Categories and conditions of right to drive

A power-driven vehicle may be driven by a person who has the right to drive power‑driven vehicles of the respective category and whose right to drive has not been suspended, withdrawn or revoked or who has not been removed from driving.

Categories of power-driven vehicles

In terms of the right to drive a power-driven vehicle (hereinafter the right to drive), motor vehicles and motorcycles are divided into main categories:

  • AM (mopeds); 
  • A (motorcycles);
  • B, C, D (motor vehicles); 
  • BE, CE, DE (road trains);
  • and into their subcategories A1, B1, C1, D1, C1E and D1E.
  • In terms of the right to drive, tractors, mobile machinery and machine trains are categorised under one motor vehicle category in Estonia – T.

Category extensions

  • Power-driven vehicles of the AM category may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive any power-driven vehicle or the limited right to drive. A person born prior to 1 January 1993 is not required to have the right to drive or the limited right to drive power‑driven vehicles of the AM category. A person who was 16–17 years of age at the time of entry into force of the Traffic Act is not required to have the right to drive power-driven vehicles of the AM category until 1 January 2013.

  • A person with the right to drive power-driven vehicles of categories A, B, C or D may also drive power-driven vehicles of subcategories A1, B1, C1 or D1, respectively.

  • A person with the right to drive road trains of categories CE and DE and subcategories C1E and D1E may also drive road trains of category BE. A person with the right to drive road trains of category CE may also drive road trains of category DE if the driver holds the right to drive power-driven vehicles of category D.

  • A person with the right to drive road trains of subcategory C1E may also drive road trains of subcategory D1E if the driver holds the right to drive power-driven vehicles of subcategory D1.

  • A person with the right to drive road trains of category DE may also drive road trains of subcategory C1E if the driver holds the right to drive power-driven vehicles of subcategory C1.

  • Power-driven vehicles of category T and machine trains with the maximum mass not exceeding 8000 kilograms may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive power-driven vehicles of categories B, C or D or subcategories C1 or D1.

  • Power-driven vehicles of category T and machine trains with the maximum mass not exceeding 18000 kilograms may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive road trains of category BE or power-driven vehicles of categories C or D or subcategories C1 or D1 or a person who received the right to drive power-driven vehicles of category B prior to the entry into force of the Traffic Act.

  • Power-driven vehicles of category T and machine trains may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive road trains of categories CE or DE or subcategories C1E or D1E.

Granting of the right to drive

The right to drive a power-driven vehicle is granted to a person whose permanent residence is in Estonia, whose age and state of health comply with the requirements in force and who has obtained the qualifications of a power-driven vehicle driver (has passed the required tests). For the purposes of the Traffic Act, permanent residence means a place where a person usually lives for at least 185 days in each calendar year because of personal or occupational ties or who can prove that they have studied in Estonia for at least six months. Permanent residence is proven by the data of the population register.

Conditions to grant the right to drive

A power-driven vehicle of category AM may be driven by a person who has the right to drive or limited right to drive any power-driven vehicle.

A person born prior to 1 January 1993 is not required to have the right to drive or a limited right to drive a power‑driven vehicle of category AM.

Persons who were 16 or 17 years of age at the time the Traffic Act entered into force on 01.07.2011 are not required to have the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category AM until 1 January 2013.

A limited right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B may be granted to a person aged 16 or 17 years of age on condition that their legal guardian or a person authorised by the legal guardian is next to them in the motor vehicle. Such a person must have held the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B for at least two years and must not be in a state of intoxication or in a state exceeding the maximum permitted level of alcohol in the bloodstream.

A limited right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category T may be granted to a person of at least 15 years of age on condition that the maximum mass of the vehicle with or without a trailer does not exceed 8000 kilograms. A person with a limited right to drive may drive a power-driven vehicle of category T on condition that they do not carry goods on roads and that the driving takes place under the direct supervision of their legal guardian or a person authorised by the legal guardian in writing. Such a person must have held a driving licence certifying the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category T for at least two years and must not be in a state of intoxication or in a state exceeding the maximum permitted level of alcohol in the bloodstream.

