What types of documents can be signed under the ESIGN Act?

ESIGN extends all existing laws in interstate and foreign commerce to allow original documents and signatures to be in electronic form, with the following specific exceptions designed to protect consumers in certain cases:


  • Wills, codicils, or testamentary trusts
  • Adoption, divorce, or other matters of family law
  • Documents governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, as in effect in any State, other than sections 1–107 and 1–206 and Articles 2 and 2A
  • Court orders or notices, or official court documents (including briefs, pleadings, and other writings) required to be executed in connection with court proceedings
  • Cancellation or termination of utility services (including water, heat, and power)
  • Default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, or eviction, or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by, or a rental agreement for, a primary residence of an individual
  • The cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits (excluding annuities)
  • Recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety
  • Any document required to accompany any transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides, or other toxic or dangerous materials

As electronic documents become more commonplace, future laws and regulations may relax these restrictions.