Legality and enforceability of electronic signatures in México*

What are the relevant laws governing electronic signatures in México?

The Mexican United States (“México”) does not have a dedicated law regulating electronic signatures or records. The most relevant laws in México addressing the enforceability of electronic signatures and electronic commerce in general are the following:
  • Federal Civil Code
  • Federal Commerce Code

Further, all regulations regarding commerce, and specifically electronic signatures in México, are of federal jurisdiction. There are no local laws containing material regulations regarding electronic signatures.

Regarding data messages, under the Commerce Code, information shall not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in the form of a data message. Hence data messages may be used as evidence in the context of any proceeding before any legal authority and will have the same legal effects that any printed documentation, as long as such data messages comply with the provisions of the Commerce Code and the corresponding regulation, if any.

Regarding electronic signatures, data in electronic form consigned in a data message or logically associated with a data message, through any technology, which may be used to identify the signatory in relation to the data message and to indicate the signatory’s approval of the information contained in the data message and that produces the same legal effects as the handwriting signature, will be acceptable as evidence in court.

What constitutes an electronic signature in México?

An “electronic signature” includes any electronic data included within a data message, or attached, or logically associated with the same through any technology, which is used to identify the signer with respect to the data message, and to indicate that the signer approves the information contained within the data message, and which produces the same legal effects than the handwritten signature, being admissible as evidence in a trial.

A “data message” is “the information generated, sent, received or filed through optical or electronic means or any other technology.

Mexican law recognizes an electronic signature as “advanced” if it also complies with the following requirements:

  • If the creation data of the signature, within the context in which the same is used, corresponds exclusively to the signer;
  • If the creation data of the signature were, at the time of the signature, under the exclusive control of the signer;
  • If it is possible to identify any alteration to the electronic signature, that occurred after the moment of the signature; and
  • With respect to the integrity of a data message, it is possible to identify any alteration to the electronic signature that occurred after the moment of the signature.

Further, if an advanced electronic signature meets the four requirements above, it must also have a digital certificate applied by a government-approved certification service provider, to be considered as such.

Does México recognize a SignNow electronic signature as a valid type of electronic signature?

Yes, a SignNow electronic signature will be considered a valid type of electronic signature. It will also be considered an “advanced” electronic signature if you use the SignNow’s QES solution.

Another important electronic signature standard in Mexico is the NOM 151 regulation. This regulation establishes requirements for the preservation of electronic records. NOM 151 provides that the document signed with electronic signature needs to be accompanied with a digital signature certificate that (i) verifies the integrity of the document and (ii) confirms that the document has not been modified or altered after the moment it was signed.

SignNow’s QES solution meets the requirements of the NOM 151 regulation. Every document signed using this solution is accompanied with an appropriate digital signature certificate.

What are examples of electronic signature use cases?

In México, electronic signatures are frequently used for all transactions between private parties that are not subject to the regulation, supervision, submission, etc. of a regulator of governmental authority (i.e. it is not advisable to sign a contract electronically if eventually such contract will be filed with a governmental agency).

Are electronic signatures prohibited or not allowed for any transactions?

Governmental filings and communications are not included within the scope of the private laws. While some government authorities permit online filing, these filings are frequently done physically. The only regulations regarding electronic signatures for governmental filings refer to a specific kind of advanced electronic signature issued by the Mexican tax authorities (FIEL), which is used to carry out certain tax filings, and accepted for online filings by other authorities.

While not expressly prohibited by law, for employment agreements, it is advisable to execute such agreements through a wet handwritten signature, because most labor courts lack sufficient technology to recognize and validate electronic signatures.

Do parties need to consent to use electronic signatures in México?

No. México does not contain any express consent requirements for parties to agree to conduct transactions electronically or to use electronic signatures.

What are the key factors pertaining to the enforcement of electronic signatures in Mexico?

To be enforceable and to produce the same effects as a handwritten signature, the electronic signature must (1) be logically associated with the data message; (2) through any technology, be used to identify the signatory in relation to the data message; and (3) to indicate the signatory’s approval of the information contained in the data message. Mexican law does not afford greater validity to an “advanced” electronic signature.
* Disclaimer: This page is for informational purposes only. This page provides a background on the legal framework for electronic signatures in the respective country. This page is not legal advice and should not be used or relied upon as legal advice. You should seek legal counsel regarding any legal questions you have regarding the use of electronic signatures in this jurisdiction. To the maximum extent permitted by law, airSlate provides this page and the material on this page on an “as-is” basis. airSlate disclaims and makes no representation or warranty of any kind with respect to this page or the material on this page, express, implied, or statutory, including representations, guarantees, or warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or accuracy.

Last updated: February 2023