Practical Tips

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Here 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 - Validity of certificates can be checked in DigiDoc4 client*.
      If your ID card is still valid, but card certificates have expired/suspended/canceled, then we recommend that you contact the Police and Border Guard Board.
      *DigiDoc4 client displays certificates (including canceled and suspended) as valid and usable if they are not time-barred.
      Real-time control, which provides information about the status of certificates, can be done in DigiDoc4 client by clicking on "Load Picture".
      For expired, suspended, and/or canceled certificates the "ID-card certificate is not valid" message is displayed after the PIN1 is entered.

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

  • 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.

    DigiDoc4 client can only be installed from Apple App Store

  • How to change PIN1, PIN2 and PUK codes using DigiDoc4 client?

    To change PIN1, PIN2 and PUK codes, follow these instructions:

    • Open DigiDoc4 client
    • Insert ID-card to the card reader and open section "My eID"
    • Wait until your ID-card has been recognized

    Although the process of changing PIN1, PIN2 and PUK codes is essentially the same, you should still remember few rules: 

    Permitted code lengths are different:

    • PIN1 code must be within 4–12 digits
    • PIN2 code must be within 5–12 digits
    • PUK must be within 8 – 12 digits

    The new code must be different from the old code, only include numbers and must not partially or fully match your personal code.

    To change PIN1/Authentication certificate choose "CHANGE PIN1"

    If the code has been changed successfully, the relevant message will be displayed

    To change PIN2/Signing certificate choose "CHANGE PIN2"

    If the code has been changed successfully, the relevant message will be displayed

    To change PUK code choose "CHANGE PUK"

    If the code has been changed successfully, the relevant message will be displayed

    NB! You can also change PIN codes if you have forgotten your old PIN codes. In this case, you can use PUK code to change PIN codes

    • Launch DigiDoc4 client
    • Insert ID-card to the card reader and open section "My eID"
    • Wait until your ID-card has been recognized
    • Choose "Forgot PIN1?" or "Forgot PIN2?"

    Insert PUK code and the new PIN1 or PIN2 twice

    The PIN code will be changed and you will see a confirmation of the code change.

  • How to unblock PIN codes using DigiDoc4 client?

    Entering PIN1 or PIN2 code incorrectly three times will block it and you can't authenticate or digitally sign with your ID-card. Blocking can be revoked with your PUK code.

    Although PIN1 and PIN2 (authentication and signature certificate) are unblocked in a similar way, you should still remember few rules: 

    Permitted code lengths are different:

    • PIN1 code must be within 4–12 digits
    • PIN2 code must be within 5–12 digits
    • PUK must be within 8 – 12 digits

    The new code must be different from the old code, only include numbers and must not partially or fully match your personal code.

    To unblock PIN-codes, follow these instructions:

    • Open DigiDoc4 Client
    • Insert ID-card to the card reader and wait until your ID-card has been recognized 

    • Click on the "UNBLOCK" button. The relevant PIN code unblocking window will open.

    • Enter PUK-code.
    • Enter new PIN-code twice.
    • If the code has been unblocked successfully, the relevant message will be displayed.

    From now on, use your new PIN that you just entered.

    NB! Entering PUK code incorrectly three times will also block it. Then you can no longer unblock PIN-codes yourself and have to go to a customer service point where you will get a new PIN envelope. New PIN envelope is also needed if you have lost your old code envelope and have forgotten all of your codes. List of customer service points can be found at https://www.politsei.ee/et/asukohad/teenindused.

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

    If you receive a digitally signed document (a file with an extension .ddoc, .bdoc, .asice etc), there are a number of options for signature verification, i.e. checking validity of and added signature. The easiest way is to open DigiDoc4 Client through which you can access the contents of the documents and verify signatures.

    DigiDoc4 Client is installed as a component of the ID-card software, which is available at installer.id.ee

    It is also possible to check the validity of digital signatures at digidoc.ee or  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 at service offices Police and Border Guard Board.

  • 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.

  • How to sign documents with ID-card in DigiDoc4 Client?

     

    There is two options to sign documents:
     

    1. Go to the desired document or documents and right-click on "Sign digitally"

    2. Alternatively, open the DigiDoc4 client

    • Drag document or documents into the window or click on the button "... OR LOAD FILE FROM DISK"
    • If you want to add more documents then click on the button "+ ADD MORE FILES"
    • In the main you can see all the documents that will be signed. If everything is OK, click SIGN WITH MOBIIL-ID
    • If you want then you can add role or resolution What do signer role/resolution mean and how to add them to the document?
    • Enter the requested PIN2 code.

    Digital signing was successful if signature has been added to the container and you see similar outcome:

     

    With signed documents you can do a variety of activities, such as:

    NB! You cannot change the contents of the signed document, but you can add or remove signatures.

    If you want to add your signature for signed document

    • Save the document into your computer
    • Open signed document with DigiDoc4 client
    • Add your signature

    If you have problems with digital signing then you can look up solution from here

     

  • How to sign documents with Mobiil-ID in DigiDoc4 Client?

     There is two options to sign documents:

    1. Go to the desired document or documents and right-click on "Sign digitally"

    2. Alternatively, open the DigiDoc4 client

    • Drag document or documents into the window or click on the button "... OR LOAD FILE FROM DISK"
    • If you want to add more documents then click on the button "+ ADD MORE FILES"
    • Choose "SIGN WITH MOBIIL-ID"
    • In the main you can see all the documents that will be signed. If everything is OK, click SIGN WITH MOBIIL-ID
    • If you want then you can add role or resolution What do signer role/resolution mean and how to add them to the document?
    • Enter your phone number and personal code and click on the button "SIGN"

    • Shortly you will be displayed with control code, which will also be sent to your phone.

    • Your mobile phone should now have received a message and display the control code.

    • Check that the control codes in DigiDoc4 client and on the mobile phone screen match.
    • If they match, press Accept on your mobile phone. 
    • Now you will be asked for Mobiil-ID PIN2 code, insert it.

    Digital signing was successful if signature has been added to the container and you see similar outcome:

     

    With signed documents you can do a variety of activities, such as:

    NB! You cannot change the contents of the signed document, but you can add or remove signatures.

    If you want to add your signature for signed document

    • Save the document into your computer
    • Open signed document with DigiDoc4 client
    • Add your signature

    If you have problems with digital signing then you can look up solution from here

    Possible error messages: session expired, wrong PIN2 code, digital signing was declined, mobile phone is turned off. In case of internet connection problems you will get an error that could not reach service provider and check your internet connection. 

  • How can I encrypt documents in DigiDoc4 client?

    Document encryption with DigiDoc4 Client 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 DigiDoc4 Client application. 
    2. Check that the card reader is connected to the computer and the software displays your personal information.
    3. From the left side click "CRYPTO"
    4. Drag the file you want to encrypt or click "...OR LOAD FILE FROM DISK" and open the file
    5. Click "Save"
    6. From the right side box click on the button "+Add recipient"
    7. 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 "Confirm".
    8. 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. 
    9. The document has been encrypted. After encryption the file will be accessible only to the persons indicated among the recipients.

    Sample:

     

  • I've received encrypted document, how can I decrypt it - DigiDoc4 ?

    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. DigiDoc4 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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