Wondering how to use a wet signature in a PDF document waiting to be signed?
What’s the difference between a wet signature and an electronic one?
Or how to create an electronic signature from scratch with Adobe Acrobat?
You’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ll be covering all that and more!
So, if you’re wondering how to start using wet signatures in PDFs, look no further.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is a Wet Signature In A PDF?
- 3 Different Types Of PDF Signatures
- When Should I Use a Wet Signature?
- How to Replace A Wet Signature In A PDF Document With An Electronic One Online
- How to Create An Electronic Signature For Your PDF Documents
- What Are The Pros and Cons of Using a Wet Signature?
Here’s what you need to know about wet signatures in PDF documents.
What is a Wet Signature In A PDF?
A wet signature is the “old-fashioned” way of signing documents.
Meaning, this is when a person signs their name with a pen or seal on a physical paper document. This type of signature has been used for hundreds of years to bind a contract.
The term “wet” is used because the signature typically requires time to dry. Ink and wax are the primary medium for signing these documents. This can include using pens, stamps, or other types of seals.
As you might have guessed, wet signatures aren’t very convenient.
If someone were to sign a document with a wet signature, the process would go something like this:
- You receive a PDF document that needs your signature.
- You print it out.
- Sign it with a pen.
- Scan it.
- Attach the PDF to an email and send it back.
This takes up an unnecessary amount of time.
Wouldn’t it be much easier if you could just sign from your computer directly and save time on all that extra steps?
Keep on reading, below, we’ll show you how to do just that!
But first, let’s cover some different types of signatures too.
3 Different Types Of PDF Signatures
Though wet signatures are the oldest form of signature, there are three main types of signatures used today for documents and paperwork.
This includes wet signatures, electronic signatures, and digital signatures.
What is the difference between all of these different ways to sign documents?
Here is an overview of the different types of signatures used in PDF documents:
With most documents today being scanned and sent electronically, wet signatures are slowly becoming extinct.
A few reasons many companies are switching from wet to electronic or digital signatures include:
- Time: Many companies have a difficult time getting their documents returned signed with a wet signature in a timely manner. This often takes days because the recipient has to download, print, sign, scan, and return the document to the sender.
- Cost: If the company is providing the documents already printed, then there is an extra cost for ink, paper, and the delivery service of choice. The delay in time can also potentially be a loss of revenue depending on the situation.
- Storage: After receiving the signed document, your company will need to scan and file it. Accessing the file later can often be difficult due to the time it takes to physically sort through filing cabinets. It also takes up more space having rows of filing cabinets in the office.
An electronic signature is typically used in place of a wet signature. And it’s essentially signing your signature from a computer or electronic device.
This way of signing documents is usually an acknowledgment of an electronic message, transaction, or document.
Examples of electronic signatures include:
- An “email signature” or typed name at the end of an email.
- An image of a handwritten signature.
- A name typed on an electronic form or document.
- Acknowledging contracts or policies by clicking “I agree”.
- A digital signature written by hand on an electronic touchscreen device (smartphone, tablet, etc.).
A digital signature is used to reinforce the strength of an electronic signature.
This happens often by receiving a certificate of authority. An example would be receiving a Windows certificate that validates the signature’s author and owner.
The use of private decryption keys is also useful to verify the signature.
The signer will sign the document with the sender’s private decryption key, and then the signature will be verified by someone with access to the sender’s public encryption key.
This is useful for ensuring that the original message has not been changed or intercepted by an external source.
Most of the time, digital signatures are used for more official documents such as electronic tax forms, business permit applications, online applications, and more.
Another way to show the authenticity of a document is through a digital watermark.
When Should I Use a Wet Signature?
The type of signature used is typically based on the preference of the signing parties.
So, by no means are you required to use wet signatures.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) is a law that went into effect in 2000. This law simply states that electronic signatures have the same strength and meaning legally as wet signatures do.
However, there are still some cases where you might have to use a wet signature in your documents.
Though, there are a few examples where a wet signature may be required to make a document legally binding.
This may include:
- An instance when a Notary Public must verify the signer identification.
- Divorce proceedings.
- Court orders.
- Insurance benefits.
Now, below, we’ll be taking a more practical approach to PDF signatures.
Here’s what you need to know.