What to do if my ID card certificates are revoked?

To ensure the security, the Estonian government has come to a decision to revoke the certificates of 760 000 ID cards as of the evening of 3 November, 2017. This will result in an inability to use e-services including logging into DigiDoc portal and signing the documents.

Estonian ID cards, residence permits, digi-ID cards and e-Residency cards issued as of autumn 2014 are affected by a security vulnerability, therefore due to security reasons the cards cannot be used for digital authentication and signing. All ID cards continue to function as identification documents. If, however, you wish to use your ID card in digital services, you must renew your certificates. Here is all you need to know.

Before starting the update process

First of all, you should check whether your certificates need to be renewed. This can be done HERE.

If you need to renew your card’s certificates, then in order to do that you must download the newest version of the ID software at installer.id.ee and follow the instructions on the screen. Mac OS X users can download the newest version from the App Store.

However, please pay attention that Mac users are likely to experience some challenges using e-services with the ID card after the remote update in Safari and Google Chrome, as these web browsers do not currently support the new EC (elliptic curves) encryption algorithm. A new solution for Mac users is in development, but its launch is also dependent on the development of technical capacities by Apple and Google. After the update, the ID card can be used in the Firefox web browser.

If you have encrypted files (.cdoc files) on your computer, please decrypt and save them before starting the update process. After updating the certificates, it will not be possible to open previously encrypted files.

Also, make sure to remember your card’s PIN codes. The PIN1 code needs to be entered a few times during the update process. It is also recommended to have a pen and paper at hand before starting the update process, as you will be provided with new PIN codes in the course of the process and the previous codes will become invalid.

During the update process 

If you are ready, insert the card into the card reader, open the ID card utility, click on “Update” and follow the instructions on the screen. You can also see this video tutorial to update your certificate.

Keep your ID card in the card reader for the entire update process. Do not remove the card before the update is complete, as it will not be possible to update your certificates remotely once the process has been interrupted. In that case, you will need to visit a service point of the Police and Border Guard Board.

After the update process

After you have succesfully renewed you card’s certificates you should remove old certificates from your browsing history. In order to remove old certificates from your browsing history, insert your ID card into the smarcard reader and run the ID card utility. Wait until the utility reads the data and identifies your ID card, then click on Settings > Clean certs. Close the ID card utility. Now, when you login to an e-service, you will only see the certificates of the ID card inserted to the smartcard reader.

If the update fails 

Keep in mind that there might be high demand on the remote update server at times, which may impair access to the server and cause delays. In case of an error message in the course of the update process, you may remove the card and try again later. If the system has issued several error messages and the update process has failed, you can update your certificates at the Police and Border Guard Board service points.

Without the update, the ID card will remain valid as a personal identity document and loyalty card.
The blocking of the certificates does not concern people who have already updated their ID card certificates or have received a new ID card without the security flaw.

Also, be aware that the priority for renewal of the certificates will be given for those who must use their ID card actively in their work: doctors, government officials working in the field of justice, employees of the civil status office. They can renew their card certificates on 3-5 November and they will be served first in the office of the Police and Border Guard Board.

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This post is also available in: Estonian