DocHub Support

How do I send my PDF as a Sign Request?

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2018 08:59AM CDT

DocHub is the perfect online tool for requesting e-signatures and inviting signers to fill out documents including PDF forms, applications, and any contract using our completely secure and easy-to-use website. We follow and adhere to the rules and intent of the US Federal ESIGN Act which defines electronic signatures to be just as legally binding as handwritten signatures on paper. The electronic record and signature laws of almost every other country are essentially identical to the ESIGN Act requirements and follow it almost exactly, so DocHub also meets the legal standards for electronic signatures around the world. 

When you send a Sign Request via DocHub, the signers aren't at all required to signup or create a DocHub account. They'll be able to instantly access, complete, and sign your PDF by simply clicking on the secure web link included in the email notification that all signers receive after a Sign Request is created. It is entirely free to signup for DocHub though, so none of them would be charged anyway if they did decide to create their own account. This convenience and simplicity is achieved by DocHub using an authentication token in the document URLs which is a long series of random characters that gets added to the end of the web address which makes it impossible for someone else to figure out by guessing. 

If you plan to send the same PDF as a Sign Request more than once and would like to keep reusing the document, we recommend that you create a template which will create a new copy of the file every time you send a Sign Request so that the original remains the same (and can be edited after sending one), but you can also create a Sign Request from a regular document if you have a unique contract that you don't plan to reuse with other signers. To learn more, see our article for What is the difference between a template and document?.

For all Sign Requests in DocHub, you'll need to first add at least one field and assign a role to it and any other fields. A role is needed for each person who needs to sign or initial or fill out the document, and each role needs to be assigned to at least one field. We recommend that you designate the necessary form fields as "required" to help ensure that your signer(s) definitely complete those fields before Finalizing the document.

(For a reusable master document where a new copy and URL is made for each Sign Request) 
1.) Open or upload a Template.

2.) Click on  Edit Template .

3.) Select the type of field you want to add. - Use the vertical layout of button choices on the left side of your document to insert text, paragraph, checkbox, dropdown menu, signature, Initials, or Date/Time fields.

4.) Click anywhere on your document to insert the selected field type - You'll be able to move, resize, delete, and edit your fields later on. Add as many fields as you'd like. 

Create a role for each signer. - Use the Role tab on the right side to create roles that you can assign to the fields you've added to your document. There will already be a Client role that gets automatically created for any template. The role names are generic labels since a template is meant to be a master document that gets re-used. You won't need to enter a signer's specific information until you are ready to send a Sign Request. 

6.) Assign every field on your document to a specific role. - All fields added to your document need a role assigned to them. Otherwise, you'll receive an error when sending it as a Sign Request. We recommend making them "Required" field(s) so the signer(s) can't Finalize the document without completing the field(s). Each role also needs at least one field that it's assigned to fill on your PDF. To assign a role to a field, select the field on your document to make it the active field (or it will already be active if you just added the field to your document). Selecting a field will change the color of the horizontal bar above the field from orange (inactive) to blue (active). Then use the Assignee section in the right panel on the Fields tab to select a role or person to assign to the active field. You'll see a checkbox above the Assignee list to make it a Required field (recommended). To assign all fields to the Client or any other role in a single click, the Field and Role tabs have a button and dropdown menu at the bottom to Assign all unassigned fields on the document to one role. 

If you checked the box that you need to sign the document, be sure to assign yourself, the Sender, to any of your fields. All roles need to be assigned at least one field or you'll receive an error when trying to send it as a Sign Request.  Then, any fields that are unassigned cannot be filled out by anyone

7.) Send your document as a Sign Request. - Once you are done adding and assigning all fields and roles, you're now ready to send:
  1. Click Send as Sign Request in the right panel while in Edit mode or in the Share window after clicking on Share or Send .
  2. Enter an email address for each signer. 
  3. Review the settings and make any changes. (see Customize section below)
  4. Click  Send Request 
The new Sign Request copy will be added to your Sent section, and you'll be able to monitor its progress and the status of each signer on its Manage and Audit page which is covered in its own section below.

