How can you sign PDFs online

Signing documents online has become a solution for signing documents when there are mobility restrictions or when you want to save time. In this post, we tell you how to sign a pdf online with all the legal guarantees.

Ways to sign a pdf

In many cases, contracts or confidentiality agreements are sent in pdf for your signature. You may have noticed that the Acrobat Reader program gives you the option to sign the document; however, this signature has several problems:

– The signatory is not unequivocally identified.

– There is no guarantee that the original document has not been tampered

– There is no evidence of who signs or when.

Another way to sign is by using the electronic signature that provides all the necessary guarantees so that the document can be used as evidence in a trial. The security level of the electronic signature will depend on the type of signature chosen: simple electronic signature, advanced electronic signature, and qualified electronic signature.

Steps to sign an online PDF  with electronic signature

Signing a pdf online with an electronic signature is simple; you have to follow the steps below:

Enter your electronic signature provider portal

– Choose how to sign via SMS or email.

– Write the SMS or email as you usually do and design the document to be signed to establish the spaces you want the signer to fill in.

– Send the SMS or email by adding the mobile number assigned to you by the provider and the recipient (for SMS) or by adding the email address assigned to you and that of the recipient.

– The recipient will receive an SMS or an email with a link to the document to be signed.

– Once signed, you will receive a notice, and you will be able to download the electronic documentary evidence that proves that the whole process has been carried out. This process may take between five and ten minutes approximately.

Signing PDF online documents

Signing an online pdf can be helpful for many processes and documents such as :

– In human resources, sign work contracts, payroll, mobility authorizations, confidentiality agreements, job offers, training certificates, etc.

– In the healthcare sector, sign informed consent, medical reports, treatment budgets or documents related to data protection.

– In the banking and insurance sector, sign policies, accounts and card contracts, authorizations, annexes to contracts, etc.

– In logistics and transport, sign delivery notes, transport contracts, letters, budgets, offers, etc.

In the real estate sector, sign contracts of sale, rental, offers, real estate mediation contracts, sales orders, acceptance of fees purchase or lease offers, and purchase option contracts.

Is the electronic signature of an online pdf valid?

The electronic signature of an online pdf or other document is fully valid based on the Regulation of the European Union’s eIDAS Regulation, which establishes the following:

Article 25 of the eIDAS Regulation states that:

  1. An electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements for qualified electronic signatures.
  2. A qualified electronic signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.
  3. A qualified electronic signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.

– The validity of the electronic signature in Spain is also based on Law 6/2020, of 11 November, which regulates certain aspects of trusted electronic services, which in article 3.1 governs the following:

A new system governing the legal effects of electronic documents that are used to support public, administrative, and private documents, establishing that their value and effectiveness must be determined under the applicable law, according to their nature.

The aforementioned Regulation provides validity when signing an online pdf at the European or Spanish level. However, suppose you want to sign in another country. In that case, some regulations offer validity to the electronic signature, such as the United States the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, 2000).

As a result, if you want to sign a pdf online with total security, you have to use the advanced electronic signature to collect all the evidence that proves the validity of the signature should the need arise.

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