Digital company stamp and public authority seal
Electronic seals ensure the authenticity of digital documents. Legal entities, such as companies and public authorities, use the electronic seal to prove that they sent a document and that it has not been tampered with. D‑Trust, a company of the Bundesdruckerei Group, offers two solutions for this purpose: the qualified seal card and the advanced digital seal. The latter is based on a qualified certificate that can be used without hardware or middleware.
Your advantages at a glance
- Legally binding – They prove the origin and integrity of documents
- Effective – Electronic business processes that require no change in media
- Data security – Thanks to D-Trust, the qualified trust service provider of the Bundesdruckerei Group
The qualified electronic seal closes a gap in digital communications. It brings public authority seals and company stamps into the digital age of the Internet in a form that is both legally binding and recognized throughout Europe. The seal solutions are created by D‑Trust, the qualified trust service provider of the Bundesdruckerei Group, in compliance with the eIDAS Regulation ([EU] 910/2014).
The qualified seal with a seal card
The qualified electronic seal is generated with a seal card. This digital seal, which is both legally secure and provides high evidential value according to the eIDAS Regulation, ensures the authenticity and integrity of electronic documents and proves that they come from a specific legal entity. The qualified electronic seal replaces company stamps or public authority seals and is particularly suitable for issuing documents in mass applications. These include, for instance, notarizations, certificates or electronic notices. However, it is also used in replacement scanning for electronic archives, electronic incoming mail or for registration in the EPREL database for energy labels.
The advanced seal with a digital certificate
A Qualified Seal ID makes sealing documents even easier and faster. Unlike a seal card, it is delivered as a digital certificate and requires no additional hardware or middleware. The Qualified Seal ID is an advanced seal for legal entities that securely proves the authenticity and integrity of documents. This means that organizations using a Qualified Seal ID now unambiguously identify themselves as the sender of a document. At the same time, the data is protected against any unnoticed changes.
The solution is based on a qualified digital certificate that is used to issue the advanced seals. Recipients of documents sealed in this way can verify the certificate data using third-party programs, such as PDF readers, by distributing the root certificate via the EU Trusted List (EUTL). The certificate is obtained via the Certificate Service Manager, a PKI platform managed by D‑Trust.
Advanced or qualified?
Both seal solutions from D‑Trust provide security when it comes to distributing and using electronic documents. Qualified electronic seals are required for certain procedures, e.g. in e-tendering or for replacement scanning in accordance with the ‘03138 Replacement Scanning (TR RESISCAN)’ technical guideline of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In the case of many other procedures without formal requirements, advanced electronic seals provide certainty for users and senders who are then free in their choice of seal solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
An electronic seal is the same as a digital stamp. When data is sent electronically, the sender is identified beyond a trace of doubt (authenticity) and the original state of the data sent is guaranteed (integrity). The electronic seal should not be confused with document encryption. The content of the signed file can still be read by anybody irrespective of the seal. The seal is designed to protect electronic documents against manipulation during transmission. It complements the qualified electronic signature, which replaces the handwritten signature in the digital space.
Digital seals replace a company stamp or a public authority seal. They are suitable for documents such as certificates, deeds or notices. Electronic seals can also be used for tenders and electronic invoices. Electronic seals are often essential when it comes to digitizing incoming mail or scanning archive material. The qualified seal is also required when registering companies in the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL database).
In the case of public authorities, electronic seals are usually applied for and used by the seal custodians. In the world of business, an authorized signatory must submit the application for an electronic seal. The applicant’s affiliation to the respective organization is then verified by the trust service provider before the certificate is issued. The certificate must always be renewed after its term has expired.
The qualified electronic seal is generated with a seal card. Recipients of documents sealed in this way can verify the certificate data using third-party programs, such as PDF readers, by distributing the root certificate via the EU Trusted List (EUTL). Unlike the seal card, the Qualified Seal ID works without a card reader, in other words, without any hardware or middleware.
Do you have questions about our electronic seals?
We will be pleased to advise you.