ID-card and card reader: checking the functionality of your ID-card reader

First, insert your ID-card in the ID-card reader and connect the reader to your computer. Open DigiDoc4 Client on your computer.

How to insert the ID-card in the card reader?

In the case of most card readers, the ID-card is inserted into the reader chip-end first with your photo facing down and the chip facing up. If you have a new ID-card reader which you have never used before, try turning the card around: perhaps that was the issue? Do not worry – inserting the card incorrectly will not damage the ID-card! If turning the card around does not help, re-insert the card chip-end first with the side with your photo on the bottom.

How to tell whether my ID-card and card reader are functioning properly?

  • If the DigiDoc4 Client displays your name and data after insertion of the card, everything is fine.
  • If DigiDoc4 Client can see your data but displays an error message or a suggestion or a warning that your software, certificates, etc. are about to expire, follow the instructions provided by DigiDoc4!
  • If you cannot see your data and the error message displayed by DigiDoc4 Client says that there is no card in the reader, try re-inserting the card. If necessary, restart your computer with the card properly in the reader and the ID-card reader connected to the computer.

How to check the connection between the card reader and the computer?

If the DigiDoc4 error message says that there are no card readers connected, the issue lies in the card reader (it may be broken) or in its poor connection to the computer (an USB port issue or an issue with the plug of the card reader).

May ID-card readers are equipped with indicator lights. With some readers, the colour of the indicator light is always the same (green or blue, for example); in other cases, however, a change in the colour of the lights indicates an issue (for example, a usually green light turns yellow or red). Further information can be found on the packaging of your ID-card reader.

The most common descriptions of the card reader indicator light are the following:

  • The light is not on: the computer has no contact with the ID-card reader.
  • The light is on: the connection between the computer and the card reader has been established.
  • The light is blinking: the connection between the computer and the card reader has been established and the computer is actively attempting to retrieve information from the card reader/the card.

If your card reader does not have an indicator light, you will simply have to test the functionality of the card reader.

If there is no contact between the card reader and the computer, try disconnecting the cable of the ID-card reader from the computer and reconnecting it. Make sure that you insert the plug of your card reader as far as it goes into the port in the computer; if possible, test if another USB port works better.

Sometimes, the issue may lie in the low quality of the cable of the card reader: grab the cable behind the USB plug, hold it between your fingers, and push it tightly into the USB port, simultaneously restarting the computer. If the card reader starts working, you may be able to take care of urgent business before getting a new ID-card reader.

Replace the defective card reader as soon as possible!

ID-card readers can be purchased from most IT stores, shopping centres, and even from petrol stations. Card readers, like all other things, tend to wear if used regularly – especially if the cable of the reader has been twisted in your bag or when coiled up. It would be a good idea to always have a spare ID-card reader!

You should also keep in mind that the price of the card reader generally depends on the features and convenience, not the reliability of the reader: cheaper does not necessarily mean lower quality. Be careful when ordering a card reader online, though: various auction and discount sale websites offer many products of dubious quality which may or may not be functional. If you choose to order online, always prefer the own websites of manufacturers or reliable IT stores!

How to test whether your browser works with the ID-card?

In order to test whether the ID-card works, open the Eesti.ee portal on your browser and click ‘Login’. Select ‘ID-card’ for logging in an follow the instructions on the screen. You will be asked to enter PIN1 of your ID-card to enter various services and PIN2 to confirm a transaction or an operation. You can change the PIN codes of your ID-card if you wish.

If DigiDoc4 displayed your data properly, but you are unable to access an online service via the browser, try again on another browser.

In the case of coming across browser issues:

  • Read carefully the error messages displayed – those will help you find instructions for solving the issue on the id.ee website.
  • Read more about what to do if you are unable to use your ID-card on your browser.
  • If you are not sure what is causing the problem, try restarting the computer with the ID-card reader connected to the computer and the card properly inserted in the reader.