The granting of a permit to drive for a category A and subcategory A1 motorcycle, except a motorcycle of category A with an engine power of over 25 kW or effective engine power exceeding 0.16 kW/kg, category B vehicle and subcategory B1 vehicle or simultaneously category B and C1 vehicle, takes place in two stages.

After the test results have been officially registered and until a provisional driving licence is obtained, but for no longer than 10 days as of passing the test, the holder’s right to drive a power-driven vehicle is proven on the basis of the data of the motor register. When driving, the driver must carry an identity document.

The final stage of the initial training of a driver is designed for the independent development of driving skills obtained with the training provider and gaining self-evaluation skills in road traffic conditions. The objective of the final stage is to deepen the knowledge and skills obtained in the initial stage and to achieve sufficient driving experience as an independent driver, forming the basis for readiness to be granted a driving licence. The final stage of the initial training of the driver starts once the provisional driving licence has been obtained. The duration of the final stage of the initial training is 23 months.

A holder of a provisional driving licence of a power-driven vehicle of category B and subcategory B1 must complete the final stage training within the framework of the final stage of the initial training.

Final-stage training must be completed before the provisional driving licence is replaced with a driving licence.

The holder of a limited right to drive a vehicle of category B must complete final-stage training when they have replaced the driving licence with a limited right to drive with a provisional driving licence.

If a person who holds a provisional driving licence has acquired the necessary skills and completed the final stage of training and has not been penalised in the last 12 months for a violation of the traffic rules, they will obtain a driving licence without having to take the tests. The holder of the provisional driving licence may submit to the motor registry office an application for the replacement of the provisional driving licence one month before the expiry of the provisional driving licence.

If the holder of a provisional driving licence does not obtain a full driving licence for the respective category of a power-driven vehicle or road train within 12 months of the expiry of the provisional driving licence, they must re-apply for a provisional driving licence and pass the theory and driving tests required in order to obtain the provisional driving licence. The date of granting a permit to drive starts from the date of granting the provisional right to drive.

Granting the right to drive a category C and D and subcategory C1 and D1 vehicle and category BE, CE or DE or subcategory C1E or D1E road train.

  • The right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category C and subcategory D1 may be granted to a person who has held the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B for at least one year.

  • The right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category D may be granted to a person who has held the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B for at least two years.

  • The aforementioned period of holding a driving licence excludes the period of holding a provisional driving licence for a power-driven vehicle of category B and a driving licence with a limited right to drive.

  • The right to drive a power-driven vehicle of subcategory C1 may be granted to a person along with the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B or to a person who has the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B.

  • The right to drive a road train of subcategory BE, CE or DE and subcategory C1E or D1E may be granted to a person who holds the right to drive a traction unit of the respective category.
    The abovementioned right to drive a power-driven vehicle and road train cannot be granted to a person who holds a provisional driving licence of a category B power-driven vehicle; the right to drive categories of vehicles and road trains is only granted after relevant preparation and passing the theory and driving tests.
    A person holding a provisional driving licence to drive a vehicle of category B may also participate in the training course of a driver of a road train of category BE. The right to drive a road vehicle of category BE will be granted to the person no earlier than when applying for the driving licence.

  • The right to drive a power-driven vehicle of categories C and D and a road train of category CE may be granted to a person alongside granting the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B or to a person who has the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B if the right to drive is necessary in connection with conducting a vocational training course. If, in accordance with the Road Transport Act, it is necessary to conduct a vocational training course, the person may, after passing the final test and having been granted the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B or, once such a right to drive has been granted, without delay apply for the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of categories C and D and a road train of category CE.

The training of drivers, their testing and granting them the right to drive in the course of vocational training takes place in one phase, and after the tests have been passed, the person will be granted a driving licence in accordance with the procedure established in subsection 7 of § 100 of the Traffic Act.

  • In order to be granted the right to drive a power-driven vehicle and a machine train of category T, a person who holds the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of categories C or D or subcategories C1 or D1 only has to pass the driving test.

