Companies, financial entities and service providers may consider the execution of legal documents using electronic means in the context of social distancing measures and other precautions currently in place amid the spread of the COVID-19 disease in Mexico.
Below is a high-level summary of the validity and enforceability of electronic signatures in Mexico (including cross-border aspects).
Electronic signatures are valid and enforceable in Mexico and create legal obligations among contracting parties, provided that such signatures satisfy certain technical requirements set forth in Article 97 of Mexico's Commerce Code (CC).
Generally, using an electronic signature is a legal way of expressing a signatory's consent with respect to the information contained in a given data message. It produces the same legal effects as a handwritten signature and is considered as admissible evidence in court proceedings.
Please note that some legal documents (e.g., the execution of a mortgage) require additional formalities in order to be perfect or enforceable against third parties. Such formalities include the execution of public deeds and filings with public registries and regulators.
Electronic signatures in Mexico need to satisfy the following technical requirements:
Any contract or legal document executed by electronic means or using electronic signatures should be legally binding and enforceable, provided that (i) the data message documenting such contract or legal document remains complete (íntegro)and unaltered, (ii) the electronic signature complies with the technical requirements described above and (iii) the law does not require additional formalities such as notarization or filing with public registries or regulators.
Below are general recommendations for implementing the use of electronic signatures:
Following the principle of technological neutrality, Mexican law gives legal effect to documents and agreements executed abroad electronically provided that the digital certificate produced in connection with the executed document offers an equivalent level of reliability compared to the requirements under Mexican law.
The CC states that this level of reliability is met when the certificate satisfies requirements set forth in international treaties and instruments to which Mexico is a party. Mexican law replicated the international standards for such certificates contemplated in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law of Electronic Signatures, and therefore a certificate issued abroad that complies with the requirements set forth in the CC would be deemed as a having an equivalent level of reliability.
Note that there are many types of digital and electronic signatures with different levels of reliability. All of these options may be valid and enforceable electronic signatures under Mexican law provided that the data messages, digital certificates and technical features satisfy the requirements of the CC.
--> Scroll to see full table data
Exchange via email
Scanned signatures digital images (PDF, JPEG, etc.)
Electronic consent (click to sign or biometric approval)
Digital platform for electronic signature (e.g., DocuSign)
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these publications may change on a daily basis.