e-⁠residency card expiring soon? smart-id to the rescue!

Download Smart-ID to help extend your digital access to Estonian e-services if your digital ID card is set to expire

Photo: Ilmar Saabas

E-Residency turned five years old on 1 December 2019, which means that some e-residents have already celebrated their 5th ‘e-birthday’ and many more who will be joining them soon.

Our 5th anniversary also means that the digital ID cards of some of our longest-serving e-residents will be expiring soon and need to be renewed.

Renewing your e-Residency digital identity is the same process as applying. This means that there is a need to pick up your new digital ID card from an embassy or alternative pickup point and prove your identity in person.

As long as the lockdown and travel restrictions stay in force, the renewal process will be very difficult or even impossible for some e-residents who do not live in a location with a pickup point, or who are otherwise affected.

Given the situation, we want to make sure you are aware of an alternative way to extend digital access to some Estonian e-services past the expiry date of your digital identity card — Smart-ID. It’s a convenient and secure long-term solution to help you extend access to and more easily log into many Estonian e-services.

Smart-ID is a mobile app that was launched in 2016 SK ID Solutions, the Estonian Government’s partner for issuing the certificates on different types of identity documents held by citizens, residents, and e-residents.

Simply download the Smart-ID app to an Android or iOS phone. You will then need to authenticate yourself once using your digital ID card before you can access e-services such as banking.

Your digital ID card needs to have active certificates when you set up Smart-ID (i.e. it cannot already have expired) so if you are concerned about the time it might take to renew your digital ID card and you need uninterrupted access to banking and other digital services in the meantime, then you are strongly advised to activate Smart-ID straight away.

Here are a few digital services e-residents can undertake using Smart-ID:

  • Secure authentication — since September 2019, Smart-ID can be used as an authentication tool in Estonia’s e-services portal at eesti.ee.
  • Digital signatures— since February 2020, you can digitally sign documents using your Smart-ID in the DigiDoc4 software application. Find out more here.
  • Annual Reports— as we reported earlier this month, you can use Smart-ID to submit your annual report for 2019.
  • LHV is an Estonian banking and financial services company that many e-residents use for their business banking. Smart-ID can be used by LHV clients for transactions, signing agreements and activating new cards, among other things. NB: please read carefully our advice for accessing business banking before booking any travel to Estonia for the purposes of opening a business account.
  • Xolo is a business services provider offering a turn-key solution for setting up a location-independent single-person company in Estonia. If you are a client of Xolo, you can use Smart-ID to log into Xolo’s self-service portal to issue invoices, upload expenses, and get an overview of your company’s finances.
  • Company formation— online company formation is possible for Smart-ID users through the self-service portal of e-Residency Marketplace service provider Unicount.

For a full list of available services compatible with Smart-ID, please visit the Smart-ID website.

Please note that some service providers that also serve Estonian citizens and residents might refer to a similar service called Mobile-ID, but this is not currently available to e-residents.

Read more about Smart-ID at Smart-ID.com or download the app now below for your Android or iOS phone:

Please note that Smart-ID is a product provided by SK ID Solutions, which is an organisation independent from the Estonian Government. E-Residency has no responsibility if some government services are not available or do not work with Smart-ID. Please direct any support queries directly to Smart-ID in this instance.

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