Knowledge Base

11688: Alternative Electronic Signature

EF Generally

What is the Alternative Electronic Signature and how do I set that up?

Drake Software supports the electronic signature in all packages (1040, 1120, 1120-S, 1065, 1041, 990, 706, 709) in addition to the 8879 PIN Signature. On any form where there is a paid preparer signature line, the software will print the return preparer's name exactly as it appears in Preparer(s) Setup.

To activate the electronic signature, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to Setup > Preparer(s).
  2. Select the preparer to assign the Alternative E-Signature and select Edit (or double-click the preparer's name).
  3. In the Return Signature Options section, enter a five-digit PIN. This five digit PIN number must be keyed correctly on every return where the electronic signature is elected, so it is important that the preparer can easily remember this number.
  4. In the Use PIN for section, select the desired PIN options:
    • 8879 PIN Signature 
    • Alternative Electronic Signature.
  5. Click Save to save the preparer's settings.


  • In data entry for returns in which the 8879 PIN signature and/or the electronic signature is used, the 5-digit PIN is entered on the PIN screen.
  • To use only the electronic signature, or if the preparer is not the ERO, the 5-digit PIN must be entered on the PRNT screen (or screen DEMO for 706 returns).
  • If the 5-digit PIN entered on the PIN screen does not match the 5-digit PIN keyed in Preparer Setup, a NOTES or MESSAGES page appears in view mode of the return until the PIN is corrected.
  •  See IRS Notice 2004-54 for more information or the educational video PINs 

Activating the Alternative Electronic Signature for State Forms

Some states support this signature option. To activate the option for state forms, go to Setup > Options > States and choose the appropriate state from the drop list.

If the selected state supports this option, there will be an Enable Alternative Signature option. Selecting this option enables the alternative signature to print on appropriate state forms when a preparer PIN is entered as indicated above. Some states also have an option in data entry to suppress the alternative signature on a return-by-return basis.

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