Everything you need to know about eIDAS

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about the EU Regulation on electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS Regulation). The eIDAS Regulation ensures that you can use a national electronic identification (eID) scheme, such as DigiD, to access public services online in other countries within the European Economic Area (EEA).

What is eIDAS?

Government organisations in EEA countries usually identify people based on their passport, regardless of which country issued the passport. If you have an Italian passport, for example, you can use that as ID in the Netherlands. This is not always the case for electronic identification (eID), like DigiD. In many countries the only way to prove your identity digitally is by using an eID issued by that same country. Thanks to the eIDAS Regulation this is changing.

The eIDAS Regulation means that public sector organisations in EEA countries can allow people to access their online services using a national eID from another EEA country. Once a national electronic identification scheme has been recognised at European level, it can be used in other EEA countries.

For example, a Dutch national can use their DigiD to access public services online in France. Italians can use their SPID username and password to access public services online in the Netherlands, and vice versa.

Before you can use a national eID in other EEA countries the scheme must first be recognised at European level. To find out when you will be able to use your national eID abroad, contact the relevant government organisation in the EEA country that issued your eID.

How can I get an eIDAS username and password?

An eIDAS username and password as such does not exist. Instead, there are various national eID schemes. In the Netherlands the national eID is called DigiD. Once a national electronic identification scheme has been recognised at European level, it can be used in other EEA countries. This is set out in the EU’s eIDAS Regulation.

DigiD is a recognised form of eID, meaning it can be used to access public services online in other EEA countries.

Each country has its own procedure for applying for a national eID. EEA countries are free to decide who can use their national eID. In many cases, a national eID can only be used by citizens who were born in that country or who live and/or work there.

EEA countries are also free to decide if they want their national eID to be valid in other EEA countries.

When might I need to use my eID in another European country?

Sometimes you might want to access public services online in one EEA country using an eID from another EEA country. This is usually in one of the following two situations:

  1. You are a Dutch national who has an eID from another EEA country and you want to access public services in the Netherlands. For example: you are a Dutch national living in Spain and you want to use your Spanish eID to log in to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) website to view information about your AOW state pension. Note that EEA countries are free to decide whether you, as a foreign national, are entitled to an eID under their scheme.    
  2. You have a Dutch DigiD and want to access public services online in another EEA country.

Two conditions apply:

  1. It must be technically possible to access the services of the relevant public sector organisation online. If citizens of the EEA country in question themselves cannot access the organisation’s services online, the organisation does not have to offer this possibility for the citizens of other EEA countries.
  2. It must be at least 12 months since the eID scheme you want to use was recognised at European level. EEA countries have 12 months to adapt their technical systems to enable the use of a foreign eID.

eIDAS no longer applies to the UK

As of 1 January 2021, the provisions of eIDAS Regulation no longer apply to the United Kingdom. It is no longer possible to access public services in EEA countries with a British eID. Similarly, it is no longer possible to access public services in the UK with an eID from an EEA country. 

I don’t have a DigiD. What should I do?

If you are eligible, you can apply for a DigiD at DigiD.nl. If you are not eligible for a DigiD, you may be eligible for another EEA country’s eID. If you have any questions about this, contact the relevant organisation in the EEA country in question.