120 Cedar Street
Big Rapids, Michigan 49307-2202
Phone: (231) 591-3894
Fax: (231) 591-2086
Electronic Signature - Without E-Signature Software
Agreements such as affiliation agreements, internship agreements, standard service provider agreements, exhibition agreements, most commercial agreements, and even FERPA (education records) releases are valid when signed electronically (e-signatures). The Michigan's Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) allows parties to conduct transactions electronically, and gives full legal effect to e-signatures if certain requirements are met.
Agreements, such as those listed, are enforceable with e-signatures if the following requirements are met:
If you want to electronically sign an agreement without an e-signature provision it is recommended you add the following paragraphs prior to the signature line.
The parties hereby agree that this Agreement may be executed with electronic signatures and shall be valid and binding on the parties.
After each signature you should add:
___ I agree. By checking the box, I agree and certify that my printed signature is my signature and I agree to conduct this transaction electronically.
There are other ways to have a valid e-signature including using commercial software, but the above example will work. The statue actually defines an e-signature as, "an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a (contract, agreement) record and executed or adopted by a person with intent to sign the record.
Authentication of e-signature is important. If there are questions about the authenticity of an e-signature, additional verification steps should be taken. This may include confirmation through an identifiable email address or other methods of verifying the signer's identity such as sending using encryption.