Can I use the same email address for two signers, such as spouses?
Legally, the signature must be associated with an actual person. Currently, in Encyro E-Sign email acts as an identifier for a person. The audit trail required for e-sign laws uses the email address to distinguish signers. As a result, using the same email address for two signers is not possible within the same document to be signed.
If you are adding additional identification steps such as the use of access codes by text message (KBA), then you could use the same email address as follows:
- Send one e-sign request requesting the first signer (e.g. spouse/SSDP in case of an IRS 8879 form) to sign, and enable access codes by text (KBA). Add the phone number for the first signer.
- Send a second e-sign requesting the second signer and again enable access codes by text (KBA). Use same email but add the phone number for the second signer.
So you will have both signatures but in two different files. The identities will be different based on the different phone number used.
Another option is to first send the form to the first spouse. Once the first spouse signs, download the signed file, and send that file in a new e-sign request to the second spouse (at the same email). You will get both signatures, in the same file.
Yet another option is to use ink-signatures. Ask the client to print and sign. Then ask them to open your Encyro upload page on their phone and take a picture of the signed form. You will get a photo of the ink-signed form: IRS Pub 1345 clearly states that KBA is not required for ink-sign even if an electronic image of that signed form is sent to you.
Note: Some other e-sign services may allow specifying the same email address for two different signers. In those cases, the onus of proving that the signature was executed by two different persons is on you. In case of signature repudiation, since the email address and likely the IP address (since the two signers may be accessing Internet from the same home) are the same, you would have no unique identifiers available for each signer. One signer could claim that they never signed, and the other signer signed without their knowledge. Those e-sign services should only be used when the two signers are represented jointly, such as for a real estate transaction in a community property state.