Assistance with our D-TRUST signature and seal cards

Do you have questions about our D-TRUST signature and seal cards? If so, let us know and we will be pleased to help you. Our FAQs may already have the answer to your question. Otherwise, feel free to call us from Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm, at the following number: +49 (0) 30 – 2598-0.

FAQs – Frequently asked questions regarding our D-TRUST signature and seal cards

The answers to questions frequently asked by customers can be found here.

Card orders

As required by law, the person ordering a signature and seal card must always be identified in person. This requirement is laid down in the eIDAS regulation for qualified trust services. It means that the applicant must present an ID card or passport that is valid for at least another four weeks.

Note: In the case of seal cards, the application can only be submitted by an authorized signatory of the organization.

When submitting an application, you have the following options:

  • PostIdent method: You can fill out your application documents and go to a post office to have your identity confirmed using the PostIdent method. Get your application documents here!
  • Notarident method: You can fill out your application documents and go to a notary to have your identity confirmed. Get your application documents here!
  • IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce): More than 60 chambers of industry and commerce throughout Germany offer a member service for signature cards. These chambers will guide you through the application procedure and you will be identified at the same time. You can find an overview of the participating chambers of industry and commerce here.
  • D-TRUST registration authorities: Customers who have a high demand for signature and seal cards can choose to identify staff and customers themselves using our service based on the WebRA and BehördenIdent methods. If your organization wishes to become a registration authority, please contact D‑TRUST Vertrieb (vertrieb [at]
  • D‑TRUST on site in Berlin: You can contact us by sending an e-mail to: service [at]

Is your D‑TRUST signature card due to expire? Order a follow-up card  here.

If you meet the following requirements, we can offer you a simplified application procedure:

  1. Your name has not changed in the meantime.
  2. No more than 180 days have passed since your old signature card expired.
  3. Your ID card, which you used to identify yourself for the predecessor card, is still valid for at least four weeks.

With our simplified application procedure, you do not have to identify yourself once again when applying for a follow-up card.

Follow-up cards are not available for seal cards.

Certificates for qualified signature cards are always issued to the applicant (natural person).

You can also have the name of the organization where you are employed included in the certificate. In this case, an authorized signatory of the organization must sign the ‘organization affiliation certificate’ for your application. This form for the organization affiliation certificate is generated during the application process and must be sent to D‑TRUST together with the application documents.

Note: Seal certificates always include the name of the organization. Only authorized signatories of an organization can apply for a qualified seal card.


Working together with more than 60 chambers of industry and commerce throughout Germany, D‑TRUST offers a member service for signature cards. These chambers will guide you through the application procedure and you will be identified at the same time. You can find an overview of the participating chambers of industry and commerce here.

A fact sheet that also explains the procurement and use of signature cards specifically for experts who participate in electronic legal communications with courts can be found at the following link: 

Click the following link for more detailed FAQs regarding the IHK expert card:

D-TRUST has a special application website for publicly appointed and sworn experts  for the crafts sector. Please use this website to order your signature card.

SMS/TAN method

If you have not yet requested a signature or seal card, you can enter your mobile phone number as part of your first-time application. This number will be stored at D‑TRUST exclusively for this purpose so that it can be used for the SMS/TAN method.

If you already have an activated signature or seal card, you can also register your mobile number later. To do this, you will need the registration secret that we already sent by post to the registered address for your signature card. Apply for your registration secret here.

If you submitted a mobile phone number for a new or existing card during the application process or during subsequent registration for an initialized card, we can offer you the following options:

Electronic activation
This speeds up the activation process significantly because neither the confirmation of receipt has to be returned nor the manual check carried out. The card is usually activated within 30 minutes. Due to system requirements, this can take up to 24 hours in some cases. You will in any case receive e-mail confirmation and you can then begin using your signature card straight away.

  • Electronic revocation
    It is easy to quickly revoke your signature or seal card if it is lost or if you suspect misuse.
    Go to the revocation portal.
  • Online application for a follow-up card (instead of the order password)
    The SMS/TAN method is an alternative digital procedure to the postal procedure. This is a fast way to request a follow-up card.
    In addition to the online application procedure with SMS/TAN, you can also request an order password that you can use to order a follow-up card online. After requesting the order password, we will generate it and send it to you by post.
  • Online complaint regarding a card/replacement card:
    When a complaint is submitted online for a signature or seal card using the SMS/TAN method, your application data will be displayed so that you do not have to enter your data again. Replacement cards are applied for in the same way.
    Alternatively, you can request a replacement card from D‑TRUST by completing a new application.

