Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
UETA is the acronym for Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.
A U.S. uniform law that has been enacted by most states to provide a legal framework for the use of electronic signatures (eSignature) and electronic records in business and commercial transactions. The UETA was created to facilitate the adoption and acceptance of electronic transactions by establishing rules and requirements for their validity and enforceability.
The UETA was first introduced in 1999 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and has since been adopted, with some variations, by almost all U.S. states and territories. Its purpose is to ensure that electronic signatures and records are given the same legal effect as their traditional paper counterparts, promoting the use of electronic commerce and streamlining business processes.
Under the UETA, electronic signatures are considered valid and enforceable if they meet certain requirements. These requirements typically include the following:
- Consent: The party signing electronically must consent to use an electronic signature.
- Association: The electronic signature must be logically associated with the signed electronic record, indicating the signer’s intent to be bound by its contents.
- Attribution: The electronic signature must be attributable to the person who signs it, ensuring that the signer’s identity can be reliably established.
While the UETA provides a legal framework for electronic signatures and records at the state level, it is important to note that federal laws, such as the ESIGN Act (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act), govern electronic transactions in interstate and international commerce. The ESIGN Act and UETA share similar objectives, and compliance with either law typically satisfies the requirements for the validity of electronic signatures and records.
By adopting the UETA, states aim to promote consistency and harmonization in the legal treatment of electronic transactions, making it easier for businesses and individuals to engage in electronic commerce and embrace the benefits of digital technologies.
- Abbreviation: UETA