To apply for a Smartcard you must have a valid practising certificate, either a restricted or full one. If you are unsure of your practising certificate status, then please contact the Member Registration Team.
You can access the form after you sign in to your Law Society account with your personal credentials. Go to "Smartcard" in the web menu, and from here tp "Smartcard submission."
Carefully check the name you are entering on the form.
You need to ensure it is the name you wish to practise under. There are strict rules on how your name may appear on the card. If you are registered with the Law Society under your first name, but practise under your middle name, then we can put your first, middle, and last name on the card. We cannot, however, put just your middle name and last name on the card, as this is not your legal name per your legal documentation. Because you are obtaining a digital signature on your card, the name you enter here needs to be the same as the one in your ID documentation. If you have changed your name through a deed poll, marriage or divorce, then please contact the Member Registration Team with evidence of your name change, so they can amend our records.
Please indicate on the form that you would like your digital signature included. The process of obtaining a Smartcard with a signature differs slightly from receiving your ID-only card, due to security features on the card itself.
You also need to upload a portrait photograph.
This photograph will be printed onto your Smartcard, therefore it needs to be of a certain quality. We will check your uploaded photo when it arrives, and if it is is not fit for purpose, you will have to submit your form and photo again. Also please note that this should be a photo that you would not be embarrassed to show to colleagues and clients. We will not print multiple cards if you are unhappy with the image that you sent us. The images will be updated about six years after you receive your first Smartcard, so if yours is unflattering, you will have to wait for the next round to get a new card.
The image must be a jpg/jpeg file and should be 300 x 400 pixels in size and no bigger than 500 KB. The filename must be your 5-digit Law Society ID number - this will enable us to match the right photo to the right person when preparing a card. You received this number when you first registered with us; it is unique to you and is noted on your practising certificate. (upper right hand corner)
Please ensure your photograph fulfills the following criteria:
- It is a true likeness of you, and of your full head.
- It is in colour against a white/cream/light background.
- It is clear, in sharp focus, has no red eye or shadow.
- It must show a close-up of your full head and shoulder and not include any objects or other people.
Your photograph must be an original image. Please do not use images that have been cut from larger photos.
When selecting the image, please make sure that you:
- Face forward and look straight into the camera with your eyes open.
- Look natural.
- Have nothing covering your eyes, e.g. hair, hair accessories, hoods, hats, etc.
- Not wear sun or tinted glasses.
- Not wear a hat or cover your head unless for medical or religious reasons.
- Do not alter the image in any way by retouching it, applying filters or using similar means.
Photographs originally produced to passport requirements are acceptable.
While we do accept selfies, they still need to conform to the above criteria. Please ensure that you do not alter the image with filters, mirroring, or any other manipulation.
When you have checked and confirmed the information and attached your photograph, click the "submit" button.
We will send you a confirmation email saying that we received your application. We will also check the attached image to determine whether or not it is suitable to be printed onto the Smartcard.
If you would like a Smartcard with QES, you must collect your card in person. There are no exceptions to this rule. Since the signature is a qualified digital signature, the most secure and trustworthy form of electronic signatures, certain steps need to be taken to fulfill the legal requirements when issuing it. Book your appointment now.
When you book your attendance for any of these events, you will also be required to pay the first year's signature fee. Subsequent payments are due on the anniversary of issue of the signature.
- Please bring identity documents to collect your card
- We will ask you to sign a contract
- We will ask you to create and enter two codes to complete the set up of the card which only you will know (PIN and PUK codes - see below)
As a safety feature, your digital signature can only be accessed with your PIN. Much like a bank card, you must enter your PIN before you can sign or do anything else electronic with the card. It must be six digits (letters, numbers or a combination of the two) without any special characters.
Additionally, you will also be asked to create a PUK. The PUK must be eight digits (letters, numbers or a combination of the two) without any special characters. The PUK can be used to unlock your card should you forget your PIN code. It can also be used to reset your passcodes should you so desire.
Because the PIN and PUK are only stored on your Smartcard, we have no access to these numbers and we cannot reset them. If you should forget your PIN or PUK, then the card is useless for signatures and can only be used as ID. Getting a new card with a digital signature requires you to go through the collection process again.
The entire process takes about five to 10 minutes and you will leave the venue with a functioning Smartcard.
Now that you’ve obtained your Smartcard with QES, it’s time to use it. Please visit our installation page for instructions on downloading the necessary materials to use the digital signature on your card. You will also find guide material on how to apply a secure digital signature to your documents.