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Electronic signatures using PDF Reader
Old 06-20-2015, 04:57 PM   #1
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Electronic signatures using PDF Reader

This may be old hat to many out there but was both new to me and extremely useful recently. Every year that we go on these multi-month traveling vacations something turns up in the paper mail that needs a signature (our son monitors our mail). No difference this year, but instead of getting an electronic version, finding somewhere to print out a hard copy, signing it and taking a photo or scanning it back in, DD sent me a link showing how to do this totally without printing, at no cost, using the free standard version of Adobe Reader. (link below on how to do this). I was fortunate that she happened to be with us on this part of the vacation and could listen to me gripe about it. (and that she is way more IT literate than I am)

DS im'ed me to let me know that a $250 check had arrived in the mail. It was return of a security deposit that we had paid by credit card, which I had expected to be returned via a credit card credit.

I had my son take a photo of the check front and back and send me the pdf versions of the images. I then applied my signature to the back of the check and proceeded to do a mobile deposit using the bank's app on my iPhone. I brought up the front image of the check on my laptop, took the photo as prompted by the app, then brought up the new signed image of the back of the check and took the photo when prompted, and completed the deposit.

How to Electronically Sign Documents Without Printing and Scanning Them
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:15 PM   #2
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Good info, Alan!

Sometimes it still isn't enough.

I tried to transact some business with Social Security from Azerbaijan. They would not accept a pdf file, scanned or otherwise. I was required to submit a hand-written and signed paper and fax it. I went to the US Embassy in Baku for them to fax it. A complete waste of time. Either the embassy or the SS office in Istanbul or HQ in godonlyknowswhere, USA, any or all of them, were incompetent and the action never happened until I went into our local office on vacation later (and that was a two-visit exercise as well).

I have the same requirement for an action with Canada Revenue, but I expect it to go smoother.

Just an FYI to travelers. Sometimes things don't work they way you expect them to work.

Ed
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post

Just an FYI to travelers. Sometimes things don't work they way you expect them to work.

Ed
Ain't that the truth

A couple of years back our son got a kick out of trying to respond to a jury summons for his mother(we were traveling in France at the time). The court insisted that he write an excuse note on behalf of his mother and mail it in.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:30 PM   #4
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Alan, that looks like a good tip. Thanks!

Gypsy Ed, with the SSA people nothing works. I thought they were going to put me in jail just for thinking I would help my mother get online access to her account and do some simple maintenance related items.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip, Alan. I always inserted a .bmp of my signature and reprinted/saved. But of course that required me to keep the .bmp file with me at all times in case I had to sign something. Your tip eliminates the need to keep the signature file handy.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:37 AM   #6
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I've used the PDF Sign capability twice. First, was on the homestead exemption application here in Georgia, where "Sign and Email" is apparently their preferred way of receiving the application. I've since used it on an expense report, tying the signature back to a company-issued ID card rather than to an email address. Remarkably, the latter is acceptable only on a temporary basis and I'm responsible for getting the original to them by the end of the fiscal year.
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for this tip. This will come in handy living out of the country.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #8
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Sometimes organizations allow you to complete that form online but not save it. So I use Primo PDF to print the completed document, then print it, sign it and scan the resulting PDF to return to them (often at an Internet Cafe while travelling).

Another wrinkle is if two signatures are needed. I do mine electronically, then print and get her to sign.

And if the organization insists on hard copy, I send the completed PDF to my son so he can print it and mail it. If they will accept a FAX, I use Fax Zero to send it.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:28 AM   #9
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Sometimes organizations allow you to complete that form online but not save it. So I use Primo PDF to print the completed document, then print it, sign it and scan the resulting PDF to return to them (often at an Internet Cafe while travelling).

Another wrinkle is if two signatures are needed. I do mine electronically, then print and get her to sign.

And if the organization insists on hard copy, I send the completed PDF to my son so he can print it and mail it. If they will accept a FAX, I use Fax Zero to send it.
Fax Zero? Good tip, thanks.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #10
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I have been experimenting with not endorsing checks deposited in the banks ATM. So far so good.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:18 PM   #11
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Your link also discusses Hello Sign. I have not used it in a while but when I did, it was GREAT. An easy way to get things signed and sent. I do not have a fax and really liked this tool!
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:12 PM   #12
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I have been experimenting with not endorsing checks deposited in the banks ATM. So far so good.
My very first checkbook in 1973 had checks with no lines marked on them. This meant that the check recipient could sign and cash the check anywhere unless you drew 2 parallel lines down the front of the check. ( this was in the UK). Within a couple of years all check books issued came with parallel lines and the words A/C Payee on every check meaning that the check did not need to be signed provided it was paid into an account owned by the person or organization the check was made out to.

It was a bit of a shock when we moved to the USA and found that all checks had to be signed on the back before they could be deposited into the payee's own account. In 2011 while we were on a 7 month trip my son told me that a check for over $3k from my old company had arrived. I contacted my company and also my bank to get permission to deposit the check into my bank account without the need to sign it.
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:17 PM   #13
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Your link also discusses Hello Sign. I have not used it in a while but when I did, it was GREAT. An easy way to get things signed and sent. I do not have a fax and really liked this tool!
Brilliant, I hadn't even noticed that but have been back and looked. Looks like a great utility since I am a GMail user and already have a Google account.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:30 AM   #14
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It was a bit of a shock when we moved to the USA and found that all checks had to be signed on the back before they could be deposited into the payee's own account...
In Mexico, banks not only want the signature, but the cheque must be made out to the name shown on the passport used to open the account. Sadly, most Canadian snowbird insurers make their checks out to FN-LN leaving out any middle names. Mexican banks will not accept them for deposit.

When I see Chase accepting a picture of the front of a check, I realize how backwards Mexican banks still remain!
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:55 AM   #15
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FYI for Mac users - Preview also has a signature capability.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:08 AM   #16
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FYI for Mac users - Preview also has a signature capability.
Yep - I've done that. Write the signature on a piece of paper, hold it up to the screen camera, and it gets placed in the PDF.

Very nice!
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