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Overview of eSignature Legality in Canada
Canada has legally recognized eSignatures by province since 1998 with the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act (UECA). All Canadian provinces and territories other than Quebec comply with this act. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which passed in 2004 recognizes eSignatures on a federal level.
Electronic Signature Law
UECA and PIPEDA state that eSignatures are permissible and hold the same status as pen and paper signatures.
Are eSignatures legal, admissible, and enforceable?
Summary of Law
An eSignature is broadly defined as “information in electronic form that a person has created or adopted in order to sign a document and that is in, attached to or associated with the document.” eSignatures are valid as long as both parties agree to this form of signing along with the following guidelines:
- eSignature is unique and identifiable to the signer
- Software used can track the requested signatory signed
- Any alterations to the signed document can be detected
eSignatures are not recommended for:
- Real estate agreements
- Court orders and notices
- Any documents needing notarization
- Adoption documents
- Divorce agreements
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general informational purposes only. It is meant to help companies understand the legal framework used for eSignature legality. This is not intended to be legal advice and should not be a substitute for professional legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney for legal advice or representation.