E-Signature Regulations
Canada – Vancouver + British Columbia

Does your jurisdiction maintain a list of trusted entities to qualify e-signatures?

For the purposes of the ETA, British Columbia does not keep such a list.

Please provide a quick overview of the law, i.e., types of contracts that qualify for use with e-signature.

Generally, electronic signatures are legally valid in the context of private transactions and transactions between and with governments in B.C. The ETA does not limit the operation of a law that authorizes or prohibits the use of information or records in electronic form, or requires information or a record to be posted, displayed or delivered in a specific manner. However, the use of words like “in writing” and “signature” in an act are not sufficient to limit the application of the ETA.

What is the legality of e-signatures in your jurisdiction? Are there key exceptions?

The ETA currently does not apply to: Wills*, trusts created by wills, certain Powers of attorney, document that create or transfer interests in land and that require registration to be effective against third parties (s. 2(4)).

* Bill 21: Wills, Estates and Succession Amendment 2020 Act (“Bill 21”), when enacted, will permit wills to be signed electronically.

Consent to provide or receive an electronic document or signatures is required, but can be inferred from a party’s conduct (s. 4).

What is the e-signature law enforceable in your jurisdiction?

The Electronic Transaction Act, [SBC 2001] Chapter 10 (“ETA”)

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