The notarial electronic signature increases in Europe
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For some years now, notaries have begun to equip themselves with electronic devices to carry out the electronic signature of public deeds in their offices.
If the profession continues to be highly regulated from a legal point of view and regularly requires physical presence to sign documents, it should be noted that it is now possible to carry out a remote electronic signature in certain very specific cases, simplifying the daily practice of notaries.
Electronic signature: what is it about?
The electronic signature is a technology that allows you to sign a document in digital format through an electronic certificate.
According to Connective’s specialists, for the document to have true legal value, it must meet the minimum requirements that allow an electronic signature to be considered valid, established by Regulation No. 910/2014, known as “eIDAS”. This is applicable throughout the European Union.
The electronic signature must also be carried out by a third party recognized as a Qualified Trust Service Provider, which has been audited and certified by the country’s control body.
There are three levels of electronic signature, each with a different security level. It is about:
- From the so-called simple signature: this is the most basic form of electronic signature, like a simple checkbox on a digital document
- Of the so-called advanced signature: endowed with a higher degree of security, it must allow the signatory to be identified and guarantee that any subsequent modification of the data is detectable
- From the so-called qualified signature: it offers the highest level of security. In addition to the criteria mentioned above, it must also be carried out using a qualified electronic signature creation device and be based on a qualified electronic signature certificate.
Remote electronic signature: the particular case of notaries
If the signing of public deeds in the notary’s office requires physical presence, the Superior Council of Notaries reminds that the signing of certain documents that are managed daily in the notary’s offices can be the subject of a remote electronic signature, provided that you use a signature solution eIDAS certified advanced electronics. In fact, advanced level signing is essential to securely authenticate signers.
Increase in notarial electronic signatures in Europe
Keep in mind that other jurisdictions require the use of a qualified electronic signature for the digital signature of deeds, documents and/or powers of attorney. It will be necessary to consult the local legislation to identify the level of security required in each country.
The remote electronic signature at the notary’s office refers to the following documents:
- fee agreements
- sales commitments
- Deeds with private signature
- financial statements
What are the advantages of remote electronic signatures for notaries?
One of the first advantages of placing the remote electronic signature in the notary’s office for certain documents is the possibility of maintaining an activity with clients in the event of complicated situations. This is, for example, the case of a health crisis that requires limiting movement and physical contact.
Another important advantage is the acceleration of signature processes when the interlocutors are geographically distant. Let’s take a very concrete example for this.
The placement of the advanced electronic signature offers considerable time savings to notaries in the real estate sector, by allowing two people located in different regions to quickly sign a sales contract. And we know that, in this case, putting the two parties face to face is often very complicated.
More generally, the advanced remote electronic signature offers a better customer experience, thanks to the simplification of restrictive administrative procedures. In conclusion, the electronic signature greatly simplifies the day-to-day life of notaries, allowing them to focus more on their main activity.