U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 20, 2023
(a) Subject to any provisions prescribed by the Director under § 850.104 -
(1) An electronic communication may be deemed to satisfy any statutory or regulatory requirement under CSRS, FERS, FEGLI, FEHB or RFEHB for a written election, notice, application, consent, request, or specific form format;
(2) An electronic signature of an electronic communication may be deemed to satisfy any statutory or regulatory requirement under CSRS, FERS, FEGLI, FEHB or RFEHB that an individual submit a signed writing to OPM;
(3) An electronic signature of a witness to an electronic signature may be deemed to satisfy any statutory or regulatory requirement under CSRS, FERS, FEGLI, FEHB or RFEHB for a signature to be witnessed; and
(4)(i) In general, any regulatory requirement under CSRS, FERS, FEGLI, FEHB or RFEHB that a signature be notarized, certified, or otherwise witnessed, by a notary public or other official authorized to administer oaths may be satisfied by the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts when such electronic signature is attached to or logically associated with all other information and records required to be included by the applicable regulation.
(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section, a person signing a consent or election for the purpose of electronic notarization under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section must be in the physical presence of the notary public or an official authorized to administer oaths.
(iii) The Director may provide in directives issued under § 850.104 that alternative procedures utilized by a notary public or other official authorized to administer oaths (such as audio-video conference technology) will be deemed to satisfy the physical presence requirement for a notarized, certified, or witnessed election or consent, but only if those procedures with respect to the electronic system provide the same safeguards as are provided by physical presence.
(b) For purposes of this section, an electronic signature is a method of signing an electronic communication, including an application, claim, or notice, designation of beneficiary, or assignment that -
(1) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic communication; and
(2) Indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the electronic communication.
(c) The Director will issue directives under § 850.104 that identify the acceptable methods of effecting electronic signatures for particular purposes under this part. Acceptable methods of creating an electronic signature may include -
(1) Non-cryptographic methods, including -
(i) Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password;
(ii) Smart card;
(iii) Digitized signature; or
(iv) Biometrics, such as fingerprints, retinal patterns, and voice recognition;
(2) Cryptographic control methods, including -
(i) Shared symmetric key cryptography;
(ii) Public/private key (asymmetric) cryptography, also known as digital signatures;
(3) Any combination of methods described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section; or
(4) Such other means as the Director may find appropriate.