With the Identification Based Document Authentication (AVDH) service, you can easily and free of charge authenticate any electronic document, which in many cases can be a free alternative of electronic signatures.

In what do a document authenticated by AVDH and electronically signed match?

  • there is no need to print and sign each document by hand;
  • the document is authentic, genuine and provides credible proof that it has been authenticated by the signatory;
  • protection against subsequent amendments to the authenticated document is adequate.

In what are AVDH and electronic signatures different then?

An electronic signature usually requires an electronic signature certificate, which not all people have. They are assisted by the AVDH, because only electronic identification, i.e. electronic access portal is required to use AVDH.

While in the case of an electronic signature the document is actually signed by the signatory, in the case of AVDH, the signature is provided by the AVDH service provider (NISZ – National Infocommunications Service Company Ltd.). Nevertheless, a document issued with the AVDH is also a private deed with full probative value.

Through the AVDH, it is also possible for citizens who do not otherwise have an electronic signature to electronically authenticate and ‘sign’ documents, so they can also participate fully in electronic administration.

One of the issues in the application of the AVDH, which is currently not fully clarified, is whether it is exclusively for the citizen to be able to act electronically in his dealings with public bodies. From our point of view the answer is no and the case law also confirms that with the AVDH, even an executive officer can act as a firm on behalf of a company.

If a business is serious about using AVDH instead of paper-based signatures – even to rationalize its costs –, it is advisable to be aware of the associated options, case law and potential risks, as this is the only way to make a responsible decision to switch.