Validity of ID-card certificates

You can check the validity of the certificates of your ID-card in the DigiDoc4 client. The ID software will immediately notify you of expired certificates and provide information on what to do next. Without valid certificates, the ID-card cannot be used for making electronic transactions, for example, for logging into your online bank account or for signing documents digitally.

By default, the certificates will remain valid exactly as long as the digital document which they apply to. For security considerations, however, you may be asked to extend the validity of the certificates. In this case, DigiDoc4 will immediately notify you. Information about any more extensive security updates can also be found from the id.ee website and from online media, in addition to DigiDoc4.

Please keep in mind that you will still be able to use your ID-card as a travel document even if the certificates of your ID-card have been suspended or blocked: the certificates are not required for crossing state borders or identifying yourself at public authorities.

The validity of the certificate applies to the digital document:

  • Mobile-ID certificates are associated with a specific SIM card and remain valid for five years. When replacing the SIM card – even if your telephone number remains the same – you will not be able to continue using the old certificates. Please contact your mobile network operator for further information.
  • In the case of Smart-ID, the certificates remain valid until the expiry of the Smart-ID account, or for two years. Smart-ID accounts are device-based and different certificates are issued for each device.
  • In the case of an ID-card, the validity of the certificates is connected to the validity of the Id-card – by default, the certificates remain valid for five years.

How to check the validity of the certificates of an ID-card in the DigiDoc4 client?

In order to check the validity of the certificates of you ID-card in DigiDoc4 client, take the following steps:

Step 1: enter your ID-card into the card reader and open DigiDoc4 Client.

Instructions for opening DigiDoc4 Client are available here.

Step 2: select ‘My eID’ from the DigiDoc4 menu.

Make sure that DigiDoc4 is displaying your personal data and select ‘My eID’ from the menu on the left.

Step 3: check the status of the certificate.

In order to check the status of the certificate, click the ‘Authentication certificate’ button. Information about the validity of the certificate of your ID-card will be displayed on the screen.

Authentication certificate” uses the validity confirmation service to check the validity of a certificate. The validity confirmation service provides real-time responses about the status of a certificate.

The outcome of checking of a certificate shows whether the certificate was valid or invalid at the moment of checking.

Valid certificates are required for electronic use of the ID-card.

If the certificate of your ID-card is invalid, you cannot use the ID-card for performing electronic operations.

If you have suspended your ID-card certificates, you can reactivate the certificates by visiting the customer service of the Police and Border Guard Board or a foreign mission of the Republic of Estonia.
If the certificates of your Id-card have expired or invalidated and you would like to use your ID-card electronically, you will have to apply for a new document. Read more about applying for and ID-card here.

What is difference between the validity of the ID-card and the validity of the certificate?

The date of expiry printed on the physical ID-card indicates the validity of the card as an identity document (for example, for crossing state borders, in public authorities, etc.). Currently, the ID-cards issued in Estonia remain valid for five years and the certificates accompanying the card have the same date of expiry.

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The dates of expiry of the certificates associated with your card can be checked via DigiDoc4. Do not worry if the date of expiry of the certificates differs that of your ID-card: it simply means that your certificates have been updated! Valid certificates are required for electronic use of the ID-card (for entering e-services, confirming bank transfers, signing documents, etc.).

Occasionally, you will be required to update your certificates even though they have not expired yet. This is mainly required for security reasons and so you should always take any requests to update your certificates seriously!

All ID-cards which have been issued from 26 October 2017 onwards are equipped with updated software and do not require updating.

Important information about the certificates:

Please notify the Police and Border Guard Board immediately of a stolen ID-card.

If your ID-card has been stolen, you must suspend the certificates of the ID-card: this is the only precaution you can take to protect yourself from potential identity theft.

More information about using the certificates can be found under information about the terms of use of certificates.