DocHub Support

How do I send my PDF as a Sign Request?

Last Updated: Mar 31, 2017 01:41PM CDT

DocHub is the perfect online tool for requesting e-signatures from anyone and invite them to fill out a document such as a PDF form, application, agreement, or contract on our 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. We are also working toward 100% compliance with all international electronic signature laws, but since they are all very similar to the ESIGN Act requirements and follow it almost exactly, any documents signed in DocHub already meet the legal standards for most countries. 

​When you send a Sign Request with DocHub, the signers do not need to have or create a DocHub account to complete and sign your PDF. It is entirely free to signup for DocHub though. If they click on the private document URL in the email they'll receive when a Sign Request is created, their secure URL will have an authentication or document token (a long series of characters) at the end of it which will allow them to access 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 about the differences between a template and regular document, click here

For all Sign Requests in DocHub, you'll need to first add at least one field and assign a role to each field. 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 fields as "required" to ensure that your signer(s) complete those fields before Finalizing the document.

(For a reusable master document where a new copy 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 "Sender needs 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). To assign a role, select any field on your document to make it the active field (or it will already be active already if you just added the field) 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 where the Subject says ACTION NEEDED followed by the document title, but the Subject and Body of the email is fully customizable (see the Customizing section below). 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 features and options below apply to all Sign Requests sent via DocHub)
If you need to have a sequential signing process where one signer fills out your document and signs it before anyone else, and then it goes to the next person and so on, DocHub allows you to do this with either a template or regular document in the window to send a Sign Request, you'll see a section for Signing Order where you can click on the radio button to sign One at a Time which will let you drag any of the signers up or down the numbered order list of signing roles by clicking and dragging on the 3 horizontal lines to the left of each one. 

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. 

If you need to void a Sign Request or resend a notification or edit or remove one of the signers for some reason, you can easily do so by selecting the Sign Request in your Sent section and then use the Action menu and choose Manage Sign Request. Or, if the Sign Request is open, click on the File menu  in the upper right corner and choose Manage Sign Request. 

You'll see a red button to Void Sign Request to just destroy it or to make adjustments to any of the signers such as edit their email address, remove them, or resend a notification to their email, just use the Actions menu to the right of that signer/role. 

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

Between the time of sending one and it being Finalized, you can track the status of a Sign Request in DocHub's 
Sent section via the icon on the left side of each one (clock icon means still not finalized, and green checkmark means finalized). It will start off as In Progress, and you can hover your mouse cursor over that icon to see more details such as Waiting, Email Read, Opened, or Modified.

Once all signers have completed the Sign Request and clicked on Finalize, the icon in Sent will turn into a green checkmark, and the label while viewing your document will indicate that it's been 
Finalized and that the contract or form is legally agreed upon. 

​If 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 the limitations on signing and sending Sign Requests and to learn more about our DocHub Pro plan, 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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