What does “Wet Signature” refer to?

Pen with water around it showing a "wet signature"
Philip Reynolds
byPhilip Reynolds
December 28, 2023

A wet signature refers to a traditional physical signature written in ink.

The wet in the sentence refers to the ink requiring some time to dry.

It has become a popular term in more recent times to distinguish between paper signatures and electronic or digital signatures.

Where are wet signatures still required?

While electronic signatures are preferred in most circumstances, there are still many places where wet signatures are still required:

  • Legal Documents – Wills, trusts & powers of attorney
  • Notarized Documents
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Death, Birth & Marriage Certificates
  • Court filings
  • Corporate Resolutions

Where have digital signatures replaced wet signatures?

  • Business Contracts
  • Banking
  • Sales & Purchase Orders
  • Human resources and Employment Contracts
  • Insurance
  • Education (varies by region)
  • Software Licensing And service Agreements
  • NDA’s and Contractor / Sub-Contractor Agreements