Document and Envelope Deletion

Last updated 2021-04-30 19:08:26 UTC

AssureSign envelopes and documents are typically retained after completion for a set number of years based on contract terms. After that point, envelopes are deleted from the system. When an envelope is deleted, all of the related files, attachments, and data are removed with the exception of the following:

  • Envelope/document metadata - The basic metadata such as name, creation date, completion date, etc. is retained for deleted documents.
  • Envelope/document history - The full status history of the envelope/document is retained after deletion.
  • Completed document hashes - AssureSign continues to store the hashes of completed documents so document validation methods will continue to work for documents signed via AssureSign even after deletion.

Note that once the deletion of an envelope has been processed, the deleted data and files are not recoverable (even by AssureSign).

AssureSign also provides several methods to allow greater control over how and when old envelopes get deleted and removed from AssureSign if an alternative retention policy is desired:

  1. Automatic deletion of finalized documents after a configurable number of days - While this functionality is off by default, it is possible to configure AssureSign to automatically delete envelopes a set number of days after the envelope has been "finalized" (completed, declined, cancelled, etc.). This is accomplished by configuring theAutomatically Delete Finalized Documents After How Many Days? setting in the AssureSign administration portal.

  2. Manual deletion of specific documents - It is also possible to configure AssureSign to allow manual deletion of specific envelopes using the envelope details page in the administration portal or via the DeleteEnvelope method of the DocumentNow API. This functionality is off by default, but it can be enabled via the Allow Users to Delete Documents? setting in the administration portal.

As a safeguard against accidental deletion, envelopes are not immediately removed from the system when deleted using one of the methods discussed above. Instead, AssureSign places the envelopes in a special "pending deletion" status for a set period before they are permanently deleted. During this period the users may cancel the deletion using the envelope/document details page in the administration portal. Note that the "pending deletion" period varies depending on the method used to trigger the document deletion:

  • For envelopes deleted automatically a set number of days after they are finalized, the pending period is 24 hours.
  • For envelopes deleted manually via the web administration portal or the DocumentNOW API, the pending period is 4 hours

If an envelope is manually deleted before it is finalized, it will first be cancelled. So any envelope or document email or DocumentTRAK notifications configured for the cancellation event will be sent.

Note that all deletion (and deletion cancellation) requests will be logged as part of the envelope history.