On September 22, 2012, New York Real Property Law Section 291-i went into effect. This law permits county clerks to record instruments affecting real property (e.g. contracts, deeds and mortgages) which are submitted as scanned PDF files of signed documents or electronic documents signed electronically without any paper.
With respect to electronic signatures, the New York State Technology Law did not previously permit the use of electronic signatures on recordable documents affecting real property, such as contracts, deeds and mortgages. However, under the new law, electronic signatures are now valid for real estate documents. Accordingly, electronic signatures will now be permitted on all real estate documents, including real estate contracts. In addition, please note that real estate contracts frequently allow for the contract to be signed in counterparts, via PDF or by fax.