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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 service points of the Police and Border Guard Board deal with applications for and issuing of identity documents. Filling out an application, paying the state fee and the taking of a document photo all take place on the spot. If desired, the document photograph may be printed out and you may fill out the application at home before you come to the office.

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

  • application in the required form;
  • identity document;
  • documents that substantiate that the applicant holds Estonian citizenship and copies of these documents; 
  • 1 colour photo; 
  • document certifying that the state fee has been paid, or data regarding payment of state fees.

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.

Text made by Police and Border Guard Board
Last modified 27. April 2016

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