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HM Land Registry now accepts “witnessed electronic signatures” on legal documents, with the witness signing the documents electronically at the same time as the signatory.
Officials say the Registry is also moving towards the use of digital signatures (known as qualified electronic signatures). The Registry has also now issued draft practice guidance which explains its approach to accepting electronic signatures.
The witnessed electronic signatures process involves the conveyancer uploading the deed to an online platform which then sends a link to the signatories.
Once the necessary authentication checks are complete, the individual “signs” the document electronically in the physical presence of the witness, who also signs.
The conveyancer is then notified that the signing process is complete, allowing them to submit the deed to HM Land Registry with their application for registration.