eSignature Legality Summary

eSignatures are legally valid and admissible in the court of law. Costa Rica follows a model where eSignatures or digital signatures issued by a Certifying Authority are considered legally valid. Specific use cases for eSignatures are indicated in the Act.

The law, which applies to both public and private legal acts, authorizes the state and all public entities to utilize digital certificates, electronic documents and digital signatures. Articles 3, 4, and 18 of the law give electronic signatures and documents legal recognition and functional equivalence to physical media. An electronic document thus has the same value and the probative efficacy as the equivalent signed manuscript. The electronic signature is considered registered when the registered certifier sends the digital certificate, as per Articles 8 and 9. Under Article 10 of the law, an electronic signature is presumed to be in force at the moment of issuance, unless proven otherwise by an opponent. Notwithstanding this presumption, an electronic signature is subject to the legal requirements of authentication, certification or registration.
Article 5 of the law lists a wide range of documents that may be validly produced in an electronic format, such as contracts, documents to be filed with the National Register, signatures for legal service of notices, summons and other judicial documents.

*The information on this site is "AS IS" and for general information purposes only.

Use Cases for eSignatures ?

Use cases where an SES is typically appropriate include:

  • Speedy HR document preparation with preapproved templates, easy update of each employee, new employee onboarding processes as well as 360 degree view of employee files.
  • End user agreements including sales & service terms, new retail account opening documents, invoices, shipment details, user manual, EULAs, policies

Use Cases for Qualified Signatures ?

Use cases where an AES is typically appropriate include:

  • Purchase, procurement and commercial agreements including invoices, trade and payment terms, certificates, NDAs, sales & distribution agreements, order acknowledgements.
  • Real estate lease agreements for residential and commercial purpose

Use Cases that are not appropriate for Electronic Signatures

Use cases that are specifically barred from digital or electronic processes or that include explicit requirements, such as handwritten (e.g. wet ink) signatures or formal notarial process that are not usually compatible with electronic signatures or digital transaction management.

  • Notarization – sale or transaction relating to real estate property
  • Notarization - mortgage and pledge
  • Notarization - notarial promissory notes
  • Notarization - incorporation and amendments to legal entities and family law acts and contracts
  • Notarization - solemn will
  • Notarization - mercantile pledge
  • Notarization - family law matters such as pre-nuptial agreements, separation agreements, etc.
  • Termination Notices
  • Consumer Loan Agreements

List of Local Trust Service Providers

Institute Regulatory Body/CA/DSC Providers Supported by emSigner
The Directorate for Certifying Digital Signature CA Yes

“Digital Signature” means a transformation of a message using an asymmetric cryptosystem such that a person having the initial message and the signer’s public key can accurately determine
(a) whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key;
(b) whether the message has been altered since the transformation was made

[1] An AES is an “advanced electronic signature”, a type of electronic signature that meets the following requirements:
(a) it is uniquely linked to the signatory;
(b) it is capable of identifying the signatory;
(c) it is created using means that are under the signatory’s sole control;
(d) it is linked to other electronic data in such a way that any alteration to the said data can be detected.

[2] A QES is a specific digital signature implementation that has met the particular specifications of a government, including using a secure signature creation device, and been certified as ‘qualified’ by either that government or a party contracted by that government.

External Resources

DISCLAIMER: This information is intended to help you understand the legal framework of electronic signatures. However, eMudhra cannot provide legal advice. The law of electronic signatures is constantly evolving. This guide is not intended as a legal advice and should not serve as a substitute for professional legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding any specific legal concerns.
eMudhra, and all associates including agents, officers, employees or affiliates, are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages.