Practical Tips

Euroopa Liit Euroopa Regionaalarengu Fond - Eesti tuleviku heaksHere you can find several practical tips how to use your ID-card and Mobile-ID.

The instructions are created as part of the EU Structural Funds programme “Raising Public Awareness about the Information Society”, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

  • What do I need to use ID-card electronically?

    Electronic use of the ID-card is your key to a wide range of online services (e-services). A bank teller or police officer can identify you with your ID-card, passport or driving license, an ID-card with its certificates and PIN codes lets you prove that you’re you in an electronic environment. The Republic of Estonia guarantees the electronic identity, therefore allowing you to communicate with government agencies, make electronic transactions and much more with your ID-card.

    To use your ID-card electronically you need...

    • the ID-card or Digi-ID – apply for your ID-card or Digi-ID at service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board. An ID-card application can also be sent by regular mail or e-mail. Digi-ID is a smartcard that is used interchangeably with the ID-card in electronic environment and can be issued separately or together with the ID-card.
    • PIN-codes – issued together with the ID-card. If the PIN-code envelope is lost, new one can be issued at service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau or a bank office that provides ID-card maintenance services.
    • a computer with an active internet connection
    • a smartcard reader – many newer computers have built-in card readers in the computer itself or the keyboard, otherwise you can buy one in a computer shop or your local bank office.
    • ID-card software – install it from https://installer.id.ee/ and make sure you always have the latest version of the software installed.
    • Valid certificates – once expired, you can renew them in the ID-card utility software, at www.sk.ee/id-kontroll, turn to the service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board or a bank office that provides ID-card maintenance services.

    Most of the ID-card-based electronic services are also available for Mobile-ID users.

  • I have a new ID-card. What do I need to know to use it electronically?

    If you have changed your ID-card, it may happen that the computer where the previous ID-card worked without problems, the new ID-card is not working anymore.

    To use the ID-card electronically, it is important to remember that:

    • You need to have the latest version of the ID-card software installed on your computer. The older versions are not compatible with new ID-card. The installer package includes the ID-card utility, DigiDoc3 Client application necessary for issuing digital signatures and DigiDoc3 Crypto, which allows transmit encrypted files securely. You can always download the ID-card software from the website installer.id.ee reliably;
    • Your card reader should be on the list of the supported card readers otherwise your ID-card might not work properly;
    • Latest Estonian ID-card is grayish blue and with a changed contact chip location, which is now on the back of the card. Make sure to always insert the card into the reader the right way.

    It is also important to take care of your card. Should the contact chip be damaged, the card cannot be used electronically.

    Read also the the instructions how to use ID-card securely.

  • What should I know about smartcard readers?

    Using a smartcard reader is easy; just connect it to the computer via USB. USB ports are usually located on the front of the case of a desktop computer and on the side of a laptop. In some cases, they will also be on the side of the keyboard. 

    Usually the operating system detects this type of device automatically and installs the appropriate drivers for the card reader. To ensure easy use, your ID-card reader should be supported by the ID-card software.

    You should not have any problems with Estonia’s best-selling readers, the Omnikey CardMan 1021 (USB) and SCM SCR 3310 (USB).

    Latest information on the supported card readers can be found here.

    If your card reader is not on the list of the supported card readers and your ID-card does not work properly, you should get an ID-card reader from the officially supported card readers list.

    Laptops may already have a built-in card reader and the internal card reader may not be supported. The easiest and fastest solution then is to purchase an external card reader. If you plan to get a laptop with a built-in smartcard reader, be sure to check beforehand if the card reader is supported by Estonian ID-card software.

  • How to install the ID-software in Mac OSX?

    It is easy to install ID-card web components for web browsers on a computer with the Mac operating system. Web components are need for web browsers to signing and authentication. First, open web browser and go to installer.id.ee. Choose language.

    Click Continue on the next page where you are offered the most suitable package to download. Follow the instructions given on the screen and on the installation page.

    Follow the instruction on the screen to launch installation wizard.

    Software installation begins, and the wizard will inform you upon its successful completion. It is recommended to restart the computer for proper functioning of software.

    DigiDoc3 client (joint application with crypto) and ID-card utility can only be installed from Apple App Store! Follow the instructions below.

  • What can I do with ID-card Utility tool?

    ID-card utility tool is a component of the ID-card software. It is installed on your computer with the ID-software installation package. 

    ID-card utility allows you check the ID-card operation and the validity of the certificates change as well as unblock locked PIN codes and change the PUK code. In addition, the utility enables you to renew the certificates, create and configure @eesti.ee e-mail address and check validity of the Mobile-ID certificates.

  • I want to change the PINs. How can I do it?

    You receive PIN codes together with an ID-card or Mobile-ID SIM card. 

    Inside the PIN codes envelope / on the SIM card sleeve you will find three codes:

    • PIN1 code allows to identify yourself while logging into the e-services
    • PIN2 code is to digitally sign documents
    • The PUK code is meant for unblocking locked PIN codes.

    If you have forgotten your PIN codes or have lost the PIN codes envelope and you’re afraid that someone else knows your PIN codes and can exploit them, new PIN codes for the ID-card are issued by your local bank office or the service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board. For new PIN codes for the Mobile-ID turn to your mobile operator.

    PINs do not expire, but they can be changed in the ID-card utility or in Mobile-ID menu of your phone as often as you wish. To change one of the codes you need to enter the existing code once and the new code twice. PIN1 must be 4-12 digits long, PIN2 5-12 digits and PUK 8-12 digits. It must be different from the old code and only include numbers.

    PIN1 and PIN2 codes can be changed in the ID-card utility with two buttons on the bottom of the window.

    Click Change PIN1 or Change PIN2; the process is essentially the same in both cases. The procedure to change the PUK code is similar as well, just click the PUK code button in the left actions section of the ID-card utility.

    Enter a valid code once and the new code twice. Follow the instructions on the screen and you will see a confirmation that the code has been changed successfully.

    If you have forgotten your PIN codes, you can still change them with the PUK code. The appropriate button is situated in the PIN code change window at the lower left corner of the ID-card utility software window. 

  • My ID-card PINs are locked. How to unblock locked PIN codes?

    When you enter the incorrect PIN three times the use of your authentication or signature certificate will be blocked. It will be no longer possible to identify a person digitally or digitally sign with that ID-card. The blocking can be revoked with PUK code. Unblocking of PIN1 and PIN2 is essentially the same; the difference is in the length requirements to the codes.

    If the PIN is blocked, you will see a message in the ID-card utility together with the details of the blocked certificate. Click on the button Revoke blocking and follow the instructions on the screen:

    • The revocation window will open.
    • Enter PUK code.
    • Enter new PIN code twice. PIN codes must only include numbers. PIN1 must be 4-12 digits long; PIN2 must be 5-12 digits.
    • If everything is successful, a corresponding message will be displayed. Otherwise follow instructions in error messages until the code change is successful.

    If you enter an incorrect PUK code three times, it will also be locked and it cannot be unblocked on your own. Turn to service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board or a bank, where you will get a new code envelope for your card. You can also get help there if you have lost your old code envelope or have forgotten your codes.

  • My ID-card certificates are expired. How can are renew my certificates?

    As certificates expire, updating them is necessary to be able to continue using the ID-card electronically. 105 or less days before the expiration date, the ID-card utility will display a corresponding reminder and the button Update certificates. Click on it.

    To renew certificates close all programs that use ID-card (DigiDoc3 and Crypto, web browser, etc.).

    Enter the PIN1 code in the dialogue window that will open and follow the instructions on the screen. Updating the certificates may take several minutes. Message Certificate update was successful will inform you that the procedure has been completed.

    Important! After updating the certificates encryption of the documents with old certificates will no longer be possible, so be sure to check if all documents encrypted for you with DigiDoc3 Crypto have been decrypted.

    Certificates can also be updated on the web at http://www.sk.ee/id-kontroll and at service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board that provide ID-card maintenance services.

  • I've received a digitally signed document. How can I verify a digital signature?

    If you receive a digitally signed document (a file with a .ddoc extension), there are a number of options for signature verification, i.e. checking validity of and added signature. The easiest way is to open DigiDoc3 Client through which you can access the contents of the documents and verify signatures.