(For single use or unique contracts, agreements, or forms where the form is not reused)

To send a Sign Request for a regular document, you can follow the exact same steps as laid out above, but instead of creating and assigning generic roles to be assigned to specific individual(s) at the time of sending a new Sign Request, you assign each field to a specific person's email address. To open the Fields Manager, click on the Manage Fields  button on the left side of the Tool Bar to toggle it open or closed. The Role tab will be shown as the People tab instead in a regular document since you assign a specific person's email to each field instead of a generic role, and it's meant to be a Sign Request for specific individuals instead of a document that is used over and over for several signers and each having their own legally binding document. 

Since a regular document is not meant to be a master version where a new copy is made each time you request an e-signature, sending one as a Sign Request will convert the regular document into a single Rign Request and remove it from the Documents section and move it to your Sent section where you'll no longer be able to make any changes to the PDF. You can still make a copy of it by opening it and using the File menu  > Actions > Make a Copy, and you also have the option to convert a regular document into a template

(The details below apply to all Sign Requests sent via DocHub)
In the window before sending, you'll see some optional custom controls for the entire Sign Request and for individual signers that can be adjusted if needed. Here's a description of the ways you can customize it:
  • Signer Receives Final Copy (enabled by default) - click on the toggle switch  next to a signer to set whether the signer receives an email with the final PDF attached after all signers have Finalized. Green means ON. 
  • Signer Can Annotate (disabled by default) - click on the toggle switch  next to a signer to set whether they can use the Tool Bar to add annotations outside the fields assigned to them. Green means ON. 
  • Custom Subject and Body - click on Edit Message to customize the wording in the notification email that is sent to each signer. 
  • Signing Order - set to "One at a time" to enable a signing order. See the next section to learn more. 
  • Document Owner - select one of your organizations to send it from the organization instead of your individual account. 

Once a Sign Request is sent, you'll no longer be able to change any of these customization settings. 

If a Sign Request has more than one signer, you have the choice between letting all signers complete the document in any order, at their earliest convenience, or you can designate a signing order for situations where the signing needs to happen in a specific sequence. You'll see a Signing Order section appear in the window to send a Sign Request with multiple signers with a drop-down menu that can be set to "All at once" or "One at a time". When set to 'One at a time', a signing order is enforced where a notification email is only sent to the first signer, and they must complete their fields and click on Finalize before the next signer is sent an email notification to complete the document, and so on for the remaining signers. Any signers that are waiting on the ones before them to sign the document will be labeled as Waiting. You can view the status for each signer in the banner at the top of a Sign Request that's In Progress and on the Manage and Audit page in the Signers section

When a signing order is enabled (set to 'One at a time'), you'll see order numbers to the left of each signer in the send window which can be adjusted by dragging any signers up and down the list using the 3 horizontal lines to the left of each signer. Just click and hold on the 3 lines to enable drag/drop mode.

With Sequential Signing, once a signer completes their fields of the document and clicks Finalize, the document then goes to the next person, and so on, until it reaches the final person in the Signing Order and the document is then Finalized by all parties and it becomes a legally binding document.

A signing order is enabled by default when the sender is also signing the document, and the sender will be set as the last signer in the list. You can change this in the window before sending your document if you'd rather change it to "All at once" or would like to change the sequence of signers.  

If someone in the signing order is taking too long to finalize, the sender has the option of sending them another notification email as a reminder by going to the document's Manage and Audit page and click on the Signer Actions menu next to that signer and choose Resend Email. 

Once you've sent a Sign Request, you'll be able to monitor the status of it and each of the signers in the Sent section of your Dashboard and on the Manage and Audit page for your document. You can also use the Document Actions menu or the Signer Actions menu on the Manage and Audit page to void or delete the document or to make changes to any of the signers and to resend a notification to any of the signers. 

For an overall status of each Sign Request, the 
Sent section will display a symbol to the left of each one you've sent indicating whether it's still In Progress (clock icon) or if it's been Finalized (green checkmark). By default, the list is sorted by Sent Date with the most recent documents at the top, but you can use the Sort drop-down menu in the upper right of your Sent list to order and group them by other criteria such as Status (i.e. In Progress or Finalized). 

