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How to use the mobile as an electronic DNI reader and what it is for

24 mayo, 2021

Biometric technology is increasingly integrated into mobiles, and not only to unlock the screen and allow access: currently we can identify ourselves in an app or web page using fingerprint, face recognition or iris scan. We can even access government documents, such as a driver’s license, over the phone. Or the DNI, that an Android mobile can read identity card data and serve as a secure authentication method.

The DNI allows the identification of the person just by showing it, but it also houses a electronic authentication certificate which is accessible through the chip built into the card. In addition, the most recent electronic DNIs include an NFC chip with the data that can be read by an Android mobile. And it is just what we are going to teach you: how to read that data and everything you can do with it.

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The mobile is also a reader of DNIs

Read Android ID

On the multidisciplinary path that has led the smartphone to become a Swiss technological tool, with the mobile we can do almost anything, too read the digital information contained in an electronic DNI. It is extremely simple to do since you only need the applications developed for this task; In addition to an essential element: you must have the most recent identity card, the model that includes an NFC chip, the so-called ‘DNI 3.0’.

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In the NFC chip of the electronic DNI, various personal information is stored that is accessible when bringing the phone closer to the identity card. Full name, place of birth, address, photograph and even the digitized signature. Now, reading the data is not as simple as bringing the mobile closer to the DNI since the process is a bit more cumbersome: in this way it is avoided that anyone can read the data of a DNI during an oversight by the owner of the card.

  • Download the application ‘Example DNIe Reading Data’. It is a secure app and it is developed by the State.
  • Open the application and click on ‘Read data’, at the bottom right.
  • Click on the ‘+’, where it says ‘Add new DNIe’.
  • Enter the ICAN number. It is the number that appears in the lower right corner of the identity card.
  • Activate the NFC of your mobile phone and bring it closer to the DNI. Locate the exact area to establish contact and also for data transmission: it usually takes several attempts to read the information.
  • The application will read the data and display it on the screen. Additionally, you can choose what data to show from the configuration options (if you want to read the photo field, the signature field …).

The data read will appear on the mobile screen for consultation and will be saved so that you can access them directly from the app, without having to read the card again. Now this is for information only, reading by NFC does not provide data that cannot be seen with the naked eye on the physical identity card (Nor can such data be shared). So, what can be done with the electronic ID and an Android mobile? Something very useful: we can identify ourselves in the administration services.

How to use the DNI and an Android for identification

Read Android ID

With the arrival of the first electronic DNI model, we were able to access the income statement, payment of taxes and consult personal information without the need to install certificates and directly from the computer: it was enough to have an electronic card reader connected and insert the DNI in said reader. This changes with the DNIe 3.0 since it is not necessary to use a card reader: just use NFC and an Android mobile.

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The administration has created an app so that we can identify ourselves on the web with an identity card and an Android mobile with NFC. For this you need an official application: ‘Panel access to the Administration, unique login DNIe’. Thanks to it, it is possible to safely access the Tax Agency, the DGT, the Social Security and a multitude of other official bodies.

Using the application is not too mysterious, but it is somewhat confusing given its outdated interface. It is used like this:

  • Open the app and choose the administration service you want to connect to.
  • Select from the menu what you will use the ID for.
  • Identification shift: click on ‘Add new DNIe’ and perform the steps we took to read the card data (entering the ICAN number, activating the NFC and reading the card).
  • The activation panel will upload the digital certificate through the connection and ask for the access PIN. It is the personal number that they gave you at the police station when you renewed your ID.
  • Once you identify yourself, you will access the administration service to carry out the consultations that you consider necessary.

These are the steps to identify yourself and access the administration services from your smartphone, but you may prefer to use a computer for these tasks. Well, you don’t need an electronic card reader since you can connect the mobile to the PC and use the phone’s NFC to authenticate through the DNIe. For this you need a third app: ‘DNIe reader for PC, using the mobile’.

Read Android ID

This application can be used with the mobile connected to the PC via USB or via WiFi. The process for identification is as follows:

Read Android ID
  • Once DNI Remote is installed on the PC, connect the mobile via USB or via WiFi. In the second case, you will only have to choose the option from the installer and scan the QR using the phone’s camera. Both devices must be on the same WiFi network.
  • Once the synchronization is established DNI Remote will download the digital certificate of the physical card to the computer and it will install it so that you can identify yourself on the web using the desktop browser: you only need to follow the process of entering the ICAN number and contacting the DNI using the mobile’s NFC.