    DigiDoc3 Client is installed as a component of the ID-card software, which is available at installer.id.ee

    If you do not have access to your ID-card or its software, you only need a computer with a working Internet connection to check the validity of a digital signature. The same possibility can be recommended to foreign citizens who do not have an Estonian ID-card, but whom you would like to send a digitally signed document.

    Go to the website digidoccheck.sk.ee and, following instructions given, upload the necessary digitally signed document.

    Click Save and the website will show you the contents of the file. Here you can download (and if needed, print for the archive) digital signature confirmation page. You can download contents of a digitally signed container by clicking on the floppy disk icon at the top of the window. At the bottom of the window you will see information about the validity of digital signatures.

    If you have an ID-card or Mobile-ID, this is where you can add your own digital signature as well.

    Remember that you can access the document as long as the same window of the web browser is open. After closing the web browser you will not be able to access the document any longer.

    It is also possible to check the validity of digital signatures at eesti.ee document portal. 

  • What can I use Mobile-ID for?

    Mobile-ID is a simple and convenient way to establish your identity in the electronic environment and to give digital signatures. It is based on the ID-card and carries equal weight. Mobile-ID is a digital identity certificate analogous with the ID-card, and is issued under the Identity Documents Act.

    Your SIM card together with related certificates is a document in an electronic environment the same way the ID-card is. Data exchange between your mobile phone and an online service happens via a secure encrypted connection.

    All modern mobile telephones are suitable for using the Mobile-ID service. Your mobile phone will replace an ID-card reader connected to your computer and can be used anywhere in the world where a cell phone network is available.

    In order to use the Mobile-ID service, make a contract with your mobile network operator and activate Mobile-ID on the Police and Border Guard Board website. You’ll need your ID-card’s electronic functions to activate Mobile-ID.

  • Why is Digi-ID useful?

    Digi-ID is a smartcard used in electronic environment interchangeably with an ID-card. It allows you to identify yourself in the electronic environment, and give digital signatures. 

    In order to use Digi-ID, ordinary ID-card software is required, which can be downloaded from the website http://installer.id.ee.

    Digi-ID has no photo and cannot serve as an identity document. It is therefore not a substitute for an ID-card, which is a mandatory identity document.

    Digi-ID can be applied for together with an ID-card, or at service offices of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau even if your ID-card is lost, stolen or damaged.

  • How can I enter the e-services using the ID-card

    ID-card is your most reliable identity document in the electronic environment. Its proof of a person’s identity has the state’s guarantee. Therefore, the ID-card is the safest way to use e-services, which helps to ensure that even if a virus managed to infect your computer, your electronic identity is secured by PIN codes and cannot be object of identity theft.

    • Insert the ID-card into a smartcard reader and open the desired e-service. Possibility to use ID-card is usually marked with the logo or the text Login with ID-card

    • Select the option to enter service with the ID-card. A new pop-up window opens. Check, whether it has your name and the correct certificate entered. If so, click OK. If not, close the browser window.
    • Make sure that you are prompted to identify yourself with the PIN1 code and enter it into the window.

    After entering the PIN code you can start using the desired service.

  • How can I authenticate to e-service with Mobile-ID?

    Mobile-ID allows you to not carry the ID-card reader with you and to have one less cord on the table. As long as you have your mobile and an internet connection, you will always have access to relevant e-services with Mobile-ID, even if your ID-card or its reader is not currently available.

    In order to use the Mobile-ID service, make a contract with your mobile network operator and activate Mobile-ID on the Police and Border Guard Board website www.politsei.ee.

    • Go to the desired e-services page. Mobiel-ID entry option is usually marked with the logo or the text Login with mobile-ID.

    • To log into the e-service enter your personal ID code, phone number or user ID (depending on the service).
    • Next the e-service displays a control code on the computer screen, and the same code appears on the screen of your mobile phone.

    • Make sure that the service name and displayed code is correct and confirm it in the phone.
    • Make sure that your phone is asking your PIN1 code for personal identification and enter it.

    After entering the PIN code you can start using the needed e-service. 

  • How can I sign documents digitally in website with ID-card?

