E-documentation specialist DocuSign has unveiled an online application in the US for notarising agreements via an electronic platform — likely to prove a boon in a world of increased remote working.
Tom Casey, senior vice president of engineering at DocuSign, said DocuSign Notary will further enable automation and online connectivity for agreements in the cloud — rather than in person.
“It’s another step in our vision of DocuSign being the best way to agree to anything, anywhere,” he said in the company announcement.
DocuSign Notary enables the notarising of agreements to happen via a secure audiovisual session, speeding up the process in a convenient and cost-effective manner as well as improving the options for Covid-safe business processes.
The software is built on the company’s flagship eSignature solution, adding capabilities from its 2020 acquisition of Liveoak Technologies. Public notaries or other officials such as magistrates can use Notary to collaborate in real-time with signatories via web browser.
The risk of fraud is reduced via identity authentication and an audit trail that includes a tamper-evident certificate of completion in addition to recording the audiovisual sessions, according to DocuSign.
A Notary API is available for developers looking to automate repeatable notarisation tasks in conjunction with the company’s eSignature API.
Legal firm Pinsent Masons has said that e-documentation and e-signatures are often legal in the UK too, although they should not be relied upon in every circumstance, for example when dealing with HMRC or the Land Registry.
“Under English law, what constitutes a signature is flexible. A person’s intention can determine whether they have entered into binding agreements or transactions,” the company writes in its Out-Law Guide.
“Many electronic signature platforms can establish enough evidence to prove intention, should someone later dispute the validity of the contract. This includes, we believe, for creating a deed under English law.”
A discussion of e-signature legal requirements in the USA is available on this website.