  • A power-driven vehicle of category T and a machine train with a maximum mass not exceeding 8000 kilograms may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of categories B, C or D or subcategories C1 or D1.

  • A power-driven vehicle of category T and a machine train with a maximum mass not exceeding 18,000 kilograms may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive road trains of category BE or a power-driven vehicle of subcategories C1 or D1 or a person who received the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B before 01.07.2011.

  • A power-driven vehicle of category T and a machine train may also be driven by a person who has the right to drive a road train of categories CE or DE or subcategories C1E or D1E.

Applying for a permit to drive

The right to drive a power-driven vehicle is granted to a person whose permanent residence is in Estonia, whose age and state of health comply with the requirements in force and who has obtained the qualifications of a power-driven vehicle driver. For the purposes of the Traffic Act, permanent residence means a place where a person usually lives for at least 185 days in each calendar year because of personal or occupational ties. Permanent residence is proven by the data of the population register.

Minimum age of a driver depending on the category of the power-driven vehicle

To apply for a permit to drive a moped

  • 14 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category AM

An applicant for the right to drive a moped who is up to 15 years of age must have their legal guardian submit their written consent to the service bureau of the Road Administration.

To grant a limited right to drive

  • 15 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category T where the maximum mass with or without a trailer does not exceed 8000 kilograms.

  • 16 years of age – applying for a limited right to drive category B.

The parent or legal guardian of the applicant must submit their written consent to the service bureau of the Road Administration.

Initial training 

  • 16 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of subcategory A1 and B1.

  • 18 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category B; a power-driven vehicle of subcategory A2 or C1 and a power-driven vehicle of category T whose maximum mass with or without a trailer exceeds 18,000 kilograms.

In-service training

  • 21 years of age – a three-wheeled motorcycle of category A with a symmetrical wheel layout and net power above 15 kW; a power-driven vehicle of category C or subcategory D1.

  • 24 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category A and a power-driven vehicle of category D.

To apply for the right to drive a motorcycle

  • 16 years of age – a motorcycle of category A1.

  • 18 years of age – a motorcycle of category A2.

  • 20 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category A if the person has previously been granted the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of subcategory A2 for at least two years.

  • 24 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category A.

When applying for the right to drive a tractor

  • 16 years of age – a power-driven vehicle of category T whose maximum mass with or without a trailer does not exceed 18,000 kilograms.

Exception 

  • 17 years of age – category B: on the proposal of the management of an organisation representing Estonia in the International Automobile Association, the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B may be granted to a motor-racing athlete whose participation in international events requires a driving licence and who has a limited right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B.

  • 18 years of age – to drive a power-driven vehicle of category C or a road train of category CE when performing military service, provided the person has the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B.

  • 18-years of age – to drive a vehicle of subcategory D1 or category D when performing military service, provided the person has the right to drive in category C.

  • 18 years of age – the right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category C, a road train of category CE, a power-driven vehicle of subcategory D1 or a power-driven vehicle of category D that provides regular local services on routes that are shorter than 50 kilometres provided the person has completed the 280 hours of vocational training prescribed by the Road Transport Act and has completed the initial training of a driver within the framework of this training.

Driving lessons and driving practice are permitted with the following minimum age limit and categories of power-driven vehicles:

Moped 14 years of age – with a power-driven vehicle of category AM.
Passenger car 15.5 years of age – with a power-driven vehicle of category B and subcategories A1 and B1.
Truck 17 years of age – with a power-driven vehicle of subcategory C1.
Tractor

14.5 years of age – with a power-driven vehicle of category T whose maximum mass with or without a trailer does not exceed 18,000 kilograms.

17.5 years of age – with a power-driven vehicle of category T whose maximum mass with or without a trailer exceeds 18,000 kilograms.

 

In the case of other categories: starting from attaining the minimum age of a driver.

Withdrawal, revocation and restoration of the right to drive

Withdrawal of the right to drive is the principal or a supplementary penalty imposed by a court or an extrajudicial body for an offence relating the violation of the requirements of the Traffic Act or legislation issued on the basis thereof, which entails prohibiting the driving of a vehicle. A penalty imposed on a person residing in Estonia by a court or an extrajudicial body of a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, which entails prohibiting the driving of a vehicle, is also considered the withdrawal of the right to drive.

