Passports and drivers’ licenses are tried-and-true methods of authenticating the identities of people signing paper documents. Now Adobe Document Cloud is taking that concept to the cloud with the introduction of Government ID Authentication, a new feature in Adobe Sign that uses a physical ID to authenticate digital signatures.

The feature, included in the latest release of Adobe Sign, was designed for Adobe customers in the banking and financial services industries to verify the identity of their customers before providing digital onboarding services. But it can be used by anyone with a need to confidently authenticate a signer’s identity, including legal professionals.

Using this feature, when a document is sent via Adobe Sign for signature, the signer is guided through the process. The signer must use a mobile phone, but no special app is required. The signer snaps a photo of a passport or driver’s license, and Adobe Sign automatically and comprehensively evaluates the ID card’s security features, such as patterns, fonts and layout, to authenticate the identity of the signer and allow them to complete the signature process.

Optionally, the sender can also require the signer to take a selfie, which Adobe Sign uses to map the signer’s facial features and compare them to the photo on the ID.

When the ID is authenticated, a process that takes just seconds, the user gets a success notification and is then able to sign the document.

Note that Adobe is validating that the ID is authentic. It does not validate the accuracy of the information stated on the ID.

Adobe is also announcing today that it is the preferred PDF product for Microsoft Information Protection, an enterprise data-protection product. Now, Acrobat DC and Acrobat Reader support MIP on Windows computers. PDF files that have been secured using MIP can be viewed and opened in Acrobat.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.