The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) allows the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in any transaction, except transactions subject to the Uniform Commercial Code. The fundamental purpose of this act is to remove perceived barriers to electronic commerce.
The UETA is a procedural statute. It does not mandate either electronic signatures or records, but provides a means to effectuate transactions when they are used. The primary objective is to establish the legal equivalence of electronic records and signatures with paper writings and manually-signed signatures.
There are many reasons why every state should adopt the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.
- UETA defines and validates electronic signatures. An electronic signature is defined as "an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record."
- UETA removes writing and signature requirements which create barriers to electronic transactions.
- UETA insures that contracts and transactions are not denied enforcement because electronic media are used.
- UETA insures that courts accept electronic records into evidence.
- UETA protects against errors by providing appropriate standards for the use of technology to assure party identification.
- UETA avoids having the selection of medium (paper vs. electronic) govern the outcome of any disputes or disagreements, and it assures that parties have the freedom to select the media for their transactions by agreement.
- UETA authorizes state governmental entities to create, communicate, receive and store records electronically, and encourages state governmental entities to move to electronic media.