U.S. President George W. Bush signs a law in 2005 to place a statue of Rosa Parks at the U.S. Capitol.

A signing ceremony is a ceremony in which a document of importance is signed (approved). Typically the document is a bill passed by a legislature, thus becoming a law by an executive's signature. However, the document may also be, for example, an executive order,[1][2][3] international agreement,[1] or a veto statement that invalidates a legislative measure.[4][5][6]

The act of electronically signing a document may be referred to as a signing ceremony.[7][8][9] The act of physically signing a signature is seen as adding gravitas[10][11] to the moment.[12][13]


Signing ceremonies are derived from ceremonies that occurred when the British monarch gave Royal Assent to acts of Parliament. Signing ceremonies became an aspect of American politics.

Signing ceremonies may be performed by U.S. state governors upon signing a state document (generally an act of the state legislature, making it into state law) or by the President of the United States (generally making an act of Congress into federal law). The President typically invites Congressional leaders who were instrumental in the bill's passage as well as interested community members. One practice is to use multiple pens and honor individuals by giving them the pens used to form the signature. For the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson used more than 75 pens. The pens were then given to attending dignitaries and supporters of the bill, including Rosa Parks, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Everett McKinley Dirksen and Martin Luther King Jr.

Signing ceremonies are associated with acts that are viewed as legislative triumphs for the executive. Conversely, laws that are passed reluctantly or are controversial are often signed into law quietly and privately without ceremony.

Non-government usageEdit

Signing ceremonies may be performed by non-government signatories for purposes including the signing of a contract[14] or will.[15] Signing ceremonies can attest to significant events, such as a beam-signing ceremony to mark a construction milestone.[16][17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (PDF). 1993. pp. 1475, C1. Remarks at the Signing Ceremony for the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles", "Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement Reform, Executive order signing ceremony", "Budget control and deficit reduction, Executive order signing ceremony", "Historically black colleges and universities, Executive order signing ceremony
  2. ^ "The Union Postal Clerk & the Postal Transport Journal". 1969. President RICHARD M. NIXON signed the new "LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE" Executive Order on October 29. The formal signing ceremony took place in the Cabinet Room of the White House... Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "American Review of Politics". 28-29. University of Central Arkansas Press. 2007: 204. Furthermore, Bush signed the second pair [of] executive orders in a setting that closely resembled that of a traditional bill signing ceremony, as if they were regular pieces of legislation. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ 1989 Congressional Record, Vol. 135, Page 13591 "The President should have had the veto signing ceremony at the local gas station." [1]
  5. ^ "Penn State Law Review". 2006: 545. Governor Ehrlich stated at the veto signing ceremony that... Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Ward, Alex (March 15, 2019). "The New Zealand shooter called immigrants "invaders." Hours later, so did Trump". Vox.com. Retrieved March 15, 2019. On Friday, Trump issued the first veto of his presidency to override a congressional blockade of the national emergency he declared at America’s southern border. During the veto signing ceremony, Trump explained why he felt a national emergency was warranted to stop migrants from entering the US.
  7. ^ US 9286596B2, Leoutsarakos, Nikos; Oliver Lan & John London et al., "Signing ceremony system and method", issued 2009 
  8. ^ "eIDAS Regulation Launching Event 14 October 2014" (Press release). European Commission. October 14, 2014. Retrieved 2020-01-13. During the event, an electronic signature ceremony of the eIDAS Regulation was held.
  9. ^ Matthews, Jane (August 6, 2012). "To sign or not to sign? Signatures and signing ceremonies". Effortmark. Retrieved 2020-01-13. A nice little signing ceremony—like asking users to type ‘I agree’ into a box—can be quite a good way of showing a level of commitment.
  10. ^ Kettle, Keri; Häubl, Gerald (24 March 2011), "The Signature Effect: Signing Influences Consumption-Related Behavior by Priming Self-Identity", Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 38 (3): 474–489, doi:10.1086/659753, ISSN 1537-5277
  11. ^ Myrold, Jamie (April 2, 2016). "Signatures and Ceremony: Adding Emotion to Electronic Signatures". UX Collective. Medium. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  12. ^ Jaffe, Eric (September 25, 2019). "Is Your E-Signature Making You A Liar?". Pacific Business News. Retrieved 2020-01-13. While e-signatures may objectively perform the same function as signing by hand, they do not exert the same symbolic weight in subsequent decision making.
  13. ^ Chou, Eileen (November 2015), "What's in a name? The toll e-signatures take on individual honesty", Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Elsevier, 61: 84–95, doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2015.07.010, ISSN 0022-1031
  14. ^ Van, Anh (May 10, 2019). "Novaland contracts Lotte E&C to build luxury condo complexes". TheLeader. Vietnam. Retrieved 2020-01-13. (Photo caption) The strategic partnership signing ceremony between Novaland and Lotte E&C
  15. ^ Cahn, Naomi; DiRusso, Alyssa; Gary, Susan (2019). Wills, Trusts, and Estates in Focus. Focus Casebook Series. New York: Wolters Kluwer. p. 106. ISBN 978-1454886624. Clients often joke and get easily distracted when visiting the lawyer's office for the actual signing ceremony.
  16. ^ Magin, Janis (September 25, 2019). "Rain fails to deter beam-signing at UH West Oahu's Academy for Creative Media". Pacific Business News. Retrieved 2020-01-13. The beam-signing ceremony, which took place during heavy rain showers, included...
  17. ^ Hahn, Brint (January 21, 2016). "Clara Maass Medical Center Celebrates With Beam Signing Ceremony" (Press release). Rendina Healthcare Real Estate. Retrieved 2020-01-13.