Personal identity documents and applying for them

The identity documents for Estonian citizens are the ID-card and passport. The ID-card allows a person to access state and private sector e-services and to digitally sign documents. The service points of the Police and Border Guard Board deal with applications for ID-cards and passports.

Identity documents

An identification document or ID-card is a mandatory identity document of the Estonian citizens and aliens staying/residing permanently in Estonia. In addition to regular identification of a person, an ID-card can also be used for establishing one’s person in electronic environment and for giving one’s digital signature. Within the European Union, an ID-card can be used by the Estonian citizens also as a travel document.

A residence card is a mandatory identity document of an alien who is residing permanently in Estonia on the basis of a valid residence permit or right of residence. In addition to regular identification of a person, a residence card can also be used for establishing one’s person in electronic environment and for giving one’s digital signature. NB! The identity cards issued to aliens earlier shall be valid until the expiry of their validity period.

Digital identification document or digi-ID is a digital document by means of which it is possible to establish one’s person in electronic environment and to give one’s digital signature. Holding of digi-ID is voluntary.

The e-resident digi-ID is a digital document that can only be used electronically to identify the person and to give digital signatures. The e-resident digi-ID can be issued to a foreigner who has links with the country of Estonia or a reasonable interest in using public e-services in Estonia.

Passport of the Estonian citizen is foremost a travel document that is issued to the Estonian citizens for crossing the state border. Passport can also be used as identification document.

An alien’s passport is issued to an alien who holds valid permit of residence in Estonia and if it is established that the alien does not hold a travel document of a foreign country.

Certificates of record of service on Estonian ships and seaman’s discharge books are issued to seafarers. The documents respond to requirements of the “Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention” of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Travel document for refugee is a travel document that is issued to a refugee for crossing the state border.

Temporary travel document is issued to an alien staying in Estonia for single departure from Estonia and for return to Estonia.

Applying for an identity document

The ID-card can be applied for in Service Offices, in foreign representations of the Republic of Estonia, or by post.

The ID-card can be applied for in expedited procedure in the Service Offices. If you have not been issued the identity document earlier, then it is not possible to apply for the ID-card in expedited procedure.

When applying for an identity document for the first time, the following must be submitted:

Additional documents:

  • if you have moderate, severe or profound disability and favourable conditions of paying the state fee apply to you, please submit the document certifying the disability (for example, medial expert decision, pension certificate)
  • if you have changed your personal data (for example, name) in a foreign country and changed personal data are not entered to the Estonian population register, please submit document proving change of personal data (for example, marriage certificate)
  • if you have not been issued an identity document of the citizen of Estonia earlier, please submit documents proving the right to the Estonian citizenship.

Issuance of the ID-card

An ID card will be issued to the applicant personally or to an authorised representative specified by the applicant upon the application for the document at a service office through the service office or foreign mission of the Republic of Estonia indicated in an application form within 30 days after acceptance of the application for processing. Delivery of the passport to a foreign representation may take more time. For information concerning the arrival and delivery of documents please contact the foreign representation of the Republic of Estonia, whereto you have ordered the document.

If you wish to receive your identity document elsewhere than the foreign representation of the Republic of Estonia, which is named on the application form, then you will find more detailed information concerning this possibility on the webpage of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ID-card applied for in expedited procedure will be issued within 5 working days (counting starts from working day following the day of submission of the application) to an applicant in person or to an authorised representative assigned by an applicant at the time of applying for the document in Tallinn Service Offices only.

On receipt of a document please provide a previously issued valid document of the same type.

An authorised representative:

  • provides his or her valid identity document issued in Estonia
  • provides a valid document of the same type, issued to the applicant, if such document exists.

How much is the state fee?

The state fee for issuing and ID depends on the type of the ID issued and and speed of the proceedings. More information on state fees for:

The public’s telephone line to the Police and Border Guard is 612 3000.

If an ID document is lost or stolen

If your passport is lost or stolen please address the closest Service Office of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau for invalidation of the document and, if necessary, for submission of an application for new document.

If your ID card/residence card/Digi-ID is lost or stolen make a prompt call to the help-line phone number +372 666 8888 or address the closest Service Office of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau. Upon your request the certificates of the card shall be suspended. Thereafter it is not possible to use the card electronically (e.g. for digital signing) any more. if you will find the card, then you can reactivate the suspended certificates. For that purpose you must, in person, visit an authorised bank office or a Service Office of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau. After identifying your personality the suspension of the certificates will be terminated and the card can be used electronically again.

If the card remains lost, then you must in person address a Service Office of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau and submit an application, on the basis of which the certificates of the card and the card itself as a physical document will be invalidated. After that the further use of the card is impossible. Thereafter you must apply for a new card. An invalidated identity document cannot be revalidated.

Last amended: 27-02-2018 00:00 | Compiled by: Police and Border Guard Board