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Responsible for the service Digital and Population Data Services Agency

Citizen Certificate

  • Service
  • Nationwide
  • Public service

The Citizen Certificate on the ID card can be used to identify a person reliably when they are using electronic services. In Finland ID cards are issued by the police and abroad by Finnish consulates. The Citizen Certificate stored on an ID card allows people to

  • identify themselves electronically, for example, when accessing the e-services of the authorities (My Kanta, the e-services of TE Services or Tax Administration)
  • encrypt emails
  • encrypt documents
  • create an electronic signature.

For the Certificate to be used for e-services it first has to be activated. If your intention is to use the ID card only as a personal identification and travel document, you do not need to activate the certificate.

In addition to the ID card, you will also need computer, card reader, card reader software and personal PIN codes to use the Citizen Certificate to access services. You will create your personal PIN codes yourself when you activate the Certificate. To activate the certificate, you need an activation PIN, which you will receive in a separate letter within two weeks.

Do the following

1) Apply for an ID card. You can apply to the police or a Finnish consulate abroad for an ID card.

You can make your application to the police as an e-service or by paying a personal visit to a police permit service point.

  • Strong electronic authentication is needed to access e-services.
  • The applicant’s identity is checked when a personal visit is paid by means of a valid passport or identity card. If you do not have either of these, a recently expired passport or identity card is acceptable unless you are told otherwise.

You can apply for an ID card abroad by paying a personal visit to a Finnish consulate that issues the cards. Further information is available from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs web page.

The ID card will be sent to a pick-up point you choose yourself. To pick up your identity card, you need to present a valid passport or identity card and a tracking number that you’ll receive in a notification.

2) Activate the Citizen Certificate. To activate the certificate on the card you need

  • an activation PIN
  • a computer
  • a card reader
  • card reader software.

The activation PIN will arrive in the post. If your computer still does not have card reader software, install it from our website before activation.

When you activate the card, you will create two personal PINs of your choice.

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 be between 4 and 8 digits long.

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 can be between 6 and 8 digits long.

4. Activation is complete.

This is how you use the PIN/access codes in future:

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. Store also your activation PIN for later use! You will need it, if you forget your PIN codes or if they get locked.

To whom and on what terms

A Citizen Certificate may only be issued to a Finnish national or a foreign national who is resident in a Finnish municipality as referred to in the Act on the Municipality of Residence, whose details are stored in the Population Information System and whose identity has been reliably established. The foreign national must also either hold a valid residence permit or card or his/her right of residence must have been registered.

A fee is charged for the service.

The Citizen Certificate is included in the price of the ID card. ID card prices are available in the list of prices for the services provided by the Police.

Basic information

The service is provided byDigital and Population Data Services Agency
Responsible for the serviceDigital and Population Data Services Agency
Area Whole Finland
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English
Text edited by: Digital and Population Data Services Agency
Updated: 4/16/2020