Applications for the new international driving permit accepted at service bureaus of the Transport Administration

04.05.2021 | 12:32

Starting from 3 May, the Transport Administration is accepting applications for the new international driving permit that is recognised by an additional 39 countries. At the beginning of this year, the government of Estonia gave their approval with regard to joining the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949, which means that driving licences issued in Estonia will now be recognised in the majority of countries around the world.
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“The new driving licence will provide our entrepreneurs with much better conditions,” said Director of the Traffic Division Joel Jesse. “This is a great victory primarily for the transit sector. Travelling will also be much more convenient for ordinary citizens. We definitely expect a large number of applicants when the global coronavirus pandemic recedes.”

The countries who will recognise Estonian driving licences thanks to the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949: Algeria, the United States, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Cambodia, Canada, Republic of the Congo, Laos, Lesotho, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and New Zealand. Hong Kong and Macau also accept Estonian driving licences.

When travelling to a country that has joined the Geneva convention, you have to apply for the relevant driving permit at the Transport Administration, which is valid for a year. The international driving permit is issued on the basis of a valid Estonian national driving licence. To receive it, you have to submit your identity document and a coloured document photo on paper with dimensions of at least 35×45 mm and pay the state fee of 26 euros to the Transport Administration. 

Estonia had previously joined the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968, according to which Estonia and the other countries that have joined the convention recognise driving licences issued by one another. Member states of the European Economic Area also accept Estonian driving licences.

The model of the international driving permit presented in the Geneva convention differs from the one in the Vienna convention, which is why there will be two different international driving permits in the future: one corresponding to the Vienna convention and the other to the Geneva convention. Therefore, if you plan to visit countries that have joined different conventions, it may be necessary to apply for two international driving permits. Even though the Estonian driving licence is in accordance with the Vienna convention, practice has shown that some member states of the Vienna convention do not accept it and demand an international driving permit.

Estonia recognises:
1) driving licences issued by member states of the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation;
2) driving licences issued by states that have joined the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968;
3) driving licences issued by states that have joined the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949;
4) driving licences issued by states that have entered into an international agreement on mutual recognition of driving licenses with Estonia.

More information can be found here.

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