What is the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN)?

A federal law passed by the U.S. Congress in June 2000 to facilitate the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring their validity and legal effect. Its general intent is that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.” It also allows for state preemption of the federal law, as long as states provide at least the same level of security for eDocuments and eSignatures. Together with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), ESIGN provided a national standard of recognition for eSignatures and eRecords. (See Digital Closings Clear Final Hurdles)