“Datová Schránka” in the Czech Republic is a personal databox.
It is like an email account with the added benefits of the being trusted for official email and equal to your personal signature in real life.
I’ll explain benefits and give a short overview of setup and usage.
The databox is run by the Czech Post (Česká pošta) and the Ministry of Interior (Ministerstvo vnitra České republiky). It is for free, costs absolutely nothing.
Here is why it is useful to you
- saves you most personal visits to government offices for filing documents
- saves you visits to some other offices
- saves you the time to pick up government sign-in letters from the post office (because they e.g. attempted delivery when you were at work)
- the “e-mail sign up” can be used to log into the web services of other state services
More specific things you can do with it
- file taxes without going to the tax office
- file social insurance report without going to their office
- file health insurance report without going to their office
- access your personal correspondence with the tax office
- look into the balance of your tax accounts (you can see if you over- or underpaid)
- As an AirBnB host: register apartments and file tourist tax reports without getting up from your chair
- As an AirBnB host: sign up for EET and the foreign police without going anywhere
- receive a parking ticket reminder 🙂
- submit documents to the land registry
You do not actually have to sign documents that you sent by databox because it counts as signed by the sender.
Downsides and liabilites
When you receive e.g. an official document through this box it will count as delivered after some days. Hence you better log in to check what has arrived.
This is the same as when you receive a sign-in letter by post and don’t open it.
How to set it up and who can use it
Pretty much everybody can use it.
In case you founded an s.r.o. company you don’t need to anything and receive access data within about 20 days after incorporation.
If you are a sole entrepreneur (OSVC / živnostenský list) or a private person:
- go to any post office and queue at the “Czech Point” (blue sign).
- Take your ID/passport and any kind of residence permit if applicable.
- Ask for creating a databox
- Fill the form they give you and hand it in
- Wait for the sign-in letter that contains your access data, takes 10-20 days
How to use the databox
For sending or checking inbox login https://www.mojedatovaschranka.cz/ with the data you received by post. Mind that there is a difference between the login (“Uživatelské jméno”) and your databox address.
At first and in regular intervals you have to set a new password which must satisfy some security rules. Hence don’t expect “test” to work as a password.
You can find recipient databox addresses usually on websites of potential recipients but can also use the integrated search. The addresses look like e.g. “2p2n5ad“. I usually ask Google e.g. “financni urad praha 1 datova schranka”.
Always fill the subject and if you know a person or department whom to address then write them in the specified field.
There is only 1 databox per goverment institution. Hence if you want to send e.g. your rental contract to the Ministry of Interour and ensure it’ll arrive fast at your contact then mention that person. It may take a bit longer otherwise.
Why is nobody using it?
I’ve asked my Czech flatmates and 2 other Czech entrepreneurs and they didn’t really seem to know how exactly it works and more or less thought it is only for corporations.
Hence I don’t know. Costs nothing and saves time. I got myself sitting the wait room at VZP in a looooong queue when I saw their databox number, stupid. Maybe waiting in government offices and taking time off for that got a habit that is deeply rooted in modern homo sapiens.
- Info about who can get databox (in Czech): https://www.datoveschranky.info/vite-ze
- Official forms for registration (in Czech) if you want to fill them at home: https://www.datoveschranky.info/ke-stazeni
Are there people who would appreciate an actual walk-through manual of the user interface in English? Please write in the comment if so, I’ll expand the article then.
Disclaimer: I AM NOT A LAWYER NOR ANY KIND OF LEGAL ADVISOR. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. NO GUARANTEE ON ANYTHING HERE.