FAQ about the Mobile Phone Signature

General Questions

  • Are there any costs involved?
    The Mobile Phone Signature is completely free. This includes activation as well as use. Receiving the SMS with the TAN is also free (in country). While out of country, you will be charged the normal roaming charges from your mobile provider.
  • My certificate will expire soon. What should I do?

    Your certificate is valid for five years and must be renewed afterwards.

    If you have entered your e-mail address during your first activation, you will get an e-mail reminder for the online renewal procedure of your certificate 30 days before its expiration. Take the opportunity to extend your certificate within a few minutes. Please note that this option can only be used 30 days after getting the e-mail reminder.

    It is also possible, that you get a reminder to re-activate your certificate while using the mobile phone signature within 30 days before expiration. Please keep in mind that you might have less than 30 days left for the renewal of your certificate.

    If your certificate has already expired (after the period of 30 days), it will be necessary to newly activate your mobile phone signature as usual.

    In case you know the expiration date of your certificate (you can get the information in your Handy-Signatur Konto: https://www.handy-signatur.at/login) you will be able to renew your certificate online before getting the e-mail reminder or being reminded while using the mobile phone signature. Please use the following online service https://www.handy-signatur.at/mobile/verlaengerung.aspx.

  • Can I activate multiple mobile phones as Citizen Cards?
    Yes. You may activate as many mobile phone signatures as desired. If you are already holding a mobile phone signature, you can activate another one (on a further mobile phone) on your own. Please use the following online service https://www.handy-signatur.at/Aktivierung/Selbst/Handy/
  • Can I be registered with more than one electronic delivery service at the same time?
    Yes. In this case, the delivery service will be selected at random.
  • What is the minimum age for getting a Mobile Phone Signature? 
    The minimum age is 14 years.
  • Are only Austrian citizens allowed to get a Mobile Phone Signature?
    No. In order to obtain a Citizen Card, you must fulfil one of the following requirements:
    • You are registered in the Central Register of Residents (i.e., you are or have been a resident in Austria). For Austrians currently out of country: Your entry in the Central Register of Residents is only deleted after 30 years.
    • All others are able to be registered in the Supplementary Register for Natural Persons.
      Attention: For registration into the Supplementary Register for Other Interested Partiescontact the Source PIN Register Authority.
  • Does the Mobile Phone Signature work with my mobile phone model?
    Yes. The only requirement is to be able to receive text messages, which every mobile phone is able to do.
  • Can I add multiple e-mail addresses to the same certificate?
    Currently you cannot add multiple e-mail addresses upon e-card activation.
  • Can I use my own Mobile Phone Signature for my underage children?
    Yes. As long as you have the legal authority to sign for your children, you may use your own card for them.
  • Are legal persons also allowed to obtain a Citizen Card?
    No. However, natural persons (e.g., business owners) can register a mandate for a company on their own Citizen Card. – see mandates
  • Can I use my Citizen Card to sign for someone else (with a mandate)?
    It is possible to grant a mandate to another person using the Source PIN Register Authority. The mandate can subsequently be used to act for the other person in applications supporting the Mobile Phone Signature. Amongst others, the mandate is currently accepted by delivery service providers.
  • Which data are stored for the Mobil Phone Signature?
    The Mobil Phone Signature uses a qualified certificate and an Identity Link, with hold the following information:
    • The certificate includes:
      • Academic degree
      • First name, possibly second first name
      • Last Name
      • E-mail address (optional)
      • Date of birth for minors
    • The Identity Link includes:
      • First name, possibly second first name
      • Last name
      • Date of birth
      • Source PIN
    The high security infrastructure of the Mobil Phone Signature only stores these data for the Citizen-Card function.
  • How are data protected by the Mobil Phone Signature?

    The Mobil Phone Signature prevents central access to sensitive, personal data. Therefore, sophisticated cryptographic methods are in place. When using the Mobile Phone Signature, the various administrative sectors - such as construction and housing, health, agriculture, taxation, ... – are strictly separated from each other. This prevents, for example, the tax authorities to take insight into processes of the health sector. It also ensures that each administrative area may have access to data from their own area of responsibility only.

    More information

  • How can I sign a PDF-File with the Mobile Phone Signature?

    The Mobile Phone Signature allows legally secure electronic signing of documents such as contracts, receipts, cancellation notices or forms (in PDF format). These files can then be sent via e-mail. For instructions and more information visit the menu item Sign PDFs.

    Please note: The new PDF-based signature format PAdES does not require a Manifest ("M") any more. The Manifest is relevant for PDF signatures according to the PDF-AS format only. When verifying PAdES signatures, the Manifest field is therefore greyed out in the displayed result page (see screenshot below). This will change with the upcoming release of the signature-verification tool, which will omit the Manifest field at all. PDF documents signed according to PAdES are valid.

    Starting with the beginning of November 2014, PAdES will be gradually integrated into existing e-government components. This affects mainly PDF signing-software such as PDF-AS, PDF-Over, the Austrian Mobile Phone Signature, as well as the citizen card software (CCS) MOCCA/Online-BKU and a.sign client.

    Conversion to the new signature format is another step towards standardization, interoperability, and sustainability of signed documents and significantly facilitates their verification with tools such as Adobe Reader. Furthermore, Austria is well-prepared for the EU Regulation on trust services (eIDAS Regulation), which will be enforced in less than two years.

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