Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Management Bulletin 17-03

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Clarify that a Digital Signature May be Used to Satisfy the Requirements of an Electronic Signature.

Number: 17-03

Date: February 2017

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) Located at Civil Code sections 1633.1 through 1633.17; Civil Code Section 1633.2; Government Code (GC) Section 16.5

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Administrators of Child Care and Development Programs: Center-based Child Care (CCTR); California State Preschool (CSPP); Family Child Care Homes Education Networks (CFCC); Programs for Special Needs Children (Handicapped) (CHAN); Migrant (Center-based) (CMIG); CalWORKs Stage 2 (C2AP); CalWORKs Stage 3 (C3AP); California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP); Migrant Alternative Payment Program (CMAP); and Resources and Referral (CRRP)


This Management Bulletin (MB) is to inform all child care contractors who contract with the California Department of Education (CDE) under the Child Care and Development Services Act (the Act) and all child care providers under the Act that a “digital signature,” as defined, is considered a type of “electronic signature” under the UETA.


On August 19, 2016, the Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2296. The bill clarifies that a digital signature may be used to satisfy the requirements of an electronic signature under the UETA. For purposes of the UETA, an electronic signature includes a digital signature.


Effective January 1, 2017, and pursuant to AB 2296, a "digital signature" authorized by Government Code (GC) Section 16.5 and its attendant regulations qualifies as a type of "electronic signature" under the UETA. 

Pursuant to GC Section 16.5(b), the use or acceptance of a digital signature shall be at the option of the parties to the transaction.

Note: All agencies must provide access to documentation required pursuant to the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, for audit, contract, and fiscal review purposes.

Please see MB 17-04 at for further information on what constitutes an acceptable "digital signature."

Pursuant to California Education Code Section 33308.5, this Management Bulletin is mandatory only to the extent that it cites a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement. Any portion of this Management Bulletin that is not supported by a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement is not prescriptive.

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 18, 2024
Recently Posted in Early Education