The internet has terabytes of things which can waste your time, thanks for continuing to incorporate my blog into your list. One of the most talked-about features of e-Residency has been signing documents. I’ve already looked at doing this offline via ID-kaardi software and emailing/sharing. Also, the e-Estonia site doesn’t have a feature for this today. So, in this post I’ll discuss two other ways I’ve looked at. I’ll also make terrible jokes and rant on until you’ve stopped reading! But let’s start.
I’m giving away State secrets:
Turns out there’s a portal which Estonians use with their digital ID cards as citizens. This portal isn’t being advertised for us e-Residents yet, because some of the services are only for citizens. Also, there’s a big update coming to it sometime in 2015 – well that’s the word on the street, but you didn’t hear it from me. So I wouldn’t recommend using it yet. But for the brave folks of the internet, the url is very shockingly original: eesti.ee . For the record, the domain http://www.america.com is parked / for sale by GoDaddy.
My First Login to eesti.ee:
I went to eesti.ee and switched the site to English, since my Estonian language skills haven’t changed much since last week. Then I clicked “Enter” and a small popup appeared with my certificate info (looks like it read it from the ID card, since this was still plugged in). I entered my PIN1 and clicked ok. I was prompted with the “Order Notifications at the State Portal!” box, saying that email must be forwarded from my eesti.ee email address to my real email. So it wanted me to setup this mail forwarding thing again.
Very shortly after I got an email in my inbox from “State Portal eesti.ee” saying that the forwarding was working successfully. In my particular case, there’s a bug with the setup of my email, and some nice people are working on it. But for now, that became a dead end for signing and sending docs around through this portal.
I went to Signwise.ee – it automatically showed everything in English for me! I clicked “Register” and selected the “ID-card” option from the popup dialog box. I had to enable plugins for this site in Chrome (I have that disabled by default, because I’m a security freak). Anyway after I clicked register, the site said they didn’t have an account associated with my ID yet, so I clicked “Create new account”. Filling in the brief form was easy (and pretty). The only downside of this form was a dropdown menu which just had bunch of country codes – having the actual names of the countries listed in the dropdown would be easier to read. Still the account creation process was a snap, and I was already logged in. Uploading, signing, and sharing documents (notifies recepient via email) was also super easy. All operations, such as signing a document, were pretty much single-click. No complaints there!
Minor downside: Signwise is a paid service, so you’ll have to pay after a few signatures (which is fair, they need to make money too). Also, my first document must have had some problem. I couldn’t re-sign that document (which I’d already signed using ID-kaardi software), and old signatures from my friends (done outside of Signwise) did not appear. But documents after my first one were all ok. So, the moral of the story is, doublecheck your files when you upload them. Otherwise you’ll have to keep multiple copies of the document around to show proof of signatures.
Otherwise, Signwise works well and makes the signing and sharing of documents easier than anything else I’ve seen available so far. We’ll see if (after the remake of eesti.ee, or update of the e-estonia portal) signing documents online becomes available for e-Residents for free. Again, for now, the way to do it free is through ID-kaardi software + emailing. Next time, I’ll associate my Ühiskaart and talk about another State secret called “ernival”!