eSignatures FAQ

Last updated: May 30, 2023

This content is intended to help answer specific UW configurations and use cases. DocuSign has extensive help documentation and customer forums that you may use for guidance on DocuSign’s capabilities.


Electronic signatures provided by DocuSign are legally accepted by regulatory and governmental bodies.

At this time DocuSign is offered at no cost to the organizations.

No, the eSignatures service may not be used for documents that contain HIPAA-protected information. However, the eSignatures service may be used for documents that request HIPAA authorization for research purposes and must adhere to the Human Subjects Division’s guidance on this topic.

If you are a UW Delegated Administrator in DocuSign, you have the ability to create templates in DocuSign, either from scratch or using envelopes that you’ve sent previously. You also have the ability to create PowerForms using these templates. If you are a UW Sender, you will have the ability to use templates that have been shared with you to create new envelopes. It’s important to understand the distinction between these two related features and how they can be used in your team’s workflow.

Templates: DocuSign templates allow you to create a document with saved settings for the signing roles, fillable fields, and attachments, and can be used to create new envelopes with those settings. It is useful to set up templates for forms you send out often with minimal changes. Templates also make it easy for people on your team to share the responsibility of sending out particular forms. When you create a template and share it with members of your Group, they will be able to generate envelopes based on that template as well.

PowerForms: A PowerForm is generated from an existing Template. It allows you to create self-service documents initiated from a unique, secure URL that you make available to the signers to complete and sign. Signers can access and sign your forms on demand. We often see this feature used for consent forms, policy agreement forms, and employee evaluations. Whenever your use case would see added value in providing the means for signers to initiate the form rather than someone from your department needing to reach out for a signature, creating a PowerForm from your template would be a good option to explore. 

PowerForm responses behave slightly differently from envelopes that you send directly to signers. By default, the signer who initiates a PowerForm won’t get a link to download the envelope when it has been completed by all parties. If this is something you would like your signers to have, you can use “Require email validation” in the PowerForm settings (under “Options”). This will require the person initiating the form to confirm their email address, and will provide a link to the envelope. It also results in receiving an email when the signing process is complete for all signers. You can find more information about this process here. 

For more information comparing these two features, check out DocuSign’s article here.

Quick Tips

Help Resources

If you have viewed or signed a document through DocuSign at UW in the past , you have a user profile automatically created for that purpose in the “UW Signers” account. This profile doesn’t have any advanced privileges. Make sure that you are logged in the correct profile by switching to the correct account and setting up your correct default profile.

How to switch an account?

How to set up a default profile?

eSignatures makes it easy to send and manage documents (or envelopes) for electronic signatures.

How do I send a document?

How do I manage sent documents?

How do I correct documents I sent?

How do I create and use templates?

How do I match a new template to a previously uploaded template?

eSignatures makes it easy to for recipients to securely sign electronically.
How do I sign a document?

How do I change my signature?

How do I access a document that I previously signed?