Knowledge Base

16764: Drake e-Sign Online - Signature Troubleshooting

Drake Portals - SecureFilePro

My taxpayer is having difficulty signing the documents that I sent via Drake e-Sign online. Are there any steps I can take?


Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) Questions

Some taxpayers are not able to be authenticated by the Knowledge-Based Authentication process. You should consider the following items before uploading documents for Drake e-Sign Online for the following taxpayers as e-Sign Events are non-refundable. 

  • The current version of Drake e-Sign Online only supports a single household address for both taxpayer and spouse. The verification software must be able to match both taxpayer and spouse to the address in order to ask the appropriate Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) questions of the taxpayer and spouse. A future release will include a “Spouse address if different” option.
  • If the address on screen 1 is a foreign address, the KBA process will be unable to authenticate the identity of the taxpayer and/or spouse and they will be unable to e-sign. 
  • Clients must be at least 18 years old in order to sign their federal tax return using Drake e-Sign Online.
  • Taxpayers with a limited credit history may not have enough information to generate the Knowledge-Based Authentication Questions. The taxpayer is presented with questions specific to their personal history, and they must correctly answer 3 out of 4 questions in order to proceed.

    Note: If the taxpayer does not pass the KBA in three attempts (correctly answering 3 out of 4 questions), they will no longer be eligible to eSign documents, which fulfills the IRS requirements related to capturing remote signatures. See Publication 1345 for details on IRS requirements.

Verify Upload

First, you should verify that the documents have been uploaded and are available in the taxpayer's portal. To do so, follow these steps: 

  1. Open Drake Documents. 
  2. Select your client from the listing.
  3. In the Drake Portals - SFP pane, choose the Connect tab. 
  4. If the Status shows "Not sent," the documents were not successfully uploaded to the taxpayer's portal. The Signatures tab will also say "No Signatures Uploaded."
    • Ensure that you have linked the Drake Documents folder with the correct Drake Portal for the taxpayer. 
    • Re-select and upload the signature documents to the taxpayer. 
  5. If the Status shows "Sent," the documents were successfully uploaded, but the taxpayer has not reviewed or fully signed the documents. The Signatures tab will show the detailed upload information including the document names and a count of how many signatures are available on the PDF.


  1. Continue below for additional troubleshooting. 

Confirm Taxpayer Access 

Once the documents have been successfully uploaded, have the taxpayer check to see if they can log in to their portal. They should see a red exclamation point (!) next to the Sign Forms menu showing that there are forms waiting to be signed. If they see the documents available to sign, have them use the steps in KB 16647 to complete the signature process.

If they do not see any forms available, verify what type of device they are using to access their Drake Portal. Drake e-Sign Online is designed to work on iOS and Android devices, as well as Windows-based computers and Macs, but we cannot guarantee that Drake e-Sign Online will work on all configurations, browsers, devices, platforms, and operating systems. If they have a different device available, have them attempt to open their portal on that device and continue with the process. 

Partially Applied Signatures

If a document has been partially signed, you can now download the partially signed PDF. This will allow you to further help your taxpayer determine what signature fields may have been missed. The taxpayer can return to the partially signed document and apply the remaining signatures. To download the partially signed PDF, follow these steps:

  • Go to Drake Documents.
  • Locate the client and in the Drake Portals - SFP pane.
  • Click on the Signatures tab.
  • Select the document and click Download

  • A pop-up will display that states: 
  • "This document is not fully signed. Would you like to download a copy to Drake Documents? The original will still be available for the client to finish signing."
  • Click Yes to proceed. 

Do not re-upload another PDF to capture these missing signatures as it will cost another e-Sign Event. 

You can also delete partially signed signature documents from this menu, if needed.

Fully Signed Documents

A fully signed document cannot be deleted from the Signatures tab listing. Once a signature document is fully signed, it is automatically moved to the Documents from Preparer folder. If you attempt to click Download on the Signatures tab, it will display a message "This document was signed and moved to Documents from Preparer but is no longer available, it was either renamed or deleted." 

To save a copy of the signed PDF to your Drake Documents, 

  1. In the Drake Portals - SFP pane of Drake Documents, click on the Files tab.
  2. Select the folder Documents from Preparer.
  3. Click on the signed PDF.
  4. Drag and drop the PDF from the Documents from Preparer folder to the Documents pane.

When you open the signed PDF, the taxpayer's signature will appear like this: 

Note: Once a signable document is moved to the Documents from Preparer folder, its default file expiration time begins. To change the default file expiration time, log in to Drake Portals then:

  • Click on Settings.
  • Click on Account Settings.
  • Click on Default File Expiration.

If you open the signed PDF in the full version of Adobe, the Adobe Sign feature may see the ERO signature fields that do not have a signature applied. This may appear as a yellow exclamation point or a red flag in Adobe. These fields are not completed in the e-Sign process and the Adobe alert can be disregarded as it only applies to the ERO signature, and does not indicate a missing taxpayer signature. 

​For more assistance, contact Drake Support at (828) 524-8020.

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