eSignature Legality Summary

In Kuwait, eSignatures are legally recognized and enforceable under the Electronic Transactions Law No. 20 of 2014, which was implemented on November 4, 2014. The law defines an electronic signature as "data in electronic form that is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and used by the signatory to sign."

According to the law, eSignatures are treated the same as handwritten signatures as long as they meet certain requirements. The law stipulates that an electronic signature is valid if it satisfies the following conditions:

  • It is uniquely linked to the signatory.
  • It is capable of identifying the signatory.
  • It is created using means that are under the sole control of the signatory.
  • It is linked to the electronic record to which it relates in such a way that any subsequent change in the record is detectable.

In addition, the Electronic Transactions Law also recognizes digital signatures, which are a specific type of electronic signature that uses cryptographic techniques to ensure the authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation of a document.

Overall, eSignatures are legally binding in Kuwait as long as they meet the requirements set forth in the Electronic Transactions Law. It is always advisable to consult with legal experts in Kuwait to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

*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:

  • Contracts: SESs can be used to sign contracts in various industries such as real estate, finance, and healthcare.
  • Business transactions: SESs can be used to sign invoices, purchase orders, and other documents related to business transactions.
  • Employment agreements: SESs can be used to sign employment contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and other types of agreements related to employment.
  • Government applications: SESs can be used to sign various government applications such as tax returns, permit applications, and license applications.
  • Online forms: SESs can be used to sign various online forms such as registration forms, consent forms, and survey forms.

Use Cases for Qualified Signatures ?

Use cases where an QES is typically appropriate include:

  • Contracts with high value or risk: QESs can be used to sign contracts with high value or risk, such as contracts related to real estate, banking, or healthcare.
  • Official documents and certificates: QESs can be used to sign official documents and certificates issued by government entities or other authorized institutions, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and professional licenses.
  • Financial transactions: QESs can be used to sign various financial transaction documents, such as loans, mortgages, and investment agreements.
  • Legal proceedings: QESs can be used to sign various legal documents related to court proceedings, such as pleadings, motions, and affidavits.
  • Intellectual property: QESs can be used to sign various intellectual property-related documents, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Use Cases that are not appropriate for Electronic Signatures:

  • Documents that require a handwritten signature: In some cases, certain legal documents or contracts may require a handwritten signature by law or by the specific agreement of the parties involved. In these cases, an electronic signature may not be appropriate.
  • Documents that involve personal appearance or notarization: Certain legal documents may require the personal appearance of the signatory before a notary public or other authorized official. In these cases, an electronic signature may not be sufficient or may need to be combined with a physical signature or other forms of identification.
  • Documents that involve minors or incapacitated individuals: In some cases, legal documents involving minors or individuals who are incapacitated may require additional legal procedures or formalities that cannot be achieved through an electronic signature alone.
  • Documents that are subject to specific regulatory requirements: Certain industries or types of transactions may be subject to specific regulatory requirements that may not allow electronic signatures. For example, certain types of financial transactions may require physical signatures or additional security measures beyond what electronic signatures can provide.

List of Local Trust Service Providers

Company Category Website
The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) Regulator https://www.paci.gov.kw

“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.

Local Technology Standard

It is important to note that QESs must meet the legal requirements outlined in the Electronic Transactions Law No. 20 of 2014, including the requirements for being issued by a qualified trust service provider and using a secure cryptographic technique. It is always advisable to consult with legal experts in Kuwait to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

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.