    Sometimes you need to confirm your decisions with your signature, both in real life and online. In real life you just put the signature on paper and maybe are required to show some identification with a photo, which also has your specimen signature. Thanks to the ID-card signing digitally is as convenient, and your digital signature is even more secure.

    • When you reach approving a transaction online, click Sign. Hitting this key initiates an action that is legally equivalent to giving pen-to-paper signatures. Make sure that all data is correct and you've initiated a desired transaction.

    • Check that it is your name that is entered in the window. If not, click on Cancel in the lower right corner of the window. If so, click on Select in the lower right corner of the window and enter PIN2 in the next pop-up window.

    The document is now digitally signed. This signature is equivalent to your physical pen-to-paper signature.

  • How can I sign documents digitally in website with Mobile-ID?

    Sometimes you need to confirm your decisions with your signature, both in real life and online. In real life you just put the signature on paper and maybe are required to show some identification with a photo, which also has your specimen signature. Thanks to the ID-card signing digitally is as convenient, and your digital signature is even more secure.

    When you reach approving a transaction online, click Sign

    Control codes appear on the service website and in your mobile phone. Check that the code on the mobile phone screen corresponds to the one on the computer screen and the service name corresponds to the e-service you want to use.

    If the control codes match, hit OK on the mobile phone, and enter required PIN2 code.

    The document is now digitally signed. This signature is the equivalent to your pen-to-paper signature.

  • Digitally signing with the ID-card in DigiDoc3 Client software

    DigiDoc3 Client is a welcome helper when there is a need to add your signature to already digitally signed document or send someone documents digitally signed by you. A document signed and sent in this manner is comparable to a document signed by hand and sent by regular mail.

    1.     Check if the ID-card software is installed on your computer. Typically, if the ID-card software is installed on the computer, an ID-card utility, DigiDoc3 Client and DigiDoc Crypto icons appear on the desktop. If the computer does not have the necessary ID-software, install it from installer.id.ee. If you find the DigiDoc3 Client icon on your desktop, launch the application by double clicking on it. 

    2.     If an ID-card is not inserted into the card reader, a corresponding warning appears. Insert the card into the reader and select I want to: Sign documents. If everything works properly, your data is now read from the card and displayed in the window.

    If you are using the client for the first time or the settings have been configured to display the warning every time, you will see a warning that informs you of legal force of a digital signature.

    3.     A window opens, where you can add files that you want to sign. Next the save file dialog opens. Name the created container and select the folder where the container will be saved. Be sure to check that you are signing the files you want.

    4.     Enter your details if you like: role, resolution and location. After your details are saved, you can still replace them with new ones. Adding role, resolution and the location is optional; these fields can also be left blank.

    5.     Confirm your decision to sign a digital document by pressing the Sign button.

    6.     If signing is successful, you will see information about the signature. The file in the container is now endorsed, as it would have been if signed by hand.

    7.     Close the envelope by clicking Close. The envelope is stored on the hard drive in the chosen location and contents of the signed container cannot be changed any longer. If you wish to do so, you must first remove the signature. It is also possible for other people to add their signatures to a signed container.

    8.      The text in the signature information section (the right box) displays digital signature details. If you open a signed document, there won’t be a physical signature in it and it is not possible to print it with a signature. This is the difference between a pen-to-paper signature and digital one: one is on paper, the second on the computer.

    9.      To add a signature to a document signed by someone else click the button Add Signature and act similarly as explained above.

  • Digitally signing with Mobile-ID in DigiDoc3 Client software

    DigiDoc3 Client is a welcome helper when there is a need to add your signature to already digitally signed document or send someone documents digitally signed by you. A document signed and sent in this manner is comparable to a document signed by hand and sent by regular mail.

    1. Launch the DigiDoc3 Client.

    2. In the window that opens, select Use Mobile-ID, enter your phone number and personal code and click I want to: Sign documents.

    3.     Next, a window opens, where you can add files that you want to sign. Name the created container and select the folder where the container will be saved. When you have finished, click Save.

    4.     If you have specified in settings that container name should not be asked for and no container of the same name exists in the destination folder, then no saving window will appear. Instead, the container along with selected documents will immediately open.

