Seal and Signature Explained to the Public

A Responsibility

Engineers have a responsibility to authenticate engineering documents that they prepare or that have been prepared under their supervision. Authentication is an important step because it attests to the authenticity and integrity of a document.  It is the final professional act that the engineer affixes to document.

Although paper-based engineering documents are still present, the use of electronic documents is becoming more widespread. Engineers can prepare a document in any of these different formats, depending on their needs. The engineer who produces an engineering document is responsible for its content, regardless of the format (paper or electronic).

What is the difference between the digital signature and its handwritten equivalent?

From a legal point of view, the digital signature authentication method has the same value as the handwritten signature with the ink seal. In the end, handwritten or digital signature, the result is the same for you.

Do all engineering documents need to be authenticated?

Yes.  Engineering documents must be authenticated by the engineer who prepared them or supervised their preparation.  Only preliminary documents, such as those submitted for comment, discussion or coordination, do not need to be authenticated. If in doubt, ask your engineer or contact us.

Do you have questions about the seal or signature?

Ask the engineer you work with to help you or contact the OIQ. We will be happy to answer your questions!

Contact the OIQ