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Digital Signatures - Professional Engineers

The Board for Professional Engineers took Final Action at the August 11, 2014 Board meeting to adopt amendments to COMAR to allow for the use of digital signatures by licensees. The changes became effective September 1, 2014

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that has added security to ensure the identity of the signer, as well as the integrity and authenticity of the signed document.

Some digital signatures can be verified through third-party entities known as Certificate Authorities, who usually charge a fee for the service of independently verifying the identity of the signer and issuing the digital certificate. There are also other technological solutions that involve automatic verification of the integrity of the document since the signature was appended to the document and do not involve a third party verification. Any digital signature solution is acceptable provided it meets the overall criteria for digital signatures provided in the Code of Maryland Regulations

The Maryland Board for Professional Engineers promulgated regulations in September, 2014, that enabled, but did not require, professional engineers to use digital signatures. With continuing changes and advancements in technology, the Board continues to re-evaluate some of the specific criteria set forth in the Code of Maryland Regulations applicable to the digital signatures. The Board will keep Maryland licensees informed of any proposed regulatory changes to COMAR, and at that time, will seek comments from stakeholders.