Understanding DocuSign's Envelopes and KBAs


This article provides an understanding of DocuSign's Envelopes and KBAs.

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A DocuSign Envelope is used to send a document to your recipients for e-signature. Envelopes include any single document up to 25MB in size that can be emailed to any number of people for signature.

KBA (Knowledge-Based Authentication)

KBAs or Knowledge-Based Authentications are additional ID checks that include 3rd party verification of a signer's identity.

This method requires the recipient to answer detailed questions about themselves, based on data available in public records (such as their current and former addresses). Each signer of an Envelope verified via KBA incurs an additional cost.

  • Example 1: A document that does not require one or more signers' identities to be verified will only need one Envelope.
  • Example 2: A document that requires one signer's identity to be verified will have to be sent in 1 Envelope + 1 KBA.
  • Example 3: A document that requires two signers' identities to be verified will have to be sent in 1 Envelope + 2 KBAs.


For 8879 and other e-file authorization forms, the IRS requires a KBA or Identity Check for each signer to be compliant for e-signature.

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