Everything you need to operate online as an e-resident is provided in the e-Residency kit – your digital ID card, a card reader and your PIN codes.
There are 3 simple steps:
- Make sure your digital ID card is active by inserting your digital ID card’s document number here.
- Install the software here
- Insert your digital ID card into card reader and test how it works in the State Portal
You are now ready to use your digital ID card to establish a company online and use e-services available
If you run into trouble or encounter any problems during the installation process or ID card usage, please contact the ID card technical support – they are the most knowledgable resource. You can contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (+372) 677 3377.
In order to successfully use your card online, you will need to have your valid e-Residency digi-ID, smart card reader and PIN codes. Please make sure that you keep your document and PIN codes safe, as it is not possible to issue a replacement for either of them from abroad.
Places to Use the e-Residency Digi-ID
The electronic personal identification function of the e-Residency digi-ID allows all persons to securely identify their clients or service users over the internet. Just like how we show an identity document when completing a card transaction in a store, we can show our ID-card for verification over the internet. This allows service providers to be certain of the user’s true identity.
Note: The personal identification process will always ask for your PIN1. If you are asked for PIN2 it means that you are signing a document rather than verifying your identity.
You no longer have to remember long lists of usernames and passwords or bank code cards/PIN-calculators with the digi-ID. When using your ID card, the same PIN applies for all services and you need only remember your PIN codes.
To log in using your ID-card, you must have physical possession of the card and must know the PIN code. Security experts call this ‘two-factor identification’. If a criminal does not know your PIN, he or she cannot use the ID-card on your behalf. Likewise, a criminal will have no use of finding out your PIN if he or she is not in possession of your ID-card.
On the contrary, when personal identification only takes place with a password or code card, the criminal only needs to find out the respective data. He or she will not need to physically possess the password or code card. The described single-factor personal identification is therefore significantly less secure.
Some most common e-Services that e-Residents use, are:
How to use the e-Residency digi-ID safely
Your E-Residency digi-ID is an online identification document, meaning that digital authentication is equivalent to physically identifying yourself. Digital signatures given with the e-Residency digi-ID are as valid and binding as handwritten signatures in Europe. You should always confirm the identity and authenticity of the second party before signing a document. Here are some tips to help make sure that you are using your e-Residency digi-ID safely:
- Never give your e-Residency digi-ID to other people; it may be misused and you will remain responsible.
- Keep your PIN codes safe. Never write your codes on your card or keep the PIN codes with the card. Keep the codes in a secure location that others will not have access to. That being said, make sure your codes are securely located so that you can review them should you forget them.
- Keep your PIN1 and PIN2 codes different. If the two codes are very similar, it may be easy for someone to guess the other code if they gain access to one.
- Web browsers can cache (temporarily remember) the PIN1 code used during an active browser session. Because of that, it may be possible to enter e-services without inserting PIN1-code repeatedly. Caching the PIN1 code can be avoided by following these three steps:
- After using your e-Residency digi-ID in an e-service, log out from the service using the “Exit”, “Log out” or “Close” buttons.
- After using your e-Residency digi-ID, remove it from the card reader.
- Close all web browser windows (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari) after you have finished using a service.
- In case your e-Residency ID card or your codes get stolen, immediately notify the help line by calling +372 677 3377. They will suspend the certificates. You should only do so if they are stolen or lost for sure as they can not be reactivated remotely.
Most Common Problems
Certificates Not Active
If you have just received your e-Residency digi-ID, then you must first confirm on the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board’s site that your certificates have been activated. You can check the validity of your certificates here.
If the certificates are not yet active, we kindly ask you to wait. If the certificates are not active within 24 hours, we advise you to contact the issuing authority, The Estonian Police and Border Guard, at email@example.com. When contacting the issuing authority, please provide them with your full name, date of birth and document number.
Installing the ID-software on Mac OSX
Step-by-step instructions can be found here
Find a Solution Step-by-Step
If you encounter a technical probleem, you should first search for help on the ID card troubleshooting page. They should be able to help you identify your problem and find a solution instantly. You can find the page here
Cannot Log Into The Website
You must first ensure that your smart card reader is recognized by your computer and is reading data from your ID card chip. To do that, launch the ID-card utility included in the installation software. If the utility recognizes your card and can read data, then that means that the software installation was successful.
