ID-cards are identity documents that are mandatory for Estonian citizens and citizens of the European Union who are permanently residing in Estonia. ID-cards are valid for five years and are issued by the Police and Border Guard Board.
The ID-card is a digital document with more uses than any other similar document and it can be used for many things. For example, the ID-card is…
A physical identity document
The only digital document that is also valid as a travel document: The ID-card is all you need when travelling in the European Union and the European Economic Area, so you can leave your passport at home.
Digital means of identification
You can use the ID-card to log in to e-services, such as an online bank, in such a manner that the bank knows that it’s you.
Digital signing tool
In addition to logging in services (i.e. electronic identification or authentication), you can use the ID-card to give digital signatures: sign contracts, confirm transactions, order services, etc. A digital signature given with an ID-card is legally equivalent to a handwritten signature. You can also encrypt electronic documents.
Many companies use the ID-card as their client card: this is very convenient, as you don’t have carry lots of plastic cards in your wallet, and most people carry their ID-cards with them all the time.
You don’t have to go to a polling station to have a say in Estonian politics: you can cast your vote in elections online even if you’re in a deep forest or a faraway corner of the world.
Provider of an @eesti.ee e-mail address
Every ID-card holder has an @eesti.ee e-mail address, to which the state sends official documents if you cannot be reached via other channels. You can redirect your @eesti.ee e.mail address to your main inbox via the eesti.ee portal or DigiDoc4!
If you use your ID-card on a daily basis, we recommend that you also order a digital ID for yourself. This way you can keep your ID-card in a safe place without having to worry that you may lose it or that the chip of the card becomes damaged as a result of heavy use. Digital ID allows you to use the same e-services as your ID-card, but it cannot be used as an identity document.