Activation of the Citizen Certificate

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s Citizen Certificate is stored on an identity card issued by the police to help identify someone reliably when they are using electronic services. For the Certificate to be used for e-services it first has to be activated. Use of the identity card as a travel document or as proof of identity does not require activation of the Citizen Certificate.

Activation means that the Certificate can start to be used and that the user has created PIN/access codes.

To activate the certificate on the card you need

  •  an activation PIN

  • a computer

  • a card reader (chip card reader)

  • card reader software.

The activation PIN will arrive in the post within two weeks of the date on which card is ready. The activation PIN includes 8 digits and it is located at the bottom right of the letter.

You can buy a card reader from a well-stocked computer accessory store or online. Card readers are often sold with the name personal card reader or chip card reader. You can check with the retailer if it is compatible with your ID card. Some computers come with a card reader built in.

You can download the card reader software from the card reader software web page. We recommend that you use the most recent version of the software. The software is included in the price of the certificate card.

Instructions for activating the certificate

To activate the card a basic PIN needs to be installed on it together with a signature PIN. You can decide the codes yourself. Think about the digits you want to use beforehand, as you have limited time to enter each number during activation. The basic pin can include 4-8 digits and the signature PIN 6-8 digits.

  1. Place the card in the card reader

    The card reader software will start the activation process automatically when you place the card in the reader the first time.

  2. Activate the basic PIN (PIN1)
    Enter the activation code in the letter and enter the basic PIN you have decided to use twice (PIN1). The basic pin can include 4-8 digits.

  3. Activate the signature PIN (PIN2)
    Enter the activation PIN again if the software asks you to do so. Enter the signature PIN code (PIN2) you have decided to use twice. The signature pin for the Citizen Certificate can include 6-8 digits.

4. Activation is complete.

In the most recent versions of the card reader software (4.0.20 and newer), you activate the basic PIN and the signature PIN in the same window. In older versions, you activate them in two separate windows, both of which ask for the activation PIN first.

Following activation you can also use the card with older card reader software versions and the card reader software of other manufacturers.

Use of the PINs

PIN1 is the basic PIN, with which the card user can access services.

PIN2 is the signature PIN, with which the user can create an electronic signature.

If you keep a record of your PIN numbers on a piece of paper, keep them separate from the certificate card.

Changing or renewing PIN codes

Frequently asked questions