Digitally Sign & Seal Documents

In the City of Miami's new Electronic Plan Review system (ePlan), you, your architect, contractor, etc. will have to digitally sign and "seal" your drawings and/or documents. This page teaches you exactly how to do so. 

NOTE: All licensed professionals will be responsible for verifying that the digital signatures purchased adhere to the requirements of the State of Florida and are utilized in accordance with the guidelines of their respective licensing boards.


Acquire a Digital Signature

You will need to select a City of Miami recognized digital certificate provider from this list, and acquire an application through their application process. 

Export a Digital Certificate

Once you have installed your digital certificate (browser or usb), you can export or insert it for use on other devices and/or for safe keeping in case your installed certificate is lost. It is recommended to save your certificate in two locations. (This could include your local computer or on an external drive).

  • Open Internet Browser (preferred is Internet Explorer)
  • Select the “Gear” icon, then select Internet Options
  • On Content tab, select Certificates
  • Select your most current certificate (look at expiration date) issued by your certificate authority (i.e. IdenTrust or GlobalSign) then select export
  • Follow the steps in the Certificate Export Wizard, then click Next
  • Select Yes, export the private key, select Next. (You will need your digital certificate password.)
  • Select Personal Information Exchange and include all certificates in the certificate path if possible, select Next
  • Select the Password box and enter your password twice, select Next
  • Select Browse
  • Navigate to your chosen file location and enter a file name, select “Save
  • Select Next
  • Select Finish
  • Enter your Digital Signature Password, select OK. NOTE: Do not select remember password.
  • Select OK
  • Select Close
  • Select OK and Close Internet Browser

Install and Configure Adobe

You will need to download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. If you prefer, uncheck the boxes for optional offers.

Signature Appearance:

  • Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and select Edit >> Preferences.
  • Select Signature >> More
  • Select New
  • Select your signature appearance options. The options shown below will create a very simplistic signature appearance. Give your appearance a unique title. Click OK. Then select OK twice more to exist the preference menus.

Verification Preferences:

  • Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and select Edit >> Preferences.
  • Select Signatures >> More…
  • On the Signature Verification Preferences screen, select both boxes under “Windows Integration, Trust ALL root certificates in the Windows Certificate Store for: “Validating Signatures and Validating Certified Documents”

Signing a PDF Document

Validating a Signature

  • Right-click the signature block and select “Validate Signature”
  • If the signature is VALID, you will see a green check mark, select “Signature Properties”
  • Select “Show Signer’s Certificate…”
  • Ensure that the signature is issued by one of the providers on the approved list. (make hyperlink)
  • If the signature is INVALID, the signature could be expired or revoked, or the document could have been modified after it was originally signed.