While the ID-card utility is opened, ensure that none of your PIN-codes have been blocked. If your PIN1 or PIN2 codes have been blocked, then you can unblock them using your PUK code.
The second step is to determine if the problem is only occurring for one service or for all of them. Try logging onto State Portal, Company Registration Portal or any other e-service.
If the issue is only occurring with certain websites, it is possible that Mac OS X has cached a broken sessioon and logging in via your ID card will not work. You can find a solution for that in this article here.
If you are not using Mac OS X and are still encountering a problem, you must contact the site’s webmaster and inquire.
If the problem occurs on many sites, please contact the ID-card technical help at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use their Troubleshooting guide to try to find a quick solution. Troubleshooting is available here.
Digital Signing Problems On The Web
The most common reason for encountering problems with using your digital signature is that your browser’s digital signing plugins are out of date. Instructions for properly enabling digital signing plugins in your browser can be found here.
Changing PIN Codes
Detailed instructions are available at http://id.ee/index.php?id=35629
Detailed instructions are available at http://www.id.ee/?id=35646
Detailed instructions are available at http://www.id.ee/?id=35652
Verifying a Digital Signature
Detailed instructions are available at http://id.ee/index.php?id=35632
Setting up @eesti.ee Email Address
Detailed instructions are available at http://www.id.ee/?id=35639
Viewing your certificate and saving it on your computer
Detailed instructions are available at http://www.id.ee/?lang=en&id=34301
If you are certain that your e-Residency digi-ID has been lost or stolen and that it could be used by others (accessing e-services and/or providing digital signatures on your behalf), call the ID helpline (+372) 677 3377 immediately and request that your certificates be suspended. This can only be done by phone (Helpline works 24/7).
For verification, the helpline will ask the card holder for personal information: given name and surname, year of birth, and/or personal identification code. In order to suspend your certificates, you will need to confirm your identity by providing personal information.
You must reapply for e-Residency if you wish to receive a new document. The application process will be similar to when you first applied for the e-Residency digi-ID. The application is available at https://apply.gov.ee/
Lost Card Reader
If you have lost your card reader, you can order or buy any other smart card reader online or from a local electronics store. Please read the following article at http://id.ee/?lang=en&id=34282 to make sure that the smart card reader you wish to purchase is compatible with the Estonian e-Residency digi-ID.
Lost PIN Codes
Unfortunately it is not possible to issue new PIN codes to e-Residency digi-ID-s from abroad. If you are unable to visit Estonia, you would need to apply for a new document. The application process is the same and the application is available on our website: https://apply.gov.ee/
If you will be visiting Estonia, then you can renew the PIN codes and receive a new PIN code envelope at one of the offices of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board. A list of the service offices is available here: https://www.politsei.ee/en/kontakt/kmb/index.dot
Blocked PIN Codes
If only your PIN1 or PIN2 codes have been blocked, you can unblock them using your PUK code. Please follow the instructions at http://id.ee/index.php?id=34303
It is not possible to unblock a PUK code by yourself or from abroad; you must visit Estonia. For that, a personal visit to an Estonian Police and Border Guard Board office is required. If you are not planning to visit Estonia, you need to apply for a new document. The application process is the same and the application is available on our website: https://apply.gov.ee/
If you will be visiting Estonia, then the list of the service offices is available at https://www2.politsei.ee/en/kontakt/kmb/
Validity of Your Document
The certificates of the documents issued from 1.May 2018 are valid for 5 years. For documents issued before that date the certificates are valid for 3 years. After the validity period, if you wish to continue using e-services, you have to apply for a new document. The application process will be the same as when you first applied. The online application is available at https://apply.gov.ee/ We would advise applying for a new document 2 months prior to the expiration of your current one.
Renewing Your Document
Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to renew your document online. You will need to apply for a new document. Application is available here https://apply.gov.ee/ and the procedure is the same as it was when submitting the application for the first time. We would advise applying for a new document 2 months prior to the expiration of your current one.
The guidelines in this section are powered by SK ID Solutions.
If you have any technical problems or questions, to which you did not find an answer here, please contact SK ID Solutions support by email email@example.com or through their page http://www.id.ee/?lang=en On the bottom right corner you can find the section “Ask for help”.