Electronic Signatures in Washington

Washington remains the only state that does not accord the same legal effect to electronic signatures as it does to their wet-ink versions for intrastate transactions involving government agencies.  Unlike all other states, this effect is granted only to strictly defined digital signatures. A bill introduced to the Washington legislature in 2015 was an attempt to align Washington law with the nationwide standard by proclaiming direct applicability of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act to transactions within Washington.  The final version of the bill was, however, stripped of the pertinent part and only allows governmental agencies to be able to choose to use and accept electronic signatures in their operation and for submission requirements, and allows them to require specific formats.

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