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Means of eID

In Estonia, the following means of electronic personal identification are valid: ID-cards, mobile-ID, Digi-ID, e-resident’s Digi-ID, diplomatic ID, and residence cards.

These documents are issued by the Police and Border Guard Board ».

Estonia’s eID uses a so-called secure data carrier that consists of a chip with keys and certificates stored on it, ensuring secure operations. A certificate is an electronic document connected to a specific person that contains the person’s personal information and the key necessary for identifying the person.

As at July 2018, more than 98 percent of Estonia’s population carries an ID-card and more than 180 000 people have mobile-ID: At least 60% of ID-card owners have used their card for electronic entry into an environment, i.e. authentication and/or provision of digital signature at least once per year.

Estonia’s digital signature carries equal weight with a handwritten signature (see the trust levels of electronic signatures) and public sector institutions must accept digitally signed documents.

One of the following means is necessary for the use of electronic identity:

ID-card is Estonia’s primary document that carries electronic identity, which is compulsory according to the law. It is the most widely used option. More information about the ID-card is available in the environment id.ee ».

Residence card is a similar compulsory document for foreigners who are not citizens of a Member State of the European Union.

More information about applying for an ID-card and residence card is available at the website of the Police and Border Guard Board ».

Mobile-ID is a personal identification and digital signing application for mobile phones. A mobile phone’s SIM card with a public and secret key connected to it functions as a document similar to the ID-card in electronic environments. You need to have an ID-card to apply for Mobile-ID. NB! Encryption is not possible with mobile-ID. More information about mobile-ID is available in the environment id.ee ».

Digi-ID is designated for use in digital environments only. It is a necessary tool for people who use their electronic identity in their daily work or whose duties do not allow the use of an ID-card or mobile-ID: You also need to have an ID-card to apply for Digi-ID. Digi-ID is also issued to e-residents for the use of e-services. More information about applying for Digi-ID is available at the website of the Police and Border Guard Board ».

Last modified: 28.08.2018

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