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How to Add a Wet Signature to PDF Without Hassle?

Despite the widespread transition of businesses to electronic document management and digital signatures, in some places, the so-called “wet signatures” are still required. In this article, we’ll talk about what it is and tell you how to make this type of signature using modern solutions like Create eSignature.

Wet signature close-up

What Is Wet Signing

The term “wet signature” is used in relation to signatures that people make by hand with pens or other writing devices on hard copies, that is, physical documents. Sometimes the word “ink” is added to this term to emphasize the difference between this type of signature and digitalized options. While electronic signatures are now commonplace and recognized as legally valid, some organizations and authorities still require applicants to sign papers and forms by hand. Fortunately, with modern software, it is no longer a problem, and you can generate a wet signature online and put it in any document you need.

How to Add a Wet Signature to a PDF

While the wet ink signature implies using a pen, you can recreate a similar effect with simple electronic tools. Here are two guides on how you can do it with our platform. A signature generated this way has the same legal power as a handwritten one.

Method I

The most obvious option is to scan signature to PDF. If you have a scanner, you can sign the document with our eSign PDF tool:

  1. First, put your signature with a pen or any other writing device on any document or just a piece of paper.
  2. Then scan it. It is the best option for transferring a handwritten signature to a digital format. Don’t forget to crop the excess around so there are no white spaces in the image. However, if you don’t have a scanner at hand, it’s no problem; you can take a photo of your signature. Make sure the room is well-lit so that the picture quality is perfect.
  3. Now, open eSign PDF on your computer, click “Upload Document,” and select the file you want to sign from your device’s collection.
  4. After loading the editor, on the top toolbar, find the icon “Add Sign.” Click on it to bring up the Signature Wizard.
  5. You will be offered a choice of three options for creating a signature. For wet signing, you need to click on the third one. Click “Browse Your Files” and select an image with your scanned (or photographed) signature.
  6. Wait until the picked image is loaded into the editor, and put your signature in the desired part of the document.

The generated signature is stored in your account’s memory, so you can return to it again to sign any other file. Your wet signed documents are also kept in the cloud, so you can resume working on them whenever you want.

Wet signature on paper

Method II

The second method, which you can use to wet sign official documents, is somewhat easier because it doesn’t require a scanner.

  1. Go to our Create Signature section, where you can generate a handwritten signature in two ways:
  • Type it. Type your name on the top line and select an ink color and font. You can use your full name, initials, nickname, etc., for your signature, whichever is more appropriate for the current situation.
  • Draw it. This option allows you to create a more personalized signature, as close as possible to a wet signature. Switch to the second tab and use the stylus and touchpad or mouse to sign in the center field. You can adjust the pen thickness and ink color.
  1. Try both options and change the font and color until you find the perfect proportions. You can always undo the last action or create several signatures at once to see which one suits you best.
  2. Save the final signature as an image in .svg vector format, which is ideal for working with electronic files.
  3. You can insert this image with your signature into any document in Word or PDF format. The latter option is preferable with electronic documentation, as you can insert the image exactly where you need it and avoid shifting other content.
  4. Save the finished file. After you have put your signature, do not forget to save the changes. Now you can create and send wet docs to recipients in just a couple of clicks.

The second method also has one important advantage. With it, you create signatures with a transparent background. At first glance, it might seem unimportant until you come across scanned documents whose pages have a yellowish tint. On such sheets, an image with a signature, with a perfectly white background, will stand out and look unprofessional. That is why you should opt for a transparent background, which you can use on any e-documents.

What Documents Require a Wet Signature

Electronic versions of signatures are considered legal in almost all countries of the world. However, some local laws still require wet ink signatures on official documents. The approach to this issue varies by state and even by company, so before you sign anything, you should find out the requirements.

For example, a wet signature may be required in the following situations:

  • Notarized papers, deeds of trust, and mortgages (USA);
  • Real estate transfers or transfer of GmbH shares (Germany);
  • Personal guarantees, securities of the Bank of Canada, and promissory notes (Canada);
  • Various tax documents (Great Britain), and so on.

In summary, a wet signature might be needed when drafting wills, filling out adoption papers, property transfers, court orders, bank loan papers, etc. Companies and businesses that design the listed documents may require just such a format at their discretion. At the same time, for example, in the USA, there is a law according to which no document can be invalidated just because it is in electronic form. The same statement is true for signatures. So you cannot be denied service if you use a digital signature.


Do you still have questions about using wet signatures? Read the FAQs from our experts for more information.

What counts as a wet signature?

The process of signing hard copies, that is, physical papers, using a regular pen and ink is called wet signing. Such a handwritten format of agreement with documents has long been considered the only acceptable one. However, modern technologies have made it possible to replace it with more convenient electronic and digital signatures. From a legal point of view, they have equal weight and legitimacy.

What is a wet signature document?

It is the name of a document on which the parties have handwritten signatures. With modern software, you can create such a signature using a mouse or touchpad with a stylus or by scanning/photographing your physical signature. Whichever option you choose, the document you signed will be considered valid and legally binding.

Can a digital signature qualify as a wet signature?

According to the so-called E-Sign Act, adopted in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, electronic signatures are equal to wet handwritten options from the legal point of view. You can choose any format that is convenient for you at the moment. Using a digital signature instead of a wet one does not invalidate the document.

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