To view a much more specific status for where the signer is at in the process of completing your document, you can hover your mouse cursor over the PDF document in your Sent section where you'll see each signer's email followed by a status label such as  Email ReadUnopened, or Modified. If the email could not be delivered to the recipient, the email will be followed by the label Email delivery failed which means the email bounced and was rejected by the recipient's mail server. There are several reasons why an email would bounce and be returned undelivered, but it's usually caused by simply entering an incorrect email address (i.e. a typo) or the signer may have given you the wrong contact information by accident.  If this happens to one of your Sign Requests, you can verify which email address was used and then Change the Email Address for the signer which will resend the Sign Request to the different email address and any form fields on the document will be reassigned to the new email address instead. This can be done on the Manage and Audit page which is explained next. 

Signer Actions Menu 
If you need to make changes to any of the signers or would like to send an email notification as a reminder to any of them, you can use the Signer Actions menus for each signer on the Manage and Audit page for your document. The button for Signer Actions will appear to the right of each signer that hasn't Finalized your document yet. To get there, you can open the document and click on the button to Manage and Audit on the right side of the banner at the top. Each signer will have a Signer Actions button to the right of it which will open a drop-down menu with the following choices:
  • Send Reminder - sends another notification email to the signer which asks them to complete and sign the document. 
  • Reassign Email Address - If you want to change the signer to someone else for when you accidentally entered the wrong email address or had a typo or simply need a different person to sign. Once a signer has been reassigned, a notification email will be sent to them with a secure link to the document.
  • Remove Signer - This removes the signer entirely from the Sign Request document where they can no longer complete the fields that were assigned to them. 

Document Actions Menu 
Use the Document Actions menu in the upper right corner of the Manage and Audit page to Make a Copy of the document, Void Sign Request, Destroy Document, or to Share or Send the document with anyone else. 

If you'd like to have DocHub automatically email follow-up reminders to any signers who haven't completed your Sign Requests after a certain amount of days, or if you'd like to have the document expire after so many days of inactivity by the signers, you can do so in your Sign Request Settings which will be applied to all documents you send as a Sign Request. You can disable or enable it for individual Sign Requests in the window before sending one by using the checkboxes. 

Signer Reminders 
You can configure DocHub to send up to 3 follow-up reminder emails to any inactive signers on your Sign Requests. This is enabled by default unless you uncheck the box in your Sign Request Settings for Reminders. Use the Reminders Schedule drop-down menus to choose the amount of days between email notifications to any unfinished signers of a document. 

Document Expiration 
You can choose between 1-90 days before any inactive signers cause the document to simply expire and be locked from further changes which means they'll no longer be able to sign the document. Use the drop-down menu for Expiration to set the amount of days after the last email reminder which will be 30 days by default though this setting is disabled (unchecked) by default, so you'd need to check the box to enable it first.

Once a Sign Request has been Finalized, it becomes a legally binding document, and you'll receive an email with the finalized PDF attached as well as a finalized copy in your Sent box. The signer(s) will also be CC'd on the final email (unless you unchecked the box for the signer(s) to receive a final copy in the window when you sent the Sign Request).

In DocHub, the status labels for your finalized Sign Request will now show that it's been Finalized, and you'll see a green checkmark to the left of your signed document in your DocHub Sent section.

Before a signer can begin to fill out your document, they must "agree to use electronic records and signatures" which further backs up the legality of the contract, and DocHub also records all actions taken by all parties with a Sign Request. This detailed log includes a record of all annotation or signature events, IP addresses, geolocations, full names, email addresses, and more. This enhanced legal audit trail is explained more in our article about How legally binding are PDFs signed in DocHub?.

To view a side-by-side comparison about the limitations of a free account and a DocHub Pro account in regards to signing and sending documents and more, you can click on any of our pricing pages below:

DocHub Pro for individuals

DocHub Pro for Business

DocHub Pro for Academic
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