Ohio, like many states in America, passed the Unified Electronic Transaction Act – UETA. However, there are a number of conditions and limitations. They need to be clarified before signing a document with a partner or citizen of Ohio.
Ohio Electronic Signature Act
The state of UETA is in force in Ohio. Its main idea is that the document cannot lose its legal force only because it is prepared in electronic form. The contract also does not lose legal weight or the need to fulfill all its clauses just because it is signed with an electronic signature.
If the law requires a signature as such or a written form thereof, the electronic details fully satisfy the requirements.
UETA regulates transactions in electronic commerce in Ohio. However, the legislation applies only to those transactions in which both parties have previously discussed the possibility of maintaining electronic documentation.
It is important to understand that the conduct of a single transaction in electronic format is not the default consent to maintain all documents in this form. The goal of UETA is not to require government agencies and private enterprises to use electronic documents. The act only regulates their use and equates them to written, paper records and documents, if the parties agreed to electronic document circulation.
Basic requirements for electronic signatures in Ohio
UETA has four basic requirements for electronic transactions within the state of Ohio. The first two requirements are to recognize them as equal in legal force with paper documents of identical content. Even during the trial electronic documents should be considered by the judge, if there is no other reason to deny their authenticity.
The third rule: any law requiring the signature of a legal or natural person will be satisfied with an electronic signature. The fourth rule: any document that requires details, you can sign the electronic details, if required by legislative act.
UETA defines the details as an electronic record created, generated, sent or transmitted by electronic means. It can be a sound, a process or a symbol that is logically associated with the recording and accepted by the person who signs the document.
Assignment of signature
The law provides that a signature is assigned to a person, if it is an action that a person can reproduce in any way. If authentication requires a security procedure, the effectiveness of the verification procedure must also be demonstrated.
The law protects the interests of the party to the contract that complies with the security procedure. This is important to know if the other party does not follow the security procedure and a dispute arises about the content and authenticity of the document.
However, UETA is technology neutral and does not require the use of any specific types of electronic signatures. There are also no technologies that must be used with respect to electronic signatures. It also does not matter how simple or advanced these technologies are.
The act provides several rules for cases when documentation is required to be kept in electronic format. Save the record can be subject to two requirements.
First: the electronic record must fully and accurately reflect the information specified in the records, after creating the final version.
Second, the record must remain open and available for further use and be provided upon request.
Agreement between electronic agents
Another major issue in Ohio that UETA solves is the verification of contracts concluded between electronic agents. The implied transactions are online purchases.
An electronic agent is a program, intended for doing business with others in electronic mode without actual communication, except in electronic format.
The law specifies that both parties to an agreement may form a valid and binding contract using an electronic agent.
An interesting feature of the law in this respect is the provision that such a contract can be drawn up even in the case when no one was aware or considered the actions of the agent and the consequent agreement terms.
In the case of transactions involving individuals, in particular, for family, home and personal purposes, the law provides for some reservations.
First: any provision of a non-electronic contract that permits conducting a transaction using electronic means is not enforceable until the consumer separately signs such a provision.
Second, the consumer’s consent to the transaction cannot be based only on the fact that he used electronic means to pay bills, register a purchase, or guarantee.
The law governing electronic transactions excludes some of them. The main exceptions are cases that are subject to the Uniform Commercial Law, except for the sale of goods. Another limitation is the operations associated with the creation, execution of wills, trusts, fees.
The legality of electronic signatures in DigiSigner
DigiSigner complies with all requirements of Ohio law regarding electronic signature management. As an online service, DigiSigner helps to maintain documentation and sign documents remotely.
Just upload the document you want to sign, put your details in the selected place. You can sign immediately or download the complete scan. It is also possible to enter details and the date text.
Create templates with a post and a name that will need to be added in the future only with the actual date for the certification of the document, if the workflow is large. The service also helps to track the process of signing by other parties of the contract.