Electronic Authentication Act

In 1997, the State of Washington enacted the Electronic Authentication Act "to facilitate commerce by means of reliable electronic messages." This landmark act, one of the first of its kind in the United States, is designed to enhance economic development and trade through the use of digital signatures in electronic commerce.

The Electronic Authentication Act is found at chapter 19.34 of the Revised Code of Washington. Under the Act, the Secretary of State is responsible for creating administrative rules to administer the Act. These rules were first established in 1998, with the help of the digital signature task force. General recognition of other States and foreign countries with electronic authentication laws similar to Washington's can also be made by the Secretary of State, and published in the State Register.