I got my e-Residency!

I got an email this morning telling me my e-Residency card was ready for pickup! It was written in Estonian on top and English below. I had a tip from an insider that this would be happening, so I’d already made plans to pick it up at lunch. My good friend and former Skyper (he’s now at Teleport) Karim Heredia offered me a lift and brought his fancy camera to snap some pics.

I walked in to the building, but this time it was lunch, so there was no woman standing by the machine. I pushed some buttons (English -> Documents / Pin Codes). A ticket was printed, and again I just had to wait. In less than 5 miutes, my number was on the display. Seriously, I don’t get why any Estonian would complain about this office. It’s heaven. Anyone who thinks this place has lines should drive in San Francisco traffic (statistically only slightly worse than Los Angeles – but man it feels 10 times worse when you’re in the city).

Anyway I went to the desk which was indicated on the display, handed the lady my ticket + passport, and waited. About 10 minutes later, and with only one person coming to visit her, I was given my shiny new toy!!

Getting my card!

That’s Mikk, he joined us as well today. There’s no photo on the card, which is intentional. e-Residency isn’t way to authenticate in person, but only digitally. The box included a smart card reader for free, which is great because I’m not likely to buy personal computers which come with this type of reader.

Once I got the card, I took some photos in the building (pretty sure we broke some laws here – I’ll know if my card stops authenticating) and more photos outside the building. This card is very secure. All the information displayed on it is public, and the only “secret” part is the security chip and PIN. Since you can’t access those over a photograph, I’m going to do something which will seem crazy. I’m going to post a photo of it right here. I dare you to post your California State ID, or any country Passport. There’s too much personal information on such things – like home address. The only way I’d be in danger is if someone stole this card, and brute-forced my password against eesti.ee servers before I changed it myself. This system is really secure, and here’s my proof:

My e-Residency card

This is the first card they’ve handed out as part of the official/public process (again, firsties for me!). So this coming week I’ll play around with the signing feature first, and figure the rest out as I go. Some things I expect to do include: sign documents, get a mobile ID (sounds like it’s coming in Spring), get a legit phone number instead of a prepaid one, associate my public transportation card with my identity (so I can add money to it online, instead of at kiosks), and the list goes on. Don’t worry, you’ll read about it here – or at least I and /dev/null will.

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16 thoughts on “I got my e-Residency!

  1. Thanks for sharing, Hamid! Welcome to e-Estonia. Since you’re excited to try out digital (or e-signing), you are very welcome to start using the SignWise portal. Once you’ve signed up for the SignWise portal, you’ll only need your e-mail for logging into the service which permits you to e-sign documents, share them to other people, save different document formats, get legally binding e-signatures for contracts, presentations – even pictures for copyright reasons for example. To share them out you’ll only need to know the other party’s e-mail (no need for knowing all of the personal ID codes by heart) – and all this without leaving your desk or the sofa. And you can also do it with your business partners or family members from other countries (so far we support 7 countries’ eIDs or mobile IDs).

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    • Why should someone use SignWise portal if you can sign documents with Estonian ID card software? Last one does not require sharing your document with third party, no need to upload nothing-nowhere. 🙂

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      • We say it makes all the sense to use the SignWise portal because of it is usability and more varied functionalities. You say no need to upload the document in DigiDoc Client’s case, M. In our case no need to download and re-send it to all of the parties who then would have to download it, too.
        For example – to e-sign a document in the SignWise portal you upload the document but once and there is no need to download it or e-mail it – you just invite all the signing parties to the document stored securely in the cloud. Imagine you have more than one party who needs to sign the same document? In the Digidoc Client’s case it would mean download and e-mail, download and e-mail etc. etc. SignWise version = time-effective and convenient.
        Regarding the information sharing with a third party – if you need your document to be digitally signed by someone else, you will have to upload it somewhere anyway – your mail client and the recipient’s is also a third party and not a secure way to transfer documents by the way.
        The security risk is way lower when the file is stored at one place, in the encrypted cloud. Plus by sending it by e-mail, there is no authentication phase and guarantee that a non-intended party might not open the document (say somebody’s assistant or secretary etc). In the SignWise portal to access the document, one always needs to authenticate themselves.

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  2. Congratulations! Do you happen to know if there is any particular restrictions against citizens of certain countries to apply for this or is it open to people from all countries?

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    • Yes, and I expect presents. Preferably anything to do with Batman. All kidding aside, birthday is no issue for me, and are likely to be publicly available (with enough digging) about everyone. I imagine there are people who don’t want this info as readily available (my mom is one of them, haha). We’ll see how that plays out over time.

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