DocuSign Digital Signature Service


The DocuSign Digital Signature Service is an e-signature and workflow solution. It allows you to send, sign, and manage documents electronically. Easily access and store your documents in a secure, online location in the cloud. Manage workflows and improve turnaround time on processes.

Benefits of DocuSign

  • Reduce paper clutter
  • Streamline processes
  • Improve turnaround time
  • Store documents securely and digitally

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Legal Considerations

The Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act

On June 30, 2000, Congress enacted the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) (15 U.S.C. §§ 7001-7006 (2000)). The goal of E-SIGN is to ensure the validity and legal effect of electronic contracts and signatures used in transactions that are in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

Legal Validity of Electronic Signatures

Under E-SIGN, for any transaction in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, related contracts cannot be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because:

  • The signature, contract or other record relating to the transaction is in electronic form.
  • An electronic signature or record was used in the contract's formation.

(15 U.S.C. § 7001(a) (2000).)

E-SIGN Definition of Electronic Signature

Under E-SIGN, an electronic signature can be an electronic sound, symbol or process that is both:

  • Attached to or logically associated with a contract or record.
  • Executed or adopted with the intent to sign the record.

(15 U.S.C. § 7006(5) (2000).)
A party's intent to sign an agreement using an electronic signature is crucial in determining whether there is a valid signature and enforceable contract under E-SIGN.

Specific Exceptions

The E-SIGN does not apply to transactions that are subject to:

  • Laws governing wills, codicils or testamentary trusts.
  • Laws governing adoption, divorce or other family law matters.
  • All articles of the UCC, as adopted by any state, except Section 1-107, Section 1-206 and Articles 2 and 2A.

(15 U.S.C. § 7003(a) (2000).)

  • Court orders or notices, or official court documents that must be executed in connection with court proceedings (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)(1) (2000)).
  • A notice of:
    • cancellation or termination of a utility service;
    • default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure or eviction under a credit agreement secured by an individual's primary residence;
    • default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure or eviction under a rental agreement for an individual's primary residence;
    • cancellation or termination of either health or life insurance or benefits; or
    • a product's recall or material failure that risks endangering health or safety.

(15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)(2) (2000).)

  • Any document that must accompany the transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides or other dangerous materials (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)(3) (2000)).

Additional Restrictions:

  • Office of General Counsel should be consulted when e-signature is being used with parties outside the US and UK.

Use of e-signatures for any type of informed consent or other clinical research work should be cleared by the Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) and Research Compliance.