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I was surprised by a clerk. In a positive way

Anyone who has ever bought or sold a real estate knows that before concluding a contract, they must collect a set of official documents and certificates. These documents will be requested by the bank that will provide a loan facility (unless we buy "for cash"), but, primarily, these documents will be requested by a notary public. The list may seem overwhelming. You have to arrange for, among others, tax certificates, an extract and an excerpt from the land register, an excerpt from the local master plan. Meanwhile, few people are aware that most of these documents can be obtained electronically. And nowadays it is better to limit visits to public places.

Majority of us is probably most familiar with the ePuap formula, howevert here are other ways to file applications as well. Art. 63 § 3a of the Code of Administrative Procedure indicates that an application may be submitted in the form of an electronic document bearing a qualified electronic signature (the so-called "QES", i.e. a qualified electronic signature), a trusted signature (i.e. submitted via ePuap), a personal signature (i.e. submitted with the use of identity cards equipped with the so-called electronic layer) or authenticated in another way. When submitting an application electronically, we send it to the officiale-mailaddress of the administration body.

My personal experience with electronic administration proceedings is very positive. For example, in the procedure for disclosure of public information after signing the application via a free online program (I'm using the software suggested by the search engine in response to the request for the: "electronic signature pdf free") and sending the so signed "pdf" to the authority's e-mail address, I have received the authority’s reply very quickly and it was signed with a qualified electronic signature (i.e. a document containing the annotation: "This is a Qualified Electronic Signature according to EU Regulation 910/2014" and the data of the employee who signed the document). The proceedings in which I have made my application was free of charge, but please take into account that in the case of applications for issuing certificates, you will usually have to pay a stamp duty together with the application (e.g. in the case of applications for issuing tax certificates).

The above-mentioned comments refer to relations with administrative bodies. In the sphere of private law (i.e. when concluding a construction contract), the rules are different. In order to establish that an electronically signed document is equivalent to a hand-signed document, is the submission of a qualified electronic signature under it. Placing such a signature requires, inter alia, purchase of a certificate, license and sometimes a signature reader. In Poland, I am aware of a several systems offering qualified electronic signatures, eg Szafir, EuroCert, eSign, Certum, CenCert or Sigilium Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartościowych). The license is usually provided for 1 or 2 years and is not expensive (the price of the license only for 2 years can amount to less than PLN 150). It is also possible to sign contracts in other electronic forms than with a qualified signature (e.g. in the form of a personal signature, as referred to in Articles 12 a and 12 d of the Act on identity cards). Such contracts will fall into a category of so-called documentary form (Articles 77 (2) and 77 (3) of the Civil Code). They will be binding on the parties, if the contracting parties decide that this form satisfies them (Article 12d (2) of the Act on identity cards in connection with Article 76 of the Civil Code). However, such a determination will not always be possible, as there are several cases in which the provisions require a written form under the pain of invalidity. Therefore, in such instances the parties may sign such a document in a traditional way or with a qualified electronic signature.

There are already solutions on the market that allow you to sign documents using a mobile phone. I recently tested the eDO App. In short, signing documents is as simple as paying with your phoneat the groceries. The difference is that in theshop, webringthemobile closeto the payment terminal, and when signing the document, wehave to bringthemobileto the ID card. Those who have an ID card with an electronic layer may submit the so-called personal signature using this application. Youjusthave to select the document you want to sign on your mobile phone and the place on the document where you want to sign it. Then, you just need to put your ID card against your mobile phone and enter the pin (given in the presence of anclerk, when collecting your ID card). The app also allows to sign documents with a qualified signature,upon purchasinga license from the softwareproviderand installation ofthe certificate on your ID card.

In my opinion we need to keep up with the technical novelties. The notaries follow the tech novelties while rendering the professional services and an increasing number of them accepts the electronic certificates when preparing notarial deeds. The notarial deedspecifiesa description of the qualified electronic signature certificate. Let's not be afraid of technology, obtaining official documents electronically allows you to save time, costs and some CO2.

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