Estonia’s digital signature system has paved the way for some of its most useful e-services including Company Registration Portal, the nation’s groundbreaking i-voting system, electronic tax filing and DigiDoc – essentially any services that require signatures for their validity.
Because e-Estonia’s infrastructure is an open system, new services can always be integrated. Businesses can freely use the digital signature system as well, and have applied it to a variety of web-based services.
Estonia boasts one of the world’s most advanced digital signature systems thanks to two crucial developments:
In March 2000, Parliament passed a law giving electronic signatures the same legal weight as traditional paper signatures.
The nation’s groundbreaking electronic ID infrastructure has created an effective and universal system for secure identification.
When a website offers the digital signature option:
The user has entered the information to be signed (tax declaration, ballot choices, contracts, etc.).
The site asks the user if they would like to digitally sign the information.
If the user clicks ‘yes’, a window from a third-party Certificate Center pops up, asking for the PIN codes connected to the user’s electronic ID Card.
The Certificate Center verifies the codes and sends a confirmation back to the website.
[Source: e-estonia.com]last edited by Kaspar Triebstok
eResNetwork Community Manager
Starting from July 2016, all governmental agencies of EU Member States have an obligation to recognize the Estonian digital signature under the new eIDAS regulation. In effect this means that all e-Residents have a quick and easy way to communicate with any governmental bodies in the EU using their digital signature to sign any official documents.
While it its obvious that actually getting e.g. a local government official in Italy to recognize your digital signature might take some time and effort, this is nevertheless a huge step in the right direction, making Estonia and e-Residency truly a gateway to commerce in the EU.
For more information on the eIDAS regulation, see here.last edited by
Information posted above is intended as a general guide and does not constitute legal advice.
Lynwood Sewell Bell
Thanks for this information Tark! Your post also drew me to the video clip of how easy it is to apply one's signature.
This type of information together with announcements like Singapore gaining access to banking in Estonia is going to accelerate e-residency dramatically. The number of users should easily reach the 10 million objective if not more! And the value of e-residency plus
banking is orders of magnitude greater than the recent price increase to 100 Euros.
These are exciting times!