Sign PDFs with Your 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. The e-mail can also be signed. However, in comparison to the signed document, it is still relatively unsecure and often not necessary.

Tools for PDF Signatures

Sign PDFs Online with Your Mobile Phone Signature

Select one of the following external providers for the creation of PDF signatures with your Mobile Phone Signature.

PrimeSign
  • Position signatures
  • Mobile Phone Signature and various smart cards
  • Manage signature folders online
  • Submit documents for signature via e-mail
  • Find detailed information at:
    www.prime-sign.com
Accessible positioning of PDF signatures
  • Accessible positioning of PDF signatures
  • Support for optional automatic positioning
  • Mobile Phone Signature and various smart cards
  • Support for various foreign cards from European countries
A-Trust
  • Position signatures
  • Support for Mobile Phone Signature
  • Support for invisible signatures
  • Send signed documents by e-mail
  • Find detailed information at:
    https://www.handy-signatur.at/hs2/

Verify Online

Verify signatures of electronically signed documents using the external tool listed below.

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.

RTR
This service is provided by the Rundfunk & Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH (RTR). By pressing the button "Verify signatures now", you will be redirected to the external RTR website.

PDF-Over

PDF-Over for Card and Mobile Phone Signature enables you to electronically sign PDF documents locally on your computer.

Download of Version 4.1.12 from Feb 07th 2017:
(approx. 15 MB, depending on the operating system)

Windows Windows Installer
MacOS MacOS DMG Image
All systems WindowsMacOSLinux Installation via JNLP file

System requirement: Java version 7 or higher.

Author: A-SIT, Terms of licence A-SIT

Additional Tools

Additional tools and methods to sign PDFs can be found here.

More Informationen on PDF Signatures

How do I Benefit from Signed PDFs?

Basically, signed PDFs take the place of anything you usually need to send via ordinary mail whether it's an official form or just plain text. E.g.: Insurance claims, mobile phone cancellation letters, bills, certificates, all types of contracts, notices to public authorities.

» Use Cases:

  • Send electronic bills
    Small companies can save time and money. Just download software offered on this Website, such as PDF-OVER, and start sending bills as signed PDFs. The recipient is only eligible for a tax deduction if the electronic bill is signed with an advanced signature (or transmitted via an EDI algorithm). Requirements for electronic bills are defined by an official regulation. Information related to legal bases is provided by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

    Note: The recipient must agree to receive bills in electronic form: VAT Law (UStG) § 11. (2): A bill sent electronically is still regarded as a bill, as long as the recipient agrees.
  • Send cancellation notices or contracts via e-mail
    Every company is obligated to accept signed PDFs as a declaration of intent (unless it is explicitly excluded in the company's General Terms and Conditions). Note: Although a signed PDF is "watertight", e-mails can still get lost in transit. Make sure to get a confirmation that the company received your e-mail.
  • Fill out the PDF form
    Unfortunately, most PDF forms can only be filled out using Adobe Reader, and not saved. However, you can do this with e.g. the free Foxit Reader. Save the completed form and sign it. Then just send it by e-mail.

How is the electronic Signature represented?

The electronic signature of PDF documents is represented with the so-called signature block. In the past this contained the following information:

Illustration: Signature block until November 2014

Old Signature block

Starting from version 4.0 of the Signature software PDF-AS and/or PDF Over 4.1 this Signature block consists of fewer components:

  • Signature value (Signaturwert) --> not possible
  • Method, parameter (Methode, Parameter) --> not possible
  • Exhibitor certificate, serial no. (Aussteller-Zertifikat, Serien-Nr.) --> not necessary

Starting from November 2014 the same is valid also for Signatures, which are provided with the online Signature tool (PrimeSign).

Illustration: Signature block based on the Signature format PAdES

New Signature block

How Can I Verify the Signature?

