Chile has legally recognized e-signatures since 2002, with the passage of The Act on Electronic Documents, Electronic Signatures, and Certification Services of Signatures.
Are e-signatures legal, admissible, and enforceable in the local jurisdiction?
- Law 19,799, as amended (Law 19,799), regarding electronic documents, electronic signature, and certification services for electronic signature
- Decree N° 181/2002 of the Ministry of Economy, Development, and Reconstruction as amended, regulation of Law 19,799
- Decree No. 24. of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism which Approves Technical Standard for the provision of the Advanced Electronic Signature certification service
- Several technical regulations
Types of signatures:
Law 19,799 defines two types of electronic signatures, the "electronic signature" and the "advanced electronic signature", as follows:
- Electronic signature: any sound, symbol, or electronic process, which allows the recipient of an electronic document to at least formally identify its author.
- Advanced electronic signature: one certified by an accredited provider, which has been created using means that the owner maintains under his / her control, so that it is only linked to it and the data to which it refers, allowing the subsequent detection of any modification, verifying the identity of the owner, and preventing him from ignoring the integrity of the document and its authorship.
Validity of signatures:
- The acts or contracts signed by means of electronic signature will be valid in the same way and will have the same effect as those signed with a handwritten signature. These acts are considered to be written, in cases that the law requires that they be recorded by said means and in cases where the law provides legal consequences when they are in writing.
- Any electronic document that has the quality of a public instrument must be signed by means of an advanced electronic signature.
The electronic signature, whatever its nature, will be regarded as a handwritten signature for all legal purposes.
Are there certain documents that cannot be e-signed?
In general, under applicable law, all kinds of documents may be signed in electronic form.
Electronic signatures will not be valid with respect to acts or contracts granted or entered into in the following cases:
- Those in which the law requires a formality that is not possible to comply with though an electronic document (e.g., acquisition or transfer of real estate, mortgages, promissory notes, bank checks, etc.)
- Those in which the law requires the personal attestation of any of the parties
- Those related to family law
Does local regulation govern the use of digital IDs / certificates for e-signatures?
- The Civil Registry and Identification Service grants a unique password (Clave Única). The Clave Única is a digital identification mechanism that allows users to demonstrate their identity on digital platforms, since the Civil Registry and Identification Service verifies that the digital identity corresponds to a certain person, validating it against its database. The Clave Única allows access to more than 300 non-contact procedures before State bodies.
Decree N° 24 establishes the technical operational conditions under which the certification service provider may reliably verify the identity of an advanced electronic signature applicant through its Unique Password.
There is no minimum age to obtain a Clave Única.
- The Civil Registry and Identification currently has a bidding process in place to provide citizens with a biometric identification system.
Certificates for e-signatures:
E-Signature certificates may be granted by "certification service providers" or by "accredited certification service providers".
- Certification service providers are Chilean or foreign natural or legal persons who grant electronic signature certificates.
- Accredited certification service providers are natural or legal persons, public or private, domiciled in Chile, accredited with the Accreditation Entity and grants electronic signature certificates.
Only accredited certification service providers may grant certificates for advanced electronic signature.
Does local law provide certification bodies / trust services that users of e-signatures should be aware of?
Law 19,799 created an Accreditation Entity (Entidad Acreditadora), under the Ministry of Economy, Development, and Tourism. Furthermore, the Accrediting Entity grants accreditation, registers, and inspects the accredited certification service providers.
The Accrediting Entity maintains a registry of accredited certification service providers (the "Registry").
Accreditation is the procedure by which the accreditation service provider demonstrates to the Accreditation Entity that it has the facilities, systems, computer programs, and human resources necessary to grant certificates, allowing their registration in the Registry of certification service providers. created by Law 19,799.
Accreditation is voluntary.
In the case of accredited certification service providers, once accredited they will be incorporated to the Registry, will be able to issue advanced electronic signature certificates, and will be under the supervision of the Accreditation Entity.
The information on this site is for general education and informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide and should not be considered legal advice. Laws pertaining to electronic signatures may change quickly, so Conga cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information on this site. Consult with a licensed attorney for answers to any specific legal questions on this topic.
Last updated: 10/20/2022