Digital Signature


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 ID-software – 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.




ID-software is a widely-used software that allows you to use your ID-card electronically – use private and governmental e-services, digitally sign documents and encrypt documents for safe transfer.

3 programs are installed into your computer: ID-card utility, DigiDoc3 client and DigiDoc3 crypto.

With ID-card utility you can check the functioning of your ID-card and certificate validity, change PIN and PUK codes.

DigiDoc3 Client is a programme that can be used to sign digitally with ID-card and Mobile-ID, check the validity of digital signatures and open and save documents inside the signature container.
DigiDoc3 Crypto enables you to secure files for safe transfer using your ID-card and to view secured documents (decrypt). Securing or encrypting enables you to protect sensitive information from other people in the short term.

Find out more about Digital Signature and their developers!

Digital Signature is one of the Components that make up the digital society of Estonia. This e-solution is provided by Republic of Estonia Information System Authority. Find out more on their official website: and the ID-software website:



Introduced in: 2002


  • Availability of e-services that require signatures
  • No need to visit offices to sign documents

Did you know?

More than 242 million digital signatures have been made in Estonia since the system became available.

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