you are creating secure documents that can be easily used in a court of law if necessary.

Create legally binding electronic signatures for waivers with WaiverForever

Using digital waivers is an excellent step in ensuring that your business is protected whenever you need to use waiver or liability forms. A secure service such as  WaiverForever simplifies this process, making it easy to provide customers and employees with liability waivers they can access from any device. From there, the waivers are securely signed with a digital signature and stored so they can’t be lost or compromised.

Want to explore how it works for yourself? Start your free trial today.