Since 2000, the Civil Code of France has legally recognized electronic signatures, and France was one among the first countries to adopt digitalization into their legal system.
In 2014, the European Union introduced eIDAS (Electronic Identification and Authentication Trust Services) to standardize electronic transactions and electronic signatures regulations across Europe.
Today, French electronic signatures laws are influenced by eIDAS and its principles of Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) and Non-QES Advanced Electronic Signatures, both of which are admissible in legal proceedings; as well as French Civil Code Article 1367 and Article 1366.
Considering eIDAS, RSign, RMail e-signatures, and RForms are a valid form of legal electronic signature in France and standard use of these services fall within the Advanced Electronic Signature qualification of the eIDAS regulations.
RSign has additional identity verification services (to meet the principles of Qualified Electronic Signatures) but these are not ordinarily needed for financial services, human resources, equipment leasing, sales, purchasing, real estate, property management, and other typical business agreements. Generally, a Qualified Electronic Signature is not needed, according to French law.
RSign, RMail, and RForms e-signatures in their standard service implementations therefore cannot be considered inadmissible simply for failing to meet the identity standards of a QES and do meet the standards of the Advanced Electronic Signature qualification of the eIDAS regulation which is adequate to make standard use of RSign, RMail, and RForms e-signatures legal electronic signatures in France.
Considering French Civil Code, Article 1367 and Article 1366 provide additional legal basis for electronic contracts and electronic signatures in France.
- Article 1367 defines the electronic signature as “the use of a reliable identification process guaranteeing its link with the document to which it is attached”.
- Article 1366 states that electronic writing or an electronic document has the same probative value as writing on paper, provided that it is proof or evidence to identify the person from whom it originated and that it is created and stored in such conditions as to guarantee its integrity.
RSign, RMail, and RForms e-signatures return a robust forensic audit trail and use cryptography to logically associate and digitally seal the original document sent for e-signature with Internet forensics associated with each signer, the signed copy, and uniform timestamps of each step of the process. The RSign, RMail, and RForms cryptographic seals render the e-sign record with its certified electronic signature certificate and/or Registered Receipt™ email record, an authenticable proof record.