Handy signature in Austria ends on December 6, 2023

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Signing referendums, gaining access to the Elga health record, and beginning with Finanz-Online are all options. The cell phone signature has been the secure entry into the digital world of public authorities since 2009. But after 14 years, this will come to an end on December 5. ID Austria is following suit. Time to switch.

Why do I need an ID from Austria? The app (free for iOS and Android) can be used to complete numerous official procedures in Austria directly from your cell phone. These include changes in the Central Register of Residents (ZMR) after a move. However, documents can still be signed, as is already the case with cell phone signatures. The voting card can now be ordered directly through ID Austria, and the passport can also be stored digitally. There is also the eAusweise app. It will gradually be possible to store every official document here as a digital copy. These are currently the driver’s licence and the student ID card, with more to come. The app is currently only valid in Austria, but it will be possible to use it for checks or border crossings across the EU beginning in 2026.

A smartphone with a fingerprint sensor or facial unlocking is a prerequisite. After all, it involves sensitive personal data, and strict data protection guidelines are in place to prevent misuse. Or to prevent identity theft in the event of theft.

Many paths lead to ID Austria
The cell phone signature can be used as usual until December 5. However, it is advisable to switch earlier. There is always the possibility of server problems on the last day. Switching to the basic version is easy for all who have set up their cell phone signature via Finanz-Online. Install the app on your cell phone, confirm with your existing cell phone signature, and you’re done. However, anyone who would now also like to have the eID cards on their device must go to a registration office. This also applies to all those who have set up their cell phone signature via the post office or A1. At oesterreich.gv.at/id-austria/regierungsbehoerden you can choose the nearest office and make an appointment online. You should have a photo ID with you on this day, ideally your passport or identity card. Then, of course, the cell phone on which the apps are installed and a current passport photo. You will then be given activation and revocation codes in exchange. The setup can then be completed at home. However, the Austrian authorities do not make it all that easy. After all, a second internet-enabled device (the partner’s computer or smartphone) is required to be able to use the apps.
1.5 million Austrians have already made the switch. But not all of them already have the full version. This means that just under half of those with the cell phone signature are still missing. Switching to the full version is not as easy as installing any other app. But security comes first. After all, 400 offices and their employees will help with a smooth changeover.

  • source: diepresse.at/picture: oesterreich.gv.at
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