Delaware Governor E-Inks an E-Signature Law

Delaware Governor E-Inks an E-Signature Law<CR>

By William Welsh, Staff Writer

JULY 21 ? Delaware Gov. Thomas Carper has signed legislation that makes digital signatures an accepted way of signing electronic documents enforceable in a court of law.

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, signed July 14, provides the legal framework for using digital signatures and for enforcing electronic contracts.

"The fundamental purpose of this act is to remove the perceived barriers that exist with electronic commerce," Carper said. "Delaware is further laying the groundwork for e-commerce, and this legislation ensures that electronic transactions are treated legally on a par with paper transactions. As the rapidly progressing electronic commerce marketplace continues to grow, Delaware is staying ahead of the curve with the UETA framework governing these kinds of transactions."

The legislation will provide a reliable legal framework for citizens and companies seeking to transact their business online, according to the governor's office. The Delaware bill is based on model legislation developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

A digital signature is an electronic, rather than written, signature that can be used by someone to validate a message sender's identity to authenticate the signer of a document. Digital notarization further enhances the security of the document by authenticating the content and recording the specific date and time of the transaction.

After signing the bill, the governor notarized it using the Digital Notary Service from of Reston, Va. The digital notarization allows the governor to prove at a later date that he signed the bill on a given day at a particular time.

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