    5.     The container has a list of documents to be signed. Before signing the container, you can add or remove documents of the container. In addition you can enter your details if you like: role, resolution and location. If you see previously saved details in the fields, you can replace them with new ones. Adding role, resolution and the location is optional; these fields can also be left blank.

    6.     Confirm your decision to sign with Mobile-ID by clicking on the Sign button.

    7.     A message that a query has been sent to the mobile phone will appear and Mobile-ID connection message will appear on your phone screen. Make sure that the control codes on the computer screen and in the mobile phone match. Click OK on the mobile phone and enter the requested PIN2 code.

    8.     In case the signing is successful, you will see the documents that are in the container and information about signatures. Files in the container are now endorsed as with a physical pen-to-paper signature.

    9. The text in the signature information section (the right box) displays digital signature details. If you open a signed document, there will not be a physical signature in it and it is not possible to print it with a signature. This is the difference between a pen-to-paper signature and the digital one: one is on paper, the second on the computer.

    Close the envelope by clicking Close. The envelope is stored on the hard drive in the chosen location and contents of the signed container cannot be changed any longer. It is, however, possible to add and remove signatures. After the signature is removed, it is again possible to change the content of container and sign it once more    

  • What is DigiDoc3 Crypto and how to launch it in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

    DigiDoc3 Crypto software is installed on your computer as a component of the ID-card software package and is immediately ready for use.

    DigiDoc3 Crypto is the simplest solution for short-term encryption (i.e. to make information unreadable for anybody but authorized recipients) of any files (documents, programs, spreadsheets, etc.). Materials encrypted in DigiDoc3 Crypto using an ID-card get a high level of protection because they are legible only to the holder of specified ID-card authentication certificate. A secure container will be created upon encryption, i.e. a file with the .cdoc extension; the DigiDoc3 Crypto software is used to read (decrypt) this type of documents as well.

    NB! From ID-card software version 3.8 the DigiDoc3 Crypto can be started from DigiDoc3 Client by choosing "I want to: Open DigiDoc3 Cyrpto".

    An alternative to open DigiDoc3 Crypto is to doubleclick the .cdoc file in file manager.

    Important! You must remember that the secured information will be lost if the recipient’s ID-card cannot be used for decryption (for example if the ID-card is lost, certificates are expired). There are two good options to avoid this problem: store the information openly at another location, unencrypted, or encrypt the information to a sufficient number of recipients, including yourself.

    Read more about the encryption here.

  • How can I encrypt documents?

    Document encryption with DigiDoc3 Crypto is the most certain and safest way to prepare data for secure transmission via e-mail. This way you can be sure that your files are delivered intact, and in case they accidentally reach the wrong recipients, no third persons will gain access to that information. Upon encryption you can always determine who is entitled to see the data, and any other person will not be able to read it. 

    Take following steps to encrypt a document: 

    1. Launch the DigiDoc3 Crypto application. Instructions on how to can be found here.
    2. Check that the card reader is connected to the computer and the software displays your personal information.
    3. Click "I want to: Encrypt files" and follow on screen instructions to add documents to the secure container.
    4. The left side box of secure container displays files and recipients can be added to the right one. Click on "Add recipient".
    5. Add recipients by searching their personal ID codes. Be sure to add your own certificate from your ID-card, so that you could open the document after it has been encrypted. Click "Close".
    6. Now the main window shows the documents to be encrypted and its recipients. Double check that everything is there. If you're satisfied, click on the "Encrypt" button. 
    7. The document has been encrypted. After encryption the file will be accessible only to the persons indicated among the recipients. Leave DigiDoc3 Crypto by clicking "Close"
  • I've received encrypted document, how can I decrypt it?

    You will recognize a secure container by its file name extension .cdoc. The encrypted document is secure; only the recipients whose ID-card or Digi-ID certificates were attached during encryption can open it. 

    To decrypt a file the recipient's ID-card or Digi-ID needs to be inserted into the smartcard reader.

    To open an encrypted document double click on the file. DigiDoc3 Crypto opens if it is installed into your computer. If the software is not found, install it from installer.id.ee.

    To remove the encryption you need to know the PIN1 code.

