With Illinois's adoption of UETA, United States near full adoption

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eSignature and ePayment News and Trends

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With Illinois adopting the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), the US has reached near-complete state-by-state adoption of this law. Specifically, on June 25, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker approved SB2176, which enacts the UETA in Illinois, making it the 49th state to do so. The bill repealed Illinois’s prior electronic signature law, the Electronic Commerce Security Act (ECSA). The bill also made corresponding changes to various Illinois laws to conform cross references to the new UETA rather than the prior ECSA. The bill took effect immediately on June 25, 2021. This comes on the heels of Washington adopting its version of UETA in 2020 (previously covered here).

To date, New York is the only state that has not adopted a version of the UETA. New York has the New York Electronic Signatures and Records Act (NYESRA), which provides that “an electronic signature may be used by a person in lieu of a signature affixed by hand. The use of an electronic signature shall have the same validity and effect as the use of a signature affixed by hand.” Further, while not an adoption of UETA, New York courts have held that the New York legislature sought to make NYESRA fully consistent with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

Finally, while all states but New York have adopted UETA, not all states have adopted the “uniform” version of UETA. Most notable is California, which contains a greatly expanded list of exemptions, meaning that the use of electronic records and signatures will not apply to such transactions absent other California laws expressly allowing their use. Therefore, careful consideration is encouraged when proceeding electronically in California.