Existing law, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, provides that a record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form and defines an electronic signature for purposes of the act. Existing provisions of the Government Code authorize the use of a digital signature in any written communication with a public entity, and specifies that in those communications, the use of a digital signature has the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if it complies with specified requirements.
This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to clarify that a digital signature may be used to satisfy the requirements of an electronic signature under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. The bill would, for purposes of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, provide that an electronic signature includes a digital signature under the above described provisions of the Government Code and that a digital signature under those provisions is a type of an electronic signature as set forth in the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act. The bill would also revise the above-described provisions of the Government Code by specifying that if a public entity elects to use a digital signature, that meets specified requirements, the digital signature has the same force and effect of a manual signature in any communication with the public entity.