DocHub Support

How do I send my PDF as a Sign Request?

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2017 01:37PM CDT

DocHub is the perfect online tool for requesting e-signatures and to invite signers to fill out your documents including PDF forms, applications, or 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 makes an electronic signature just as legally binding as a handwritten signature on paper. The 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 private and secure web link in the email notification that all signers receive after a Sign Request is sent. It is entirely free to signup for DocHub though, so they wouldn't be charged anyway if they did decide to create their own account. This convenience of no signup required is achieved by DocHub using document URLs that have authentication tokens at the end. This document token is a long, unique series of random characters which makes it impossible for someone else to guess the web address. By clicking the document link in their email notification, it will open your PDF in DocHub where they can read and complete the document without signing in or creating a DocHub account while still maintaining the security and privacy of the document.

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  in the upper right.

3.) Select the type of field you want to add. - Choose from Text, Paragraph, Checkbox, Dropdown, Signature, Initials, and Date/Time fields in the vertical button layout of field types on the left side. Simply click the one you want to add to your document.  

4.) Click anywhere on your document to insert that field type - You can always move, resize, delete, and make other edits to any of your custom fields later on and add as many fields as you'd like. 

Create a role for each signer. - By default, there will already be a Client role added and pre-created for you though you can add more roles in the panel on the right side on the Role tab and add more roles or edit the names. A role is required for each person filling out your Sign Request, and since a template is meant to be a master copy and reused, the roles are generic and not specific to any particular person. You won't need to enter the person's email address and personalize each role until you are about to send it as a Sign Request. If you need to sign the document as well, then you can select an inserted Signature or Initials or Date/Time field on your document and check the box for "I need to sign this document" on the Role tab which will automatically add a role for you called "Sender". 

6.) Assign a role to each field. - Each field needs a role assigned to it, and 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 assigned to it. You can delete a role listed on the right if there are no fields for it. To assign a role, select any field on your document to make it the active field (or it will already be active if you just added the field to a page) and then use the Assignee section in the right panel to assign a role. 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.

f 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 click on 'Send as Sign Request' at the top of the right panel while in Edit mode or click on the File menu  button and hover your cursor over Send and click Sign Request.  A window will come up where you can enter an email address for each role (there will be a row for each role), and you'll see a couple options on each row including a checkbox for whether that person can annotate (use the Tool Bar to create new annotations to your document) and a checkbox that's auto-checked for whether they'll receive the finalized PDF copy (once the Sign Request has been completed and Finalized by all parties).

Once a Sign Request is sent, the signer(s) will receive a notification email with the Subject that begins with the words "ACTION NEEDED" followed by the title of your PDF, and both the Subject and Body of the email notification is fully customizable (see the section below about Customizing). The Sign Request will also be added to your Sent section and appear in the signer(s) Inbox (only if they already have a DocHub account or decide to create one).

Sending a template as a Sign Request will only create a copy of your template each time unlike a regular document which converts it and makes it somewhat final (explained 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)
If you'd like to customize your message to add a personal touch and reword the default email format to your signer(s) and not use the one we've provided for you as a courtesy and convenience, you can easily do so in the final Send window before sending your document for e-signature. You'll see an Edit Message button in the window that comes up after choosing to Send as Sign Request which you can click on to edit the Subject and Body. This is a great way to help get the signer's attention in a way that only you know how. We plan to eventually add company branding to the Sign Request workflow to make it seem as if it came directly from your business and help retain its unique branding image. 

Once you've sent your Sign Request PDF, it then becomes the signer's responsibility to complete the document. They'll need to first open the ACTION NEEDED email notification that gets sent from DocHub to their email address which will contain a big button to be taken to a secure URL for your PDF document in their default web browser and then fill out all required fields and click the Finalize button to complete the process. Your DocHub Sign Request will remain In Progress between the time of you sending it to the signer(s) email address and until all signers have clicked the Finalize button.

You can track the status of all Sign Requests you've sent in your Dochub Sent section where the symbol to the left of each document indicates 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  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 page to Manage Sign Request which is explained next. 

If you feel a signer is taking too long to complete your PDF and Finalize it, and if you would like to email them a reminder about the need for them to complete it, you can go to the page to Manage your Sign Request. To get there, you can select your Sign Request document in your DocHub Sent section and use the Actions menu at the top of the list and choose Manage Sign Request. Or, if the sent document In Progress is open, click on the File menu  in the upper right and choose to Manage Sign Request from there. 

On the page to Manage Sign Request, you'll see an Actions menu to the right of each of your listed signer(s). The Actions drop-down menu will contain the following choices:
  • Resend Email - this sends another notification email to each of the signer(s) and asks them to complete and sign the document as soon as possible. 
  • Change Email Address - This is mostly for when you accidentally entered the wrong email address and/or had a typo in the email address for that signer. This also also resends the ACTION NEEDED email with a secure link to the document but to the new email address instead.  
  • Destroy Signer - This removes the signer entirely from the Sign Request document where they can no longer complete the fields that were assigned to them since they will no longer be considered signers after you click this action. 

You can also destroy the Sign Request entirely where none of the signers will be able to access or complete the document any longer by clicking on Void Sign Request which is near the center of page next to other information about the document including the date/time for when it was created and when it was last updated. 

Once all signers have completed the Sign Request and clicked on Finalize, that's it! You're all finished!  

With DocHub Pro, you have the option to designate a signing order for situations where a document requires multiple signatures and when you need the signing to happen in a specific sequence (For example, one person needs to fill out their fields before the other(s) are allowed fill out their fields or agree to the document and sign it).  Each signer must complete their fields and click on Finalize before the next signer(s) is notified to complete the document. Any signers that haven't been invited to the document yet will be labeled as  Waiting, and to see each signers status, you can hover your mouse cursor over the label in the upper left corner of your opened Sign Request which will reveal more information.

To create a Sign Request with a signing order, just choose to Send a Sign Request as you normally would, and in the Send window that opens up, you'll see a drop-down menu for Signing Order that's initially set to 'All at Once' which you can change to "One at a time' to enable sequential signing. You'll then see 3 horizontal lines appear to the left of each of the signers in the list which you can click and hold on the 3 lines to drag any of them up or down the numbered, sequential list. 

With Sequential Signing, once the initial signer Finalizes their fields (or annotations) of the document, 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 becomes a legally binding contract.

Since each person must Finalize the document before it goes to the next signer, if any signer in the sequence hasn't yet completed and Finalized the document, the other signers after them in the sequence will need to wait on that signer to Finalize before they get the email notification to complete and sign the document. If you, as a sender, would like to send another notification email to remind that signer to complete the document, you can click on the File menu while viewing the document and choose Manage Sign Request and then click on the Actions menu to the right of that signer and choose to Resend Email. 

Once a Sign Request has been Finalized, it's now 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.

‚ÄčIf you have DocHub Pro, it offers an enhanced audit trail which is explained more in our article How do I view an enhanced audit trail for Sign Requests & Form Fills? 

To see 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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