Driving licence and right to drive

Driver training must provide the student with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to behave in traffic in accordance with the qualification requirements for a driver of a motor vehicle in the category applied for.

The purpose of driver training is to create the prerequisites for:

  • to develop the responsible driver's traffic behavior;
  • the development of safe, independent, environmentally friendly and environmentally friendly behavior of the driver.

The purpose of a driver examination is to assess the compliance of a person's knowledge, skills, behavior and attitudes with the driver's qualification requirements.

Driving licence

A power-driven vehicle may be driven by a person who has the right to drive a power‑driven vehicle in the respective category. A document certifying the right to drive is a valid driving licence or, in the events provided by law, a document substituting a driving licence. A person may hold only one valid driving licence.

Documents certifying the right to drive are:

  • a driving licence complying with the form of the European Union;
  • a provisional driving licence;
  • a driving licence with a limited right to drive.
  • a driving licence is valid for 10 years;
  • a provisional driving licence is valid for two years;
  • a driving licence with the limited right to drive is valid until the person turns 18;
  • the validity of a driving licence can be verified via the e-service of the Estonian Transport Administration.

In the event of a driving licence, provisional driving licence or driving licence with a limited right to drive issued in Estonia becoming lost, stolen or destroyed or in any other case deemed reasonable by the Road Administration, the holder of the driving licence will be issued with a new document proving their right to drive pursuant to an application of the holder. The previously issued valid driving licence is repealed as of the date the written notice of the holder of the driving licence is received. Any driving licence which is found must be returned to a service bureau of the Estonian Transport Administration.

A driving licence, provisional driving licence or driving licence with a limited right to drive issued in Estonia will be replaced provided that your permanent residence is in Estonia. A foreigner staying in Estonia is issued with a new driving licence on the basis of their residence permit.

The new driving licence is issued with a period of validity of 10 years. In the case of replacement of a provisional driving licence or driving licence with a limited right to drive with a new document proving the right to drive, the new document is issued with the same period of validity as the document proving the right to drive being replaced.

To replace a driving licence, a service bureau of the Estonian Transport Administration must be provided with the following documents:

  • a valid health certificate of the driver, if there is no data about the valid health certificate in the database of the motor register or if the state of health of the driver has changed;
  • an identity document or document certifying permission to reside;
  • a letter of explanation or proof from the police, rescue service or other relevant authority regarding the fact that the driving licence was stolen or destroyed;
  • a photo in electronic format, which can be taken in one of the photo booths available in all of the service bureaus of the Road Administration. A digital photo taken in a photo booth ensures the better printing quality of the driving licence, and taking such a photo is free for the client;
  • the state fee has been paid.

A revoked driving licence cannot be reinstated.

At the time of formalising a driving licence, but no later than 10 working days after the day following the submission of a request to exchange a driving licence, you may, upon the existence of a valid right to drive, drive a power-driven vehicle without a document certifying the right to drive only in Estonia. The right to drive a power-driven vehicle is proven based on the data of the motor register.

Pursuant to the Traffic Act, in the event of the suspension, withdrawal or revocation of the right to drive power-driven vehicles, a person must surrender their driving licence to the Estonian Transport Administration within five working days of the entry into force of the decision.

If the person cannot take their driving licence personally to the service bureau, it can be taken to the office by a person authorised to do so in writing.

A driving licence can also be surrendered by post via registered letter. To do this, a surrendering form for a driving licence/provisional driving licence (depending on the type of driving licence) must be printed out, filled in and submitted with the driving licence to the service bureau of the Road Administration.

Driving licences are issued and replaced by a service bureau of the Estonian Transport Administration. Driving licences are also issued by Estonian foreign missions.

The driving licence is issued within 10 working days of passing a respective test or of the day following the submission of a request to exchange the driving licence.

A driving licence is issued to or replaced for an Estonian citizen whose permanent residence is in Estonia and to/for a foreigner staying in Estonia on the basis of their residence permit.

A driving licence issued in Estonia is replaced pursuant to the application of its holder when it has expired, become useless, the holder’s data or the category of the right to drive a vehicle has changed or when it is not possible to recognise the holder from the photo.

If you have not replaced your driving licence within 12 months of its expiry, your right to drive will be restored if you pass theory and driving tests.

If you do not collect your driving licence from the motor registry bureau within one year of the start of the validity date marked on the driving licence, the Road Administration will revoke your driving licence and you will have to apply for a new driving licence.

A driving licence can be replaced via the e-service or at a service bureau of the Estonian Transport Administration.

To replace a driving licence the service bureau of the Estonian Transport Administration must be provided with the following documents:

  • a valid health certificate of the driver, if there is no data about the valid health certificate in the database of the motor register;
  • an identity document or a document certifying permission to reside;
  • the driving licence to be replaced;
  • a photo, which can be taken in one of the photo booths available in all of the service bureaus of the Estonian Transport Administration. A digital photo taken in a photo booth ensures the better printing quality of the driving licence, and taking such a photo is free for the client;
  • the state fee has been paid.
  • A driving licence can also be replaced via the e-service.
Provisional Driving Licence

The driving licence is issued and replaced by a service bureau of the Estonian Transport Administration. Driving licences are also issued by Estonian foreign missions.

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Categories and conditions to drive

A power-driven vehicle may be driven by a person who has the right to drive power‑driven vehicles.

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Driving licence with a limited right to drive

The limited right to drive a power-driven vehicle of category B may be granted to a person of 16 or 17 years of age.

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International Driving Permit

The Estonian Transport Administration issues international driving permits pursuant to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

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Foreign Driving Licence

Estonia recognises driving licences issued in the following states.

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Medical certificate

When a medical certificate expires or the next medical falls due, a new medical certificate must be submitted to the Road Administration. The validity of a medical certificate can be checked via the e-service of the Estonian Transport Administration.

Since 1 April 2015 doctors have only been issuing e-medical certificates (only in special cases on paper – for instance in the event of a system malfunction at the doctor’s surgery, whereby the doctor must digitalise it later). In order to obtain an e-medical certificate, you must fill in a medical declaration online at www.digilugu.ee regarding your health and then make an appointment with a doctor. Once issued, an e-medical certificate is automatically transmitted to the motor registry: there is no need to come in personally to the Road Administration to submit your medical certificate.

If you have a medical certificate on paper that was issued before 1 April 2015:

  • medical certificates must be submitted to the customer service of the Road Administration or by post;
  • a medical certificate can also be submitted to a service bureau by e-mail, but in this case the certificate must be digitally signed by the doctor.

A driving licence cannot be applied for on the basis of an incorrectly compiled medical certificate, as in this case the certificate is inconsistent with legislation.

Related links

E-service

Last updated: 19.02.2021