A signature verification check is the only way to make sure that a PDF was really signed. This is even more essential with important documents. Here's how to verify a signature:

  • Online verification service:
  • Local alternative Adobe Reader (with a.sign PDF, hotPDFsign/hotPDFverify, or trustDesk professional installed):
    • Click on the menu Show Navigation Pane > Signatures and then on the Verify All button.
    • If nothing appears, be sure to get into contact with the sender. It could turn out to be a separate PKCS#7 signature. With this type of signature, there will be a separate file with a .p7s extension. In this case, verifying the signature is only possible using special applications.
  • More information regarding different types of PDF signatures
    All signature types are based on the PKCS#7 standard. Three different signatures have been developed on the basis of this standard:
    • Adobe signature: The actual signature is saved in a special invisible area of the PDF file (called the Signature Dictionary in the Incremental Update Block). The signature is displayed in a special signature window in Adobe Reader.
    • PDF-AS: This signature is saved in a signature block and is shown normally along with the rest of the document. There is no additional invisible signature area.
    • Signature in separate .p7s file: The signature is saved in a separate file with the .p7s file extension. The PDF itself does not contain any references to the signature.

Do I Have to Accept a Signed PDF?

Short answer: Unless not explicitly excluded, yes.

Long answer: A qualified electronic signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature (Art 25 (2) eIDAS-Regulation) and meets the legal requirement for the written form in accordance with § 886 of the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB) (§ 4 (1) SVG). Other statutory or contractual form requirements, particularly those entailing involvement of a notary or lawyer, are not affected. A businessperson may not rely on the effectiveness of a document with a qualified electronic signature being excluded in respect of a particular consumer unless this has been individually negotiated.

Legal Basis

Art 25 eIDAS-Regulation and Signature and Trust Services Act (SVG) § 4 (1), § 886 of the civil code (ABGB), if no other law prohibits its use or other terms have been agreed to.

neue Darstellung Signaturblock

Signature Standards

There are two competing standards for signing PDFs.

» PDF-AS Signatures (PAdES)

The EGIZ tool PDF-AS and the tool PDF-OVER provided by A-SIT support the European signature standard “PAdES” since 2014.

An older PDF-AS specification by EGIZ is just mentioned for completeness (AS comes from the German word Amtssignatur, meaning official signature. Now all Citizen Card and Mobile Phone Signature users can sign using PDF-AS, since the migration to PAdES following this European standard).

  • Note

    PDF-OVER and PDF-AS are designed to work with PDF documents that have simple structures. With more complex documents, the signature view function may have problems with the positioning of the signature. In this case the signer must make sure that no ambiguities can arise by using other display elements in front of the signature (such as Acrobat Reader) and that potential recipients have access to the applicable visualisation platform.

  • Background Information

    PDF-OVER and PDF-AS are designed to work with PDF documents that have simple structures. With more complex documents, the signature view function may have problems with the positioning of the signature. In this case the signer must make sure that no ambiguities can arise by using other display elements in front of the signature (such as Acrobat Reader) and that potential recipients have access to the applicable visualisation platform.

  • Advantages
    • Signature can be created online
    • Supports the Citizen Card's and Mobile Phone Signature’s ECDSA
    • Signature can be verified directly in Adobe Reader (for mobile phone signature or e-card since Acrobat 11)
      Note: The examination oft he signature-certificate on its validity depends on it.
    • Signature can be verified online
    • Qualified electronic signatures as per Austrian Electronic Signature Act (SigG)
    • Can also be used with mobile phone signature with PDF-OVER
  • Disadvantages
    • For PAdES (since end 2014): none
    • Just for the previous format PDF_AS (which has been replaces by PAdES in 2014): Signatures cannot be verified in Adobe Reader (PAdES with ECDSA can be verified since Acrobat 11)

Software for PDF-AS Signatures

» Adobe Signatures

The specification is developed by Adobe (creator of the PDF format).

  • Background Information
    Why do I need a plug-in?
    Two reasons:
    • A-Trust - root certificate is not integrated into Adobe Acrobat.
    • Adobe does not support ECDSAencryption, which is used by the Citizen Card (i.e. no qualified signature). That is also the technical reason why the signature can't be integrated into Adobe's Sign Menu.

    Adobe signatures are always binary (i.e. the file is signed just the way it is on the hard drive). Adobe signatures are not shown in the document. They are saved in a Signature Dictionary, which is part of the Incremental Update Block.

  • Advantages
    • Signature can be verified directly in Adobe Reader
    • Signature can be verified online
    • Qualified electronic signature as per Austrian Electronic Signature Act (SigG)
  • Disadvantages
    • Older standards and Acrobat Versions (before Acrobat 11) did not yet support the ECDSA algorithm, which is used by the Citizen Card and the mobile phone signature.

Software for Adobe Signatures