Below is a list of some of the applications that currently support qualified electronic signatures:

  • Electronic application for certificates of origin from the chambers of industry and commerce (IHK)
  • Online handling of public calls for tender/federal government’s e-Vergabe platform
  • Construction tendering platform, AVA-Online in Bavaria
  • Construction tendering platform, AVA-Online in Berlin
  • Subreport tendering platform (ELViS Login)
  • Vergabe24 public calls for tender
  • Baden-Württemberg logistics center:
  • Bremen tendering platform
  • NRW contract awarding marketplace
  • Public and private construction calls for tender via bi-online
  • Electronic mailbox for courts and public administrations
  • Emissions trading
  • Online pension account query
  • Legally effective registration of intellectual property rights with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office
  • Electronic waste notification system with Zedal
  • Qualified electronic signature for files with secrypt digiSeal software
  • Electronic waste notification system with eANVportal

Card initialisation and installation

For security reasons, you have to enter the correct transport PIN to activate your signature or seal card. During the initialization process, you can enter your own signature PIN which you can use to attach your qualified electronic signature to documents.

You will also receive a card PIN that allows you to use the advanced certificate stored on your card for encryption and authentication.

We will provide you with these PIN codes for your certificates in a PIN letter that is sent separately from the card. Please observe the brief instructions for this:

  • PDF: Initialization of your D‑TRUST card
  • PDF: Initialization of your D‑TRUST seal card
  • Video tutorial on initialization: The video explains step by step how to initialize your D‑TRUST signature or seal card.

We store certificates in our repository in order to be able to verify them. This means that you must confirm that you have received the card and the PIN letter. You can do this using the SMS/TAN method or you can sign the attached confirmation of receipt and return this to D‑TRUST.

Only after D-TRUST has received your confirmation will your card be activated in the repository service so that you can generate valid signatures.

Revocation of signature and seal cards

If you have lost your signature or seal card or if it has fallen into the wrong hands, you are obliged to immediately revoke your certificates. Information concerning revocation can be found here.

Pursuant to the eIDAS regulation, a trust service provider (D‑TRUST) must immediately revoke a qualified certificate if

  • this is demanded either by a signature key holder or their representative (third party authorized to revoke).
  • the certificate was issued on the basis of incorrect data.
  • the trust service provider discontinues its activities and if such activities are not continued by another trust service provider.
  • the certificate holder (you) fails to fulfil their contractual obligations.
  • other reasons for revocation were laid down in agreements.

As soon as you no longer need your signature or seal card, you can have it revoked or destroy it yourself – for instance, using a punch – in order to destroy the chip. Please remember that you will need precisely this card and the pertinent keys and PINs to once again decrypt any data that was encrypted using this card. Therefore, if you still need the card to decrypt data, you should keep it in a safe and secure place.

General questions

In order to use your signature or seal card, you will need a card reader and additional software, depending on the application you wish to use. You can purchase suitable card readers, middleware or signature software from Reiner SCT in the store for Bundesdruckerei customers.

Certain applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes or Firefox, do not communicate directly with the reader and require middleware (for instance, Nexus Personal).

Unlike the standard signature card, the multi-sign card can be used to perform several signing processes by entering the PIN just once.

D-TRUST’s Multicard is used in secure environments, for instance, in a server room. If you need a multi-sign card for your office, please use D‑TRUST’s Multicard 100. In all cases, special licensed signature software is required to use a multi-sign card.

Unlike a signature card, the certificates of a seal card are issued to a legal entity (e.g. a public authority or organization). Since no natural person is named in the seal card certificate, a seal card can be used by all authorized employees. Seal cards are always used when a stamp or confirmation by an organization is required (e.g. certificates, notices, etc.).

You can find below a list of signature software from various manufacturers that you can use with our signature cards.

You can have a pseudonym in your certificate. This will then appear in the certificate instead of your name. This is indicated by the suffix ‘:PN’.

A fee is charged for each pseudonym which can be assigned just once.

Pseudonyms requested for D‑TRUST standard cards or for a D‑TRUST MultiCard100 are generally assigned by D‑TRUST.

A chosen pseudonym that, for instance, refers to the company name or describes the purpose of the signature card, can be entered in the application in conjunction with a D‑TRUST Multicard. If the pseudonym selected already exists, we will have to reject or number your selected pseudonym.

It makes sense to enter a pseudonym, for instance, when multi-sign cards are used for electronic invoice management.

Note: Many eGovernment applications cannot be used if the certificate contains a pseudonym. Pseudonyms are generally not used on seal cards.

No, a signature card that has been issued to a natural person may only be used by this person. All legally binding declarations made in this way are always deemed to be made by the owner of the certificate, no matter who actually used the signature card. Therefore, you should always take particularly good care of your signature card, store it in safe place and never disclose your personal PIN. If you suspect that your card has been misused, pleased have it revoked.

