Wet Signature

A wet signature is the backbone of any legally binding document. It was once the only way to seal a contract or other legal form. Today, there are multiple ways you sign a document in order to make it legal.

What is a Wet Signature?

A wet signature is any physical mark on documents created by a person. In many cultures, a wet signature consists of writing a name in cursive or marking with an “x” on a sheet of paper. Other cultures use a name seal to make a wet signature. In either instance, the word “wet” means that a signature needs time to dry.

There are also wet web signatures. These are located inside an editable document with edit fields, radio buttons, and the like. The user will fill in each pertinent section and sign by typing his or her name in the correct space. It is then sent to the service provider.

A wet signature is vitally important. It should be written in blue ink and should always be reflected in a hard copy. Color copies of a wet signature will not hold water. It should be written on each contract individually.

What Does Not Require a Wet Signature?

Law does not require a wet signature if documents that are faxed or emailed are acceptable to the institution or the seller.

When is a Wet Signature Necessary?

A wet signature is needed when mandated by law or if one party demands it.

What is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature is the confirmation of any documents, messages, or transactions that are electronically received by either party.

Examples of an Electronic Signature

There are several examples of an electronic signature:

  • The typed name at the bottom section of an email message
  • The typed name on any document created electronically
  • A handwritten signature found on a document that is subsequently submitted through fax
  • A Personal Identification Number, much like those found at banking machines
  • The “agree” or “disagree” button in any terms and agreements section on an electronic contract
  • A dynamic signature that is captured digitally when handwritten on a touch device, such as a tablet or a smartphone

What is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature is known as a cryptographic signature on a document. It is regarded as the most secure type of electronic signature. This type of signature ensures that it is valid of the signatory because of a certain certificate of authority, such as that offered by Windows.

Digital vs. Electronic Signature

Electronic and digital signatures are often used interchangeably in many different instances. However, a digital signature is much more secure than an electronic signature. Important documents will utilize a digital signature, such as a permit application, tax forms, or college applications.

Are Different Signatures Required For Different Purposes?

Everyone involved in a party will have his or her own discernment with regard to the type of signature that is acceptable. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) of 2000 does not have a preference to the type of signature used. However, there are some people and entities that prefer a handwritten signature.

How Do Signatures Affect Business Processes?

There are a plethora of documents that require a signature, such as employee evaluation forms, sales invoices, and contracts. Signatures, despite the type that is used, have an impact on all document-based business processes if done in a specified time limit.

An organization will operate most efficiently when electronic signatures are used in automated business processes. If managers forget to authorize an invoice, the automated system can contact that manager to sign the documents if a certain amount of time has gone by.

What is a Docusign?

Docusign is a program that assists in tracking of all forms of digital transactions. It can be essential in many business processes.

 “Request for Signature” Feature           

The “request for signature” feature allows the signer of a document to have the option to sign electronically or to print a hard copy and sign the document manually.

Should the signer decide to print the document and sign it in his or her own handwriting, they can then scan and upload it into Docusign. This will allow for continued electronic record-keeping while giving the signer of the document two options for signatures. A free Docusign account can be created to store the document, or the signer can print the document if they would like to have a copy.

How to Modernize and Standardize Troublesome State Regulations

In many states, there are rules that will require a wet signature on policies or on physical delivery of the policy. This can prevent the issuance of the policy online.

Dry Web-Signatures

A dry web-signature is one that is done on a different page from the document. This is used to prove that the document has been received and/or accepted.

Dry Web-Signature vs. Wet Signature

A dry web-signature pertains to a signature used in all formats of a web-based transaction. Wet signatures are only supportive of a single format of the document.

If you need help with better understanding of a wet signature, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.