How To Get Started With Your e-Residency Card

20 September 2019

We know from experience the feeling of finally having the e-Resident pack in your hands. Welcome to the digital nation!

In this article, we describe how to start working with the e-Resident pack and install the software necessary for the card to work.

What does the e-Resident Pack contain?

The e-Resident pack contains three important things:

  • The e-resident card. Your e-Resident number (personal code) appears below on the right, it is an 11-digit number.
  • A small USB reader. It is like a black rectangle that can be opened like a cross. It has a part with pins that go into the USB port (with the pins facing up).
  • A closed envelope. This envelope contains PIN1 and PIN2 pins that you need to operate with your card and also the PUK.

What are the pins for?

  • Pin number 1 (PIN1) is used to access all the online services of the Estonian administration. When you enter the website of the Estonian Tax Office or log into Companio, you can use your PIN1.
  • Pin number 2 (PIN2) is used to sign things. Consider it the equivalent of your physical signature, so bear in mind that this signature is legally binding for documents. With the PIN2 you can sign powers of attorney so that we can manage your accounting, sign contracts, or make bank transfers.
  • The PUK: it is required if you have to reset either of the PINs.

How is the USB reader used?

The first thing is to know how the card is inserted. Open the USB reader in the form of a perpendicular cross, and insert the card with the chip upwards. Make sure that the USB reader pins are also facing upwards as shown in the following figure.

Installing the Software

Before you can use the card with the reader, you will have to install the appropriate software.

The process is explained on the official e-Residency website, but here’s a step-by-step summary:

➡️The first thing is to visiting this website, where you will find the programs to install.

You have to click on the first button above that says “Download” (the one on top). This contains the drivers that the computer needs to read the card from USB.

If you have a Mac, for example, a .dmg package will be downloaded. Open it with a double-click, and you will see the typical installation program. Again, double-click it to run the installation software and just follow the instructions.

➡️Once the driver is installed, you will have to give the second “Download” button (the one at the bottom), which will allow you to install the DigiDoc App. If you have a Mac, the App Store will open.

➡️If everything went well, the plugins for your browser (Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) will also be installed.

➡️Finally, you need to enable plugins for your browser, which will allow you to sign things with your digital card. You will see that on that page, a little further down, there are three icons for the three main browsers. Choose any of them and follow the instructions that will appear.

Let’s try it!

The time has come to test your card, for that, you just have to go to the official website of e-Estonia. There you will see something like the following:

➡️Click on the blue “Login” button to the right (If you get it in a weird language, do not worry, it’s Estonian, you should be able to switch to English using the appropriate control on the top right). It will take you to the next screen.

➡️Click on the button on the left that says “ID-card” (ID Card, or electronic card) and then press Continue. If the card reader works, a dialog will appear asking you to select the certificate. Most probably there will only be one to choose from, so that is the one that you have to select.

When you click on “Accept” (or “OK”) you will be asked for the PIN1 that we mentioned before.

➡️If everything went well, you will enter the portal of the e-Residency and your name will appear above. Congratulations! You have correctly configured everything. Welcome to the digital nation!

Sometimes, the reader that comes with your e-Residency pack does not do a good job reading the card. If that happens, most of the times simply moving the card a little bit will fix it.

We hope that this article has helped you to get started with the e-Residency card.

It is pretty easy, but if you have found any problems though the process do not hesitate to contact our Customer Support team through the help center. Remember that in Companio we are happy to guide you through the process, so if you need help with the registration of your company in Estonia you can join us here.