Use digital signing and sealing to replace wet signatures and create non-repudiable, legally binding documents. Digital signatures can also be used to sign email communications, reassuring the recipient that the sender is actually you. Digital signing of documents and email is the best way to ensure that the digital media remains intact, protecting the overall integrity of the document or email.
Digital signing allows agencies and organizations to streamline signature and approval processes, eliminate paper and establish an audit trail. This audit trail adds to the integrity of the digital signing process by providing documentary evidence of the sequence of signing activities that took place. Anyone with a need to digitally sign and seal plans and other documents can benefit from using digital signing.
A digital signature can be configured to incorporate an official digital seal to replace the traditional stamped or embossed seal that requires a wet ink signature. This functionality allows digital signing and sealing to be used by federal, state and local agencies as well as the engineers, architects, surveyors and others who transact with these agencies.
The ESIGN Act Authorizes the Use of Digital Signatures
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) enacted June 30, 2000 is a U.S. federal law that facilitates the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by insuring the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically.
Overview of Identity-Based Digital Certificates
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 Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES) program, a policy owned and managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), to use for digitally signing and sealing plans and other documentation. ACES certificates are considered identity-based, because the identity of the individual who applies for the certificate is “vetted” by validating that the information provided during the application process is accurate. Only then can a digital certificate be issued.
- ACES Business Representative certificates are used to authenticate your identity as an individual as well as your affiliation with an organization or business.
- ACES Unaffiliated Individual certificates are used to authenticate your identity as an individual, as opposed to an employee of a business.
IdenTrust offers you the option to store your digital certificate on a token or smart card, for less than $49. This provides you with the convenience to use your digital certificate on multiple PCs for portability and offers the highest degree of security.