Use of the smart card

New smart card must be activated before you can use it. 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
  • card reader software.

In many organisations, card reader software is installed centrally. In this case, employees do not need to install the card reader software. Please check your organisation’s guidelines regarding the card reader software.

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 card reader software. The card reader software is free of charge.

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 only have limited time to enter each number during activation.

  • Basic PIN code can be 4–8 digits long.
  • Signature PIN code can be 6–8 digits long for organisation cards and 4–8 digits long for smart cards for social welfare and health care.

If your workstation requires logging in, first log in as usual by entering your user name and password.

  1. Insert the card in the card reader and wait for the card reader software to start.
    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).
  3. Activate the signature PIN (PIN2)
    Enter the activation code again if the software asks you to do so. Enter the signature PIN you have decided to use twice (PIN2).
  4. Activation is complete.

Please note that after activation, it may be necessary to link the social welfare and healthcare smart card to the systems you use, such as patient information systems. For more detailed instructions, contact your information system support directly.

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

You can use the basic PIN code (PIN1) to identify yourself in the services.

The signature PIN code (PIN2) enables you to provide your electronic signature.

You will need the activation PIN if you have forgotten the above codes or they have become locked. Write down the activation PIN, as the letter and the code in the letter may fade.

Keep the PIN codes in a safe place separately from the card.

If activation stops

If, for some reason, the activation process stops after you have provided the basic PIN (PIN1) and before providing the signature PIN (PIN2), the program will not restart the activation process automatically. In such a case the signature PIN can be entered using the card reader software’s unlock PIN function.

If the activation pin is locked

If you enter an invalid activation PIN five times in a row, the chip becomes permanently locked. This means that the card’s electronic features cannot be used; i.e. the card cannot be used, for example, for e-services or encrypting files. In this case, you will need to order a new card.

Frequently asked questions


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