Note: A D‑TRUST seal card that has been issued to a legal entity can be used by several authorized individuals.

You can purchase additional products for your signature or seal card, for instance, readers, in the shop for Bundesdruckerei customers at Reiner SCT.

Have you already sent us all the necessary documents by post? If not, we will not be able to start production of your card. During production, your signature or seal card passes through various processes: from checking the documents for completeness to certificate creation.

Please note that due to a huge increase in the number of requests and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, there are currently delays in deliveries of signature and seal cards. We apologize for this and ask that you order all signature and seal cards with a longer lead time.

You can check the processing status of your card online at D‑Trust GmbH. To do this, go to the status query and enter your individual request ID there, which you will find at the top right of the request form.

If you would like to view the processing status of your follow-up card, please use the status query for follow-up cards.

For security reasons your PIN letter will be sent to you two days after the signature or seal card was sent.

You will receive an e‑mail from us in time stating that your signature or seal card is due to expire.

You can now request a follow-up card for your signature card. Please submit your follow-up card request here.

If you meet the following requirements, we can offer you a simplified application procedure:

  1. Your name has not changed in the meantime.
  2. No more than 180 days have passed since your old signature card expired.
  3. Your ID card, which you used to identify yourself for the predecessor card, is still valid for at least four weeks.

With our simplified application procedure, you do not have to identify yourself once again when requesting a follow-up card.

Follow-up cards are not available for seal cards.


BehördenIdent can be used to provide employees of a public authority with signature and seal cards. Requests for cards can be submitted in a simplified application procedure that includes the legally required identification of the applicant. The procedure is available to all federal, federal-state and local authorities.

Certain entries, such as occupational attributes or organizational data specific to an authority, can be pre‑set in the application pages. Applicants also benefit from the fact that they are identified directly on site by identification staff from their own authority and do not have to identify themselves using the PostIdent procedure, for example.

In order to use the BehördenIdent procedure, a contract must be concluded with D‑TRUST. This can also be carried out by a higher‑level authority. As soon as the contract is in place, lower‑level authorities can be included in this contract as so-called Ident units.

The contracting partner must name a manager to D-TRUST who is then responsible for the BehördenIdent units. This manager can then appoint employees as identification officers authorized to issue seals.

Public authority seals and specimen signatures must be deposited with D‑TRUST in order to verify applications.

Every authority in Germany (at federal, federal-state and municipal level) can use BehördenIdent to help their employees to apply for signature and seal cards. The procedure is attractive for all authorities

  • looking to equip many employees with signature cards because this is required for new administrative procedures,
  • who wish to make it as easy as possible for their employees to apply for signature cards by guiding them through the application process and providing the necessary identification directly on site. Senior representatives of public authorities, in particular, can now be conveniently provided with a signature card. 

A seal custodian is a civil servant authorized to use the official seal on behalf of the respective public authority.

Please contact our sales department and send an e-mail to: vertrieb [at] Our colleagues will be pleased to explain the procedure, discuss your requirements and, if you wish, prepare an individual offer and the relevant contract documents for you.

Please report the loss of a card to D‑TRUST immediately. The same applies if you suspect card misuse. In cases like these, you should have the card revoked immediately. After that, all the signatures generated with this card will be classified as invalid.

Revocation can be requested in writing or online via the customer portal ( For organizational purposes, a person authorized to revoke the card is appointed for each card and D‑TRUST then provides this person with a revocation password.

D‑TRUST offers the following products in conjunction with BehördenIdent:

  • Single signature cards
  • Batch signature cards for up to 100 signature processes
  • Multi-signature cards
  • Single seal cards
  • Multi-seal Cards

Information about the organization (issuing authority) or professional attributes can be automatically stored for the applicant. When you use the BehördenIdent process, there is no need to check the data in individual cases, since the organization’s details have already been checked and stored centrally at D‑TRUST when the BehördenIdent contract was concluded.

No. With BehördenIdent, all of a public authority’s applicants are identified on site by the respective designated seal custodians who send the identification data together with the application directly to D‑TRUST. Prior to this, a check is also carried out to ensure that the necessary documents are complete.

All applicants must be employees of the respective authority that is registered as an Ident unit with D‑TRUST. Identification of non-agency applicants is not possible in this process. Applicants must always present a valid identification document (ID card or passport) to the identification officer.

The cards ordered can be sent directly to the applicant by registered mail. Alternatively, the cards can be sent centrally to the seal custodian who can then issue them to the applicants.

For security reasons, the PIN letters are always sent directly to applicants.

Initialization of your D-TRUST Card

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