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What ID information do the signers need to write down in a contract signed with Adobe or DocuSign as a witness?

In other words, how are the signers identities described in the contract? Besides name, is date and location/country of birth needed? Is current location of living needed?

If you are making a international deal, signers might be unwilling to give personal information to strangers. What is the bare minimum they need to give so that the contract is legally valid?

  • This depends what the contract is for. Is it for the sale of goods or, rather, for services rendered? – A.fm. Feb 9 '18 at 5:30
  • For a license to use a product. – sanjihan Feb 9 '18 at 8:39
  • Ah, okay, well depending on which jurisdiction you're operating in, the below answer may be wrong. That's because, in the U.S., and this varies by state, too, there may actually be a writing requirement. It depends what you are contracting for. Goods are treated by the Uniform Commercial Code and will often require a writing or else the contract is unenforceable (subject to a few exceptions). If it is for services, then the below answer likely applies. – A.fm. Feb 9 '18 at 8:46
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    And by the way, if all that does nothing to calm your paranoid nerves, it's actually a major crime to commit fraud and violators can be prosecuted. See also "Fraudulent Email & Websites": trust.docusign.com/en-us/personal-safeguards/… – A.fm. Feb 9 '18 at 12:31
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    I believe we didn't understand each other. This is not a question about authentication of signers. I've got that cleared out in the previous days. This is merely a question of how I signer must be referred in a contract. In other words -> is first and last name enough? For example "Licnesor Sanjihan User, born 12.12.1970, in SomeCity, SomeCounrty, with social security number agrees to...". To other extreme is to just use "Licnesor agrees to..." and than a signature at the bottom. – sanjihan Feb 9 '18 at 12:54
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The contract is valid if the party to be bound authenticates the record they are affirming, even if nothing other than the authentication itself identifies the party to be bound by name or anything else in the contract, or for that matter, even if the name provided and used in the contract is an alias.

As a practical matter, to enforce the contract, it must be possible by some means, not necessarily present on the face of the contract, to identify who affirmed the record sufficiently to be able to bring suit against the right person by naming the breaching party in a legal complaint and serving legal process upon the breaching party.

In the case of someone with a common name, Yuri Fujimori, for example, in Tokyo, or Jesus Gonzales, in Los Angeles, it would be prudent to somehow identify the individual more specifically, either on the face of the contract or otherwise, to avoid confusion. In contrast, if my name, Andrew Oh-Willeke, were on the contract, you wouldn't need any more information, because I am the only person with that name in the entire world and my contact information is widely available on the Internet from sources not subject to question such as the attorney registration lists in my state, as a matter of my licensure obligations and out of business necessity.

One of the more common ways to accomplish this end would be to have a formal address for notice to the parties in the contract and to have the parties to consent to service of process by mail at that address, or at the last known other address provided at a later date to the other party in writing. In that way, you narrow the list of defendants to the person with that name who is associated with that address. Another alternative would be to have the party designate an agent for service of process in the contract, although that would be more unusual.

But, because the need to give notice under the contract is usually necessary to carry out the terms of the contract, it doesn't feel as intrusive as asking for a birthday or other identifying information.

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A signature is not required to create a legally binding contract. Indeed a written document is not required. See What is a contract and what is required for them to be valid?

  • A signature might be required to license certain kinds of intellectual property due to statute of frauds like requirements in copyright and patent laws. – ohwilleke Aug 9 '18 at 8:32
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This is merely a question of how I signer must be referred in a contract. In other words -> is first and last name enough? For example "Licnesor Sanjihan User, born 12.12.1970, in SomeCity, SomeCounrty, with social security number agrees to...". To other extreme is to just use "Licnesor agrees to..." and than a signature at the bottom.

This will certainly vary by jurisdiction, but in many cases the answer will simply be that the contract would have to identify each party to the satisfaction of the others, because the others should not sign the contract if they find that the identification of one party is ambiguous. Each party would want to consider whether the identification of the others would be sufficient in court.

For example, suppose you are entering into a contract with someone named John Brown. You want to be able to counter a potential claim that John Brown is not in fact a party to the contract because some other John Brown signed the contract.

The signature could be sufficient, but including other information such as a residence address could help.

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