The ID-card is the primary identity document. It is used to identify persons not only in the physical world but also in electronic environments.
Additionally, the ID-card can be used to encrypt documents and add a digital signature which legally is equal to a regular signature on paper. Thanks to the ID-card and the digital signature, Estonia was well- equipped to hold the first Internet-based elections in the world; eVoting was possible in the local government elections in 2005 and in the parliamentary elections in 2007.
Together with the ID-card, each ID-card holder also receives an official email address in the form of email@example.com. The address is intended for official communications with the state.
This address is also a kind of “official electronic place of residence” for the resident – any official letters concerning an individual can be sent to the relevant email address.
Today, the ID-card allows people to access almost any E-service environment in Estonia (the banks, the state portal, the customer service environments for utility companies, etc).
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