Does your jurisdiction maintain a list of trusted entities to qualify e-signatures?
No, North Carolina does not maintain a list of trusted entities to qualify e-signatures. However, electronic notarizations are temporarily permitted due to the COVID-19 pandemic response if a notary performs the notarial act utilizing an electronic signature meeting the requirements of UETA and follows other applicable laws, and uses real-time, direct audiovisual communication (effective until December 31, 2021). N.C. Gen. Stat. § 10B-25 (amended by N.C. SL 2021-3).
Please provide a quick overview of the law, i.e., types of contracts that qualify for use with e-signature.
E-signatures are permitted for most contracts, with exceptions noted below. For an e-signature to be enforceable, the parties must agree to conduct the transaction electronically, attach e-signatures with the intent to form an e-contract, and retain the e-contract (including metadata) for later reference. E-signatures with consumers have additional notice and consent requirements. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 40-66-315-327.
What is the legality of e-signatures in your jurisdiction? Are there key exceptions?
E-signatures are not valid for wills, codicils, testamentary trusts, notices of utility service cancellation, adoption paperwork, divorce decrees, documents executed pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code (except Articles 2 and 2A), court orders and notices, notices of default, foreclosure, repossession or eviction, cancelation of insurance benefits, product recalls, notices of product failures, or documentation accompanying transportation of hazardous materials. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 40-66-313.
What is the e-signature law enforceable in your jurisdiction?
E-signatures are enforceable in North Carolina for most types of contracts if the required procedures are followed. North Carolina follows the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN). N.C. Gen. Stat. § 40-66-311-30; 15 U.S.C. § 7001. Certain electronic notarizations are temporarily permitted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic when coupled with live audiovisual communication. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 2021-3-196.