A 4-terminal microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) relay has long been sought for signal switching applications because it allows de-coupling of the actuation (body and gate) and signal (source and drain) components unlike a 3-terminal MEMS relay. However, the contact resistance still remains a serious problem in current 4-terminal MEMS relays compared with the 3-terminal MEMS relays. In this paper, using theoretical analysis, we first determined that the two-contact design, which was the most common design in the 4-terminal MEMS relay, was the origin of the high contact resistance. We subsequently developed a 4-terminal MEMS relay with a novel single-contact design. The fabricated 4-terminal MEMS relay with the single-contact design exhibited a contact resistance of 18 m Omega. To the best of our knowledge, this result is the lowest value among 4-terminal MEMS relays. In addition, we demonstrated that the two-contacts are the origin of the high contact resistance using measurement. The relay operated up to 1.1 x 10(6) cycles at 1 V / 50 mA in air and hot switching conditions. Finally, the proposed 4-terminal MEMS relay was hermetically packaged for use in commercial applications.