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Digitally Sign and Seal Documents in the State of New Jersey

If you are an Architect, Engineer, or Contractor working in the state of New Jersey, you are now required to digitally sign and seal your drawings and documents.

The state of New Jersey has recently introduced a new Electronic Plan Review system (ePlan). This means when it is time to submit your drawings and documents to the State of New Jersey, you are required to purchase a Document Signing Certificate from a certificate authority.

Buy yours now from the most trusted certificate authority in the State of New Jersey

What is a Document Signing Certificate?

Document signing certificates provide the digital signature and seal required to verify the authenticity of a document. It also verifies the Architect, Engineer, or Contractor who created it using tools like Adobe, Microsoft, or Bluebeam.

e-signature graphic

How Does a Document Signing Certificate Work?

  1. First, verify your identity and your company’s legitimacy with a certificate authority.
  2. Next, a USB stick is mailed to you overnight. Once you receive the USB stick, download the signing software that automatically integrates with tools like Adobe, Microsoft, Bluebeam, and more. This is a one-time installation, so after that, simply plug in your USB stick whenever you need to sign and seal a document.
  3. Finally, open your drawing or document in your program of choice, and you will see the option to add your signature.

What are the Benefits of Replacing Your Wet Stamp with a Digital Signature?

  • Shorten project timelines and deliver documents for review in minutes instead of days.
  • Save time by signing large, multi-page documents in seconds.
  • Mitigate the risk of document tampering using state-of-the-art encryption technology.
  • Ensure the highest level of trust from agencies who review your drawings and documents for approval.

Do I Really Need to Buy this Certificate?

According to nj.gov, “Only those who submit plans to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) are required to use the ePlans Electronic Plan Review System. Municipalities ARE NOT required to use ePlans unless submitting directly to the DCA.”  

How Do I Set Up My State of New Jersey Document Signing Certificate?

1.  Acquire a Digital Signature

        Purchase your certificate here.

2.  Install and Configure Adobe

       Download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. If you prefer, uncheck the boxes for optional offers.

     Signature Appearance

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and click Edit > Preferences
  2. Click Signature > More
  3. Click New
  4. Select your signature appearance options. The options shown below will create a simple signature.
  5. Give your signature appearance a unique title. Click OK. Click OK twice more to exit the preference menus.

     Verification Preferences

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and click Edit > Preferences
  2. Click Signatures > More…
  3. On the Signature Verification Preferences screen, under Windows Integration, Trust ALL root certificates in the Windows Certificate Store for, select both check boxes:
             - Validating Signatures
             - Validating Certified Documents

3.  Sign the PDF Document

  1. Open the PDF document in Adobe and select tools 
  2. Select Certificates
  3. Select Digitally sign  
  4. If an instructions box pops up, click OK
  5. Click and drag to place the signature block at the desired location
  6. The Sign with a Digital ID box appears after you draw the signature block
  7. Select the certificate from your approved signature provider and make sure your certificate is not expired
  8. Click Continue
  9. Select the signature appearance you created earlier, then click Sign
  10. Input your certificate signing password, then click Allow
  11. Navigate to your file location, name your file, then click Save
4. Validate the Signature
  1. Right-click the signature block and click Validate Signature
  2. If the signature is valid, you will see a green check mark; click Signature Properties
  3. Click Show Signer’s Certificate…
  4. Make sure that the signature is issued by one of the providers on the approved list
  5. If the signature is invalid, the signature could be expired or revoked, or the document could have been modified after it was originally signed

For More Information

See How to install an Entrust Document Signing Certificate for technical specifications and setup instructions.
 
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