Suspension of the right to drive is the temporary prohibition of driving a power-driven vehicle.

A person’s right to drive a power-driven vehicle will be suspended if their state of health does not meet the health requirements established on the basis of decree no. 80 of 16.06.2011 of the Government of the Republic “Medical examination conditions for drivers of power-driven vehicles and applicants for the right to drive and for tram drivers and applicants for the right to drive a tram, forms of health certificates and health requirements, including medical contraindications, whereby the driving of a power-driven vehicle and tram is not permitted”. The health condition is verified based on the data noted on the health certificate of a driver of a power-driven vehicle (hereinafter: health certificate) or data electronically transmitted to the office by the authority issuing the health certificate.

The right to drive a power-driven vehicle will be revoked if the person has obtained the right to drive by fraudulent means or if the person’s driving licence was issued on the basis of a document containing false or falsified information.

The revocation of the right to drive a power-driven vehicle enters into force following communication of the decision to the person.

The Road Administration prepares the decision to revoke the right to drive in two copies, one of which, immediately after the signing of the decision, is given to the person against signature on the other copy of the decision or is sent by registered mail to their residential address as registered in the population register or to another known residential address.

In the event of the suspension, withdrawal or revocation of the right to drive a power-driven vehicle, the person must surrender their driving licence to the motor registry office within five working days of entry into force of the decision.

If a person fails to surrender their driving licence by this deadline, the Road Administration issues the person with a precept to surrender the driving licence, giving the person a term of no less than five working days and no more than 14 days to that effect. The precept enters into force as of its delivery.

In the event of failure to comply with a precept, the Road Administration may impose a preventive fine in accordance with the procedure provided for in the law. The maximum limit of a preventive fine is 640 euros.

If a person’s right to drive a power-driven vehicle has been suspended due to the worsening of their state of health on the basis of a decision of a traffic medicine committee, their health certificate becomes invalid and the person can restore the right to drive if the circumstances that served as the basis for the decision of the traffic medicine committee have ceased to exist. To restore the right to drive, the person must pass a medical examination on the basis of decree no. 80 of 16.6.2011 of the Government of the Republic “Medical examination conditions for drivers of power-driven vehicles and applicants for the right to drive and for tram drivers and applicants for the right to drive a tram, forms of health certificates and health requirements, including medical contraindications, whereby the driving of a power-driven vehicle and tram is not permitted”, on the basis of which a new health certificate is issued to them. The person must submit the new health certificate to the motor registry office.

If the right to drive a power-driven vehicle has been withdrawn from a person as the principal or a supplementary penalty for at least six but no longer than 12 months, the right to drive a power-driven vehicle can be restored if the person passes a theory test. This test can also be taken during the period when the right to drive is revoked as a penalty, but the right to drive in such an event is restored after the expiry of the term of the penalty.

If the right to drive a power-driven vehicle has been withdrawn from a person as the principal or a supplementary penalty for 12 months or longer, the right to drive a power-driven vehicle can be restored if the person passes the required theory and driving tests. The theory test can also be taken during the period when the right to drive is revoked as a penalty, but no sooner than 12 months before the expiry of the term of the penalty. The driving test cannot be taken before the expiry of the term of the penalty.

If a person has not replaced their driving licence within five years of the expiry thereof, their right to drive a power-driven vehicle will be restored if they pass the theory and driving tests.

If a person’s right to drive granted in a foreign state has been suspended or withdrawn, their right to drive will be restored after the expiry of the term of suspension or revocation.

To restore the right to drive, the person must submit the following documents to the motor registry office in order to apply for the driving licence:

  • a valid health certificate of the driver. It is not necessary to present a medical certificate if the certificate data in the motor registry are valid and the state of health of the driver has not changed or if the issuer of the medical certificate has transmitted the data electronically to the service bureau of the Road Administration;
  • an identity card or another document proving identity and permission to reside;
  • the relevant state fee must be paid.

Last updated: 08.02.2021