Signature Requirements on University Contracts
As provided in University Policy Number 6030 (University Contracts), Section 4.1.3(d), the University encourages handwritten signatures on all University Contracts.
However, recognizing that electronic transactions promote efficiency, federal and state statutes now provide that a record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form. Please note Idaho statutes require, generally, that the parties must consent to transact business electronically in order for the signature to be enforceable. Ideally, the contract being signed electronically should provide for this consent, but consent may also be inferred from the conduct of the parties and the context of the transaction.
The Idaho Electronic Transactions Act can be found in Idaho Code, Title 28, Chapter 50 and generally provides that an electronic signature will be given legal effect. Idaho law provides the following definitions for electronic record and electronic signature:
“electronic records” means a record created, generated, sent, communicated, received or stored by electronic means.
“electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
Electronic signature methods utilized on University Contracts must be legally enforceable and must be in such a form that may be authenticated in a court of law. For this reason, electronic signatures must use a secure, certificate-based signature service/method that has been approved by OIT and OGC. In general, signature services/methods should have appropriate security procedures that can accurately attribute electronic records or electronic signatures to the individuals that create them, and the services should not result in the storage of confidential or sensitive University records without proper safeguards.
OGC, in consultation with OIT, has approved the following services/methods for acceptance of signatures of third parties and/or creation of electronic signatures by University Officials with signature authority. Any electronic signatures obtained or requested utilizing another service or method must be submitted to OGC for approval. Such methods will be reviewed by OGC, in consultation with OIT, and approved on a case by case basis, or added to the list of approved electronic signature methods posted here. Electronic signatures should not be used on wills or trusts, promissory notes, certain real estate documents (deeds, leases, etc.) or any other document that requires handwritten signature or is not governed by the Idaho Electronic Transactions Act or other similar law governing enforceability of electronic signatures.
Approved methods for electronic signatures: