Several years have been passed since the approval and publication of the Law on Certificates, Digital Signatures and Electronic Documents (Law No. 8454). The following article explains the importance of this virtual mechanism and responds to the main questions of users when it comes to this topic.

What is a digital signature?

The digital signature is a technological tool that allows to associate the identity of a person with a message or electronic document to guarantee their authorship and integrity. It is important to clarify that the digital signature does not ensure the confidentiality of the message; a digitally signed document can be viewed by other people, however there are technical procedures that allow the creation and verification of digital signatures, ensuring the signer’s identity and the legitimacy of the document.

Scope of application

This Law applies to all types of transactions and legal acts, public or private, unless the nature or the requirements of the specific act or business, are incompatible with the law. As established in article 1.

What is DCFD?

The entity in charge of administering and supervising the certification system and where consumers should go to obtain legal assistance in the event of an incident, is the Directorate of Digital Signature Certifiers (DCFD), this position belongs to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Digital Signature Certification Directorate and their functions

The DCFD must receive, process and resolve the registration requests of the certifiers, besides keeping a registry of the digital certifiers and certificates. Additionally, it has the legal authority to suspend or revoke the registration of the certifiers and certificates, among other functions described in the Article 24 of Law No. 8454.

How can customers get the digital signature?

The DCFD has appointed duly authorized registration offices, to issue certificates of the SINPE Certifying Authority (CA SINPE – Physical Person) with their respective costs, business hours, location and telephone numbers for appointments.

To obtain the digital signature the user must follow the instructions below:

1. Call the registration office of convenience to make an appointment.

2. Be 15 minutes before the appointment with the most recent identification card (if you are a foreigner, you must present the recent residence card or passport)

3. Make the corresponding payment, which can be between 40 and 60 dollars depending on the certifying entity of choice. It also be determined if the user is the client or not, among other factors.

4. Define the card PIN that will be granted through your fingerprint.

5. Delivery of the card and the corresponding electronic reader by the selected bank.

6. Download the applications (APP) to receive technical support to configure the computer, so it can work correctly with the digital certificate.

What are the benefits of having a digital signature?

Thanks to this virtual mechanism, Costa Ricans will now be able to manage form a computer, any procedure allowed within the government system and have full security of the legitimacy of the document requested, since, in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 8454, the digital signature issued by a registered certifier authority has the legal equivalence of a handwritten signature.

Another benefit of this new system is the reduction of paper use, which decreases the excessive felling of trees, therefore, the use of the digital signature is considered friendly with the environment.

For more information about the digital signature you can send an email to infocr@lexincorp.com and we will gladly advise you.