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Digital Signature: Do my plans need one?

October 27th, 2023 | 2 min. read

By Legacy Engineering

digital signatures graphic

A digital signature is a signature from the design professional that confirms the integrity of the construction plans. The signature/seal states that the work that has been done is not to be copied or used on any alternate plans or projects. Once a document has been digitally signed,  a jurisdiction can only view it and edits are unable to be made, if no securities were made.  

sealEngineer of Record (EOR) stamps generally maintain a uniform appearance, ensuring consistency and recognizability across official documents.

In contrast, architect stamps can exhibit a greater variety of designs. This diversity in appearance not only reflects the individuality of the architect but also serves a crucial purpose in the protection of intellectual property. 

Both EOR and architect stamps represent a form of official approval. They signify that a licensed professional has reviewed the plans and that these plans meet the required standards and regulations. In the digital age, where documents are often shared and approved electronically, digital signatures and stamps have become increasingly common. These digital approvals carry the same weight and legitimacy as traditional hand-stamped signatures.


Most construction projects necessitate plans compiled by a qualified design professional. This typically involves an architect who designs the architectural and trade plans or an engineer responsible for creating structural plans. Utilizing a private provider like ours can significantly streamline this process. We specialize in verifying that your construction documents not only meet all the required digital signature standards for permit approval but also undergo our own expedited review. This is done parallel to, and often in place of, the standard reviews conducted by municipal authorities, ensuring a more efficient progression of your project.

Digital signatures on these documents function much like a watermark on a photograph or a signature on a painting. They are a declaration from the creator - be it the architect or engineer - asserting ownership and intent. These signatures confirm that the plans have been carefully crafted and personalized for the specific needs of your project.

The timing of applying these signatures can vary. They can be affixed either before or after the review process, depending on the stage your project is currently in or according to the preferences of the design professional involved. In the realm of construction and development, whether you are undertaking a renovation or embarking on building a new structure, the type of documents required, and the need for them to be signed and stamped can differ. 

For renovations, certain aspects of the existing structure might need reevaluation and approval, while new construction projects demand a comprehensive set of signed and approved documents covering all aspects of the build. Our role in this process is to ensure that regardless of the project type or stage, all necessary documentation is correctly signed, stamped, and compliant with all relevant codes and regulations. 


Listed below are the required, or not required, signatures and stamps based on the type of building and its corresponding plans. Refer to the residential and commercial requirements when applying for a permit to ensure your documents are accurate and ready for review.   


Architectural- Digital signature not required  

Structural- Digital signature required from EOR 

Truss layout/details- Digital signature from EOR AND EOR stamp 


Architectural- Digital signature required from architect 

Trades separated)- Digital signature required from architect   

Structural- Digital signature required from EOR 

Truss items (if applicable)- Digital signature from truss engineer AND stamp from EOR 


At Legacy Engineering, our service is tailored to facilitate a seamless transition through the various bureaucratic stages of your construction project, from initial design to final approval. By choosing to work with a private provider like us, you are opting for a path that offers both efficiency and peace of mind, knowing that every detail of your project’s documentation is meticulously handled and compliant.


Legacy Engineering