Legal Issues With Using a Signature Stamp

While signature stamps are a reasonably ubiquitous piece of office equipment, a lot of people still query their place. It may make sense for a secretary to make use of one to sign easy letters on behalf of her boss, but it appears less apparent whether or not a signature stamp is authorized for checks or different important documents. That being said, signature stamps are entirely legal, even on notarized documents, so long as the individual using them is authorized to do so and state laws are upheld.

what’s a signature?

On its face, this query appears reasonably simple, however legally and historically speaking, it’s a little more complex. That is because while most individuals think of a signature as something created by a person writing their name (most often in cursive), that isn’t the only way somebody can sign a document. The legal definition of a signature is mostly based on the intention of the signer and whether he intended to authenticate the document on which the signature seems, not how the signature is definitely made.

While it’s far less common than it once was, there are still quite a couple of illiterate individuals on this planet, to not point out these with handicaps that physically prevent them from signing their name. For these folks, a simple X or another mark will suffice as a signature. Alternatively, a coat of arms or another image that is drawn, stamped or embossed can count as a signature if its user supposed it to function one. This makes sense historically as the clergy and nobility largely relied on their seals reasonably than signatures to authenticate documents, and the illiterate masses would usually use just an X.

are signature stamps legal?

Just as an individual may still use a seal, a coat of arms or an X to sign a document, a rubber stamp signature is legally binding so long as the one that used the signature stamp was either the individual the stamp represents or somebody legally authorized to make use of to the stamp on her behalf. So long as the one who the signature stamp represents intended to sign a doc, the signature should be settle forable. This is why it’s so widespread for corporations to make use of signature stamps.

signature stamp legal issues

In fact, as with any authorized matter, things are by no means just black and white. There are main signature stamp legal issues that may arise, the primary being what happens when it’s used without permission. After all, a signature stamp only counts as a authorized signature if it has the intention of the person being represented by the signature.

Misusing or falsely utilizing a signature stamp is considered fraud as it includes falsely representing that you’ve got the permission of the signer. To stop fraud by signature stamps, some states have particular laws about their use, guaranteeing that licensed customers of the stamp have written permission or a signature stamp authorization form. Some states even require these to be notarized.

Similarly, some (but not all) states have special rules for notaries to comply with if they’re to validate a document when a signature stamp is to be used. These extra steps are to help prevent forgery and fraud. While state laws could vary, they might include details like requiring one or witnesses to look at and sign that they saw the signature stamp in use, or to have the notary note on the certificate that the signature was made with a stamp and to name the signer. If that you must have a doc notarized and you plan to sign with a signature stamp, make sure to mention this to your notary ahead of time so he can properly follow state laws.