eSign Laws and Regulations

Mon, 03/16/2009 - 18:47

Introduction to Electronic Signature Laws and Regulations

On June 30, 2000 President Clinton signed the "Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act" (ESIGN) using his electronic signature ID, and thereby established the validity of electronic signatures for interstate and international commerce.

In the four years prior to this Act’s passage a dozen states had passed similar laws and guidance for state specific business purposes, and in the years since the Act’s passing every other state has passed similar laws and legislation. What does it all mean, and in the end how can it benefit businesses, individuals and the nation or world as a whole? Please read the following articles for a general overview:

Today the average American office worker consumes (12,000) pieces of paper a year, with an average annual printing expense per employee ranging from $600-$2000. Storing paper and retrieving stored paper is also quite costly. The U.S. government estimates that (1 Lbs) of paper costs ($19) a year to store and manage. At that rate, assuming your business stores only 60% of the paper printed by your employees, your business is spending $1,500 annually per employee on paper storage alone. Read here for links to 3rd party research and whitepapers .

There are obvious other costs associated with paper, for example the costs associated with faxing, shipping, receiving and time factors such as waiting for a job to finish printing or waiting on a package to arrive. In the end all businesses feel these costs, but most look at it as a fixed cost of doing business. In reality this is a variable cost of doing business based on old fashioned processes, and the United States government along with virtually every other developed country has passed legislation and regulations encouraging businesses to change the way they do business today, and take advantage of new legal and secure alternatives.

Please visit these pages for detailed review of each electronic signature law.

STATE LAWS AND GUIDELINES

Most States have either accepted The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), as mentioned above, or adopted it into their own laws. The following links provide state specific information.
ALABAMA ALASKA ARIZONA ARKANSAS CALIFORNIA COLORADO CONNECTICUT DELAWARE FLORIDA GEORGIA HAWAII IDAHO ILLINOIS INDIANA IOWA KANSAS KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MAINE MARYLAND MASSACHUSETTS MICHIGAN MINNESOTA MISSISSIPPI MISSOURI MONTANA NEBRASKA NEVADA NEW HAMPSHIRE NEW JERSEY NEW MEXICO NEW YORK NORTH CAROLINA NORTH DAKOTA OHIO OKLAHOMA OREGON PENNSYLVANIA RHODE ISLAND SOUTH CAROLINA SOUTH DAKOTA TENNESSEE TEXAS UTAH VERMONT VIRGINIA WASHINGTON WEST VIRGINIA WISCONSIN WYOMING