Signer name parsing rules for the QES level


Please note that we use both "given name" and of "first name" in this note. The given name refers to the element present in legal documents, while the first name refers to the API payload attribute for Signers.

The identity verification of QES Signers relies on a matching between the declared Signer identity (first and last names provided in the Signature Request API payload) and the extracted identity from the Signer identity document (given and last names displayed on the identity document).

Performing this match is not always straightforward because of national specificities and the wide range of possible formats for names. This process can be facilitated during your API integration process by pre-parsing Signer names according to the guidelines outlined below. Implementing these guidelines will improve the overall success rate for the identification of your Signers.

If your Signers meet identification issues even after following these guidelines, please refer to the Signer identification errors page.

Parsing of characters

  • First and last names can be provided either in lowercase or uppercase formats.
  • Latin special characters (à, é, ç…) can also be written in their normalized form (a, e, c…). Whenever such characters are extracted from an identity document, transliteration is performed based on ICAO specifications (Document 9303 Part 3).
  • Hyphens (-) can be converted to spaces. Thus, a given name or a last name can be declared with a space instead of a hyphen.
  • Apostrophes (N’O) can be converted to spaces (N O). Thus, a given name or a last name can be declared with a space instead of an apostrophe.
  • When handling Signers with identity documents displaying given and last names written in Latin and other alphabets (Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese,…), the Latin version must be used. In the example below, "OBRAZETS" and "TESTER" should be used as first and last names.
  • Note that as a result of this parsing, the Signer name drawn on their document Signature Field will not visually match exactly the Signer name from their identity document. This is not an issue because the electronic signature attached to the document will contain the "real" legal name extracted from the Signer identity documents, and it's this electronic signature that has legal value (while the signature image is just a visual hint).

Matching of first name

  • The Signer first name must match exactly one of the extracted given names from the identity document. In the example below, either the first ("Maëlys-Gaelle") or second ("Marie") given names can be declared in the Signer data. In both cases, the matching will be successful (exactly one match). However, providing "Maëlis-Gaëlle, Marie" will result in a failed identification (two matches).
  • Compounded first names are sometimes written without hyphens (e.g. "Jean-François" is sometimes written as "Jean François"). In that case, the identity document parsing will handle these 2 words as 2 different given names. For such Signers, only the first word of their first name should be provided (e.g. "Jean" in this case).

Matching of last name

  • The Signer last name must must match exactly either birth name or usage name. If the Signer has both birth and usage names displayed in the "last name" field of their identity document, only one of them should be provided. In the example below, either "GABLER" or "MUSTERMANN" can be used for the Signer last name. However, the providing the compounded birth name-usage name "GABLER-MUSTERMANN" will result in a failed identification. Note that these last names can have multiple particles (e.g. "VAN DEN DRIES" will be successfully parsed as one single last name).
  • Please note that currently it is always the birth name of the signer that will be used in the generated signature certificate (even if the usage name is used in the Signer data). Therefore we recommend using the birth name to minimise any risk of confusion when comparing Signer data with the certificate (noting that the Signature will be valid in any case).

Honorary/Nobiliary/doctorate titles

  • Some European country citizens have honorary titles (e.g. "Baron", "Dr."). These honorary titles are displayed in their identity document last name field before the last name. Such titles must not be provided in the Signer data. Only the first and last names must be declared to match with the identity document.