What is a Wet Signature?

Wet signatures are handwritten imprints of approval on physical documents with a pen. Today, electronic signatures carry the same legal weight as wet signatures. With Sign.Plus, you can easily digitize your physical signature for a better signing experience.

what is wet signature

Wet signature by definition

By definition, wet signatures are a traditional method of signing a document by physically using a pen against paper. Wet signatures are often referred to as wet ink signatures because the ink from the pen is still wet when the document is signed.

When should you use a wet signature?

While electronic signatures are legally binding, and hold the same weight as wet signatures thanks to global regulations and standards, there are going to be occasions when a wet signature is still required. For example:

  • Notarized documents
  • Deeds of trust or wills
  • Mortgages and other real estate transactions
  • Marriage licenses

What is the difference between wet, electronic and digital signatures?

For decades, electronic signatures that comply with the ESIGN Act and UETA guidelines have been recognized in the United States as having the same legal weight as wet, or handwritten, signatures. Since then, electronic signatures have become more common internationally, supported by regulations such as eIDAS in EU, or ZertES in Switzerland, as a way for individuals and businesses to efficiently sign legally binding signatures online. No contract, signature, or record can therefore be denied legal impact simply because it is in electronic format.

You might already be familiar with the terms "electronic" and "digital" signatures as they are more frequently used by people and businesses. However, there are key differences between these two types of signatures and wet signatures:

Wet Signatures

A handwritten signature created with ink on a physical document. They are often called "wet," because of the ink used to sign the paper.

Electronic Signatures

A digital form of a signature on an electronic document.
It can include typed names, scans of wet signatures, or can be created with a stylus or finger on a touchscreen.

Digital Signatures

A form of electronic signature offering enhanced security using a digital certificate that is cryptographically linked to the document, ensuring authenticity and integrity of the signed document.

Are wet signatures more secure than eSignatures?

Digital signatures are more secure than wet signatures as they cannot be easily forged. Physical documents with wet signatures are also vulnerable to being lost, damaged, or tampered with. This can be problematic in large-scale operations, where human error is a significant risk.

Solutions like Sign.Plus enhance security by providing a secure storage, as well as a certificate of completion for all signed documents, recording names, IP addresses, devices, and more. With every action traceable and unalterable, electronic signature  solutions are the most secure method of signing contracts today.
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Why are companies shifting from wet signatures to digital signatures?

Using wet ink signatures can take time, physical effort, and money. Enterprises can be faced with a handful of challenges when collecting wet ink signatures including:

  • Time-consuming processes
  • Risk of loss and damage
  • Human errors
  • Costs
  • Lengthy turnaround time
  • Environmental expense
  • Security risks

In contrast, using secure eSignature platforms like Sign.Plus offers numerous benefits:

  • Streamlined operations
  • Online storage
  • Digital efficiency and accessibility via mobile app
  • Cost savings
  • Automated tracking
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Increased security and compliance

Getting started with an eSignature solution

To streamline your processes, speed up daily operations, and enhance team collaboration, use an electronic signature software solution like Sign.Plus. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Compare Plans: Review and compare our plans to find the one that best fits your needs.
  2. Try for Free: Take advantage of our free trial to test our advanced eSignature features.

How to create your signature and securely sign documents on Sign.Plus?

  • Sign up for a free account on Sign.Plus.

  • Go to the Sign section, upload the  documents you wish to sign electronically, and click on Sign Myself.

  • Select the fields you would like to add to your document.

  • Place your eSignature and click on Done.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is another name for wet ink signatures?
Occasionally, a "wet signature" is known under various names, most commonly as a handwritten signature,  physical signature or traditional signature.
Can a wet signature be electronic?
Yes, a wet signature can be converted to an electronic format. One of the most straightforward ways to digitize a wet signature is by scanning it with an online scanner app like Scan.Plus. However, it's integrity can easily be compromised due to lack of security measures.
Does an electronic signature need to match a wet ink signature?
No, your electronic signature does not need to match your wet, or handwritten, signature. You have the choice to select a unique electronic signature through eSignature platforms like Sign.Plus. Play around with our eSignature generator to test it.

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