This is for users looking to understand the benefits and limitations of Sealed Documents.
To add Sealed Documents to your project, Additional Document Security Features must be enabled. See How do I create a new project? for instructions on how to create a new project and enable Additional Document Security Features.
A Sealed Document has four unique features:
- dealcloser digitally signs the document.
- Once all signers have signed the document, the document displays a tamper-evident seal.
- Once all signers have signed the document, a Certificate of Record is automatically appended to the document.
- Once the first signer has signed the document, the document is locked and cannot be modified within dealcloser in any way.
See What should I do if I need to modify a Sealed Document that's been signed? to learn more about what to do if you need to make a change to a signed Sealed Document.
Sealed Documents are digitally signed by dealcloser, which automatically generates a digital certificate as part of the document that identifies dealcloser inc. as the digital signer. So long as that digital certificate is present in the document, that document is guaranteed to have come from the dealcloser platform and is therefore not a forgery. Because we as dealcloser digitally sign the document after clients electronically sign the document, our identity is verified and forever associated with the document, ensuring that when the document is opened and the digital certificate is displayed, it is guaranteed to be an original dealcloser document that came from our platform and that it is not a forgery.
When you download a fully signed Sealed Document from our platform and open it in Adobe Acrobat, it will have a tamper-evident seal displayed at the top of the PDF viewer. So long as the tamper-evident seal is present, you’ll have assurance that no one has altered the original document.
Certificates of Record
dealcloser will also append a Certificate of Record to a Sealed Document automatically. This Certificate of Record will display metadata relevant to that document that identifies the clients that electronically signed the document using dealcloser along with an audit log of activity that occurred to that specific document. The Certificate of Record together with the tamper-evident seal and the digital certificate assure future viewers of the document that the signers who signed the document were dealcloser users (identifying them by name, email and IP address) and that: (i) the document itself came from dealcloser; (ii) it is not a forgery; and (iii) it has not been modified since it was signed.
Sealed Documents cannot be modified after the first signer has signed the document. When dealcloser digitally signs a Sealed Document, it is certifying that no changes have been made to the original version of the document. As such, the document that the first signer signs and the document that the last signer signs must be identical for dealcloser's certification to be accurate and meaningful. Therefore, after the first signer signs the document, dealcloser locks it.
Conversely, regular documents on dealcloser are simple PDFs containing the electronic signature of the signer. They are not digitally signed and do not contain a tamper-evident seal or a Certificate of Record. You have the flexibility to choose which type of document is required.