E-Signature Regulations
U.S.A. – Pennsylvania

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

No. If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those services, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record. See the Official Comment to 73 P.S. § 2260.307 for more information about notarizing electronic signatures.

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

The Electronic Transactions Act applies to “electronic records” and “electronic signatures” relating at a “transaction.” The Act defines an “electronic record” as a “record created, generated, sent, communicated, received or stored by electronic means” and an “electronic signature” as an “electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” 73 P.S. § 2260.103.

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

As an Official Comment to the Act clarifies, “transaction” does not include any unilateral actions, thereby providing a structural limitation on the scope of the Act. Accordingly, any interaction that does not involve another person would not be covered by the Act, including the execution of wills or codicils, trusts, and health care powers of attorney or similar health care designations. The Act also does not apply to provisions relating to the Commercial Code, except for leases and sales.

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

On December 16, 1999, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Electronic Transactions Act, which went into effect on January 18, 2000. The Electronic Transactions Act can be found at 73 P.S. §§ 2260.101-2260.5101. Chapters 1, 3, and 5 of the Pennsylvania Electronic Transactions Act incorporate the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which was submitted to the state legislatures by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws.

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Obermayer

U.S.A. – Pennsylvania

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