    Click on the Decrypt button in the secure container window and follow the instructions. Be sure to save the decrypted documents to the desired destination on your computer so that you could find them when needed.

    NB! During the decrypting the contents of the encrypted container are copied to temporary folder (%TMP%, in Windows usually Windows->temp).

    So when sending and then decrypting passwords or other sensitive information it should always be taken into consideration that there will be a copy of that information in the temporary folder only protected by the computer access passwords.  When required the files should be deleted manually from the temporary folder. 

     

  • How State Portal eesti.ee could be useful for me?

    The portal is a gateway to public information and public services – it is easy, convenient, quick and secure.

    The Estonian State Portal www.eesti.ee is a secure Internet environment through which Estonian residents can easily access the state’s e-services and information. It contains articles on how to resolve important or frequently occurring issues (such as applying for family benefits) and advice on what to do in certain situations (such as where to turn to if the neighbours are making a racket in the middle of the night).

    The advantages the portal offers are:

    • Hundreds of e-services under one ‘umbrella’.
    • Detailed information about public services, contact points.
    • A secure environment.

    The e-services, articles and contact details in the portal are linked to make it easy for people to find information related to certain topics. Users log themselves in using their ID cards, which is the most secure form of identification.

    A personal, user-based environment has been created in the portal as a part of a complete redesign. Here, you can create documents, sign them digitally and send them to others for signing, send e-mails, order public sector information services and review the services you have used most recently.

    The services that the portal centralises draw their information from various databases. For example, if you are applying for exemption from land tax, you do not need to enter the data existing in different registers already. Your address is provided by the Population Register and the size and purpose of use of your land by the Land Register, while other details are added to your application automatically.

    The portal is useful to:

     

    individuals

    Using the state portal is convenient and secure and saves time. EU citizens and foreigners alike can find information in the portal about their rights and obligations in communicating with the public authorities in Estonia. The thorough information the portal contains can be used to find answers to potentially problematic issues before they arise.

    Queries sent via the portal are answered directly by user support or passed on to the relevant department – users do not need to do this themselves. All questions can be submitted in one place, with a guaranteed response.

    entrepreneurs

    The portal is a simple and secure way to obtain information about launching and running an enterprise and about communicating with public departments. If operating in a certain field is subject to specific requirements, the portal provides entrepreneurs with step-by-step instructions on what to do. For EU business operators, the portal represents a single online contact point.

    public sector agencies offering services

    The portal is a secure environment via which users are provided with convenient access to public sector information, services and contact details. The more comprehensive information the portal contains, the fewer enquiries public departments receive, since users get the answers they need straight from the portal or from user support.

    society

    People spend less time dealing with state bureaucracy. Less administrative burden is placed on public sector agencies.

  • Forename.surname@eesti.ee e-mail address configuration

    All ID-card holders receive an official e-mail address with their card, which is personal_ID_code@eesti.ee and forename.surname@eesti.ee.

    @eesti.ee address is meant to serve as an official channel of communication between the state and the person. State agencies may send official notices and useful information there. Of course you can also use this address for daily communication.

    @eesti.ee e-mail is tied to an e-mail redirection server, which can forward all your @eesti.ee e-mail messages to any e-mail address you're using daily. This might be a hot.ee, mail.ee, gmail.com address or, if your employer allows personal communication from your work e-mail, your work e-mail. To be sure that information reaches you, you can redirect your messages to several addresses at a time.

    To set up your @eesti.ee e-mail address, go to www.eesti.ee and log into the service with your ID-card or Mobile-ID. You will see a link Mine on the green bar. This button opens a page with a menu item E-mail in the left menu. By clicking it you can access the page where the link directs you to the e-mail configuration page.

    On the configuration page you need to enter the email address where you want to direct your @eesti.ee mail to. You can choose whether to use spam filter to delete spam or just mark junk mail, but still let those messages be forwarded.

    After you have added all e-mail addresses where you want to direct your @eesti.ee mail, click on the link Send Key. Activation key will be sent from the state portal to the added e-mail addresses. Follow the instructions in the received letter and click on the link in it that activates the forwarding of mail. If forwarding succeeds, a message will appear on the screen of the state portal eesti.ee and a message will show in the inbox of the desired e-mail address.


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