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Policy Statement 492 - Use of Electronic Signatures and Seals

 

Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 16, 2017
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on June 4, 2017
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 29, 2017

Policy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the use of electronic signatures of licensed Professional Engineers or Surveyors for sealing drawings where state law permits, provided adequate security measures are in place to protect the integrity of both the documents and the signature. ASCE does not support regulations that mandate the use of electronic signatures and seals as the sole means for endorsing final documents.  

Issue

Electronic signatures are a legal means of signing documents, indicating that they have been prepared by a licensed professional. The potential for the intentional or unintentional misuse of signed documents and the signature itself must be controlled through the use of appropriate technologies that prevent the unauthorized transfer or reuse of electronic seals and signatures. Unauthorized use of electronic signatures and seals is strictly prohibited and subject to legal penalties. 

Rationale

Licensed Professional Engineers and Surveyors need to be protected against the illegal and unauthorized use of their work. An electronic signature should not be used until the professional providing the signature is assured that his or her signature will be automatically removed as soon as a change is made to the electronic version of the design document. 

Security measures also include maintaining a hard copy of the signed and sealed document in the professional's files.

ASCE Policy Statement 492
First Approved in 2002

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