What to do if an ID-card or other digital document is lost or stolen?

Did you discover that your ID-card is lost or stolen? First, consider whether you have used it recently and left it in a slightly different place than usual, for example, on the desk?

How you proceed depends on how sure you are of the theft of the card.

If the ID-card is simply lost and may soon be found in a safe place again, the validity of the card related certificates should be suspended by calling +372 677 3377. This means that the ID-card remains valid as a physical identity document (for example, a travel document), but it cannot be used in electronic channels. This is how you are protected from identity theft when someone with not so good intentions tries to enter the online bank as you, but you can still use a valid ID-card to request new documents, conduct business in the bank and so on.

If your ID-card is indeed stolen, ID-card certificates should be closed and the ID-card revoked! You should also make a statement to the police about the theft. If the ID-card has been stolen while abroad, you can also apply for a temporary return certificate from Estonian representation overseas.

In addition, it's worth reading the following articles:

Useful information about the security of an ID-card:

  • Certificates: suspending ID-card certificates

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    If your ID-card, mobile-ID, etc. is lost or stolen, you should immediately suspend the certificates related thereto in order to be protected from identity theft.

    You can suspend the certificates of ID-cards and other digital documents via telephone:

    • by calling +372 677 3377.

    NB! You will be asked to provide your name and personal identification code.

    In order to reactivate suspended certificates you need to go to a Police and Border Guard Board service point: certificates cannot be reactivated by phone.

    If you are certain that your ID-card is indeed stolen, you should notify the police and have your ID-card and related certificates declared invalid.

    Did you know that in the case of theft you should also suspend the certificates related to your mobile smart device?

  • Applying: applying for ID-cards and other digital documents

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    Digital documents (incl. ID-cards, digital IDs, residence permit cards and e-resident’s digital IDs) are issued by the Police and Border Guard Board. Applications can be submitted at both service points and self-service points.

    From January 2023. it is possible to get new ID cards not only from the Police and Border Guard Board, but also from shops. Detailed information on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

    E-resident’s digital IDs can also be conveniently applied for via the e-residency website.

    All digital identity documents are subject to state fees, i.e. issue fees.

    If you are abroad, you can also apply for documents and collect them at foreign missions of the Republic of Estonia. Keep in mind that document applications are only accepted by Estonian embassies while documents ordered can also be collected from Estonian honourary consulates.

  • PIN and PUK codes: why are PIN codes blocked?

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    If a PIN code is entered incorrectly three times in a row, it is blocked for your own protection: without your PIN codes it is not possible to access your personal data, bank accounts or e-services, nor sign contracts, confirm transactions, etc.

    It is true that PIN codes tend to be blocked at the most inconvenient times. This is usually because the card owner is in a hurry or distracted when entering a PIN code, e.g. you accidentally entered you bank account PIN code instead of your ID-card PIN code. It is totally understandable that due to the locked PIN codes you are unable to finish the activity you were doing before and this may cause you much inconvenience. You should, however, remember that locking PIN codes is necessary if your card is stolen or has fallen to the hands of a malicious person in another way. In order to avoid a situation where someone else poses a threat to your personal data by trying different PIN codes, after three wrong entries the PIN code is blocked and the perpetrator doesn’t have any other options for putting you at risk.

    The right card owner was issued the PUK code with PIN codes, which enable you to unlock the blocked PINs. The thief cannot do this.

    Therefore, it is very important that you keep your PUK code in a safe place and not in your wallet with your ID-card or on your desk, where it may fall into another person’s hands.

    It would be even better if you chose a new PUK code for yourself – something that is easy to recall or remember without you having to write it down. You can change the PUK code as easily as the PIN codes:

    • Connect your ID-card to the computer and open ID-software DigiDoc4 Client.
    • Wait until your personal data is loaded on screen.
    • Click on ‘My eID’ from the left menu.
    • Click on the button ‘Change PUK’.
    • Enter the valid PUK code.
    • Choose a new PUK code and enter it twice.
    • The new PUK code must contain only numbers, include 8-12 digits and not match (neither partially nor fully) your personal identification code.

    If changing the PUK code is successful, you will see a respective notice on screen. Now you are safe in case you should accidentally block your PIN codes.

  • What you need to know about the terms and conditions for the use of ID-card certificates

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    The terms and conditions for the use of ID-card certificates (and for other digital documents) detail the rights, obligations and responsibilities of both the holders and issuers of certificates. You agree to follow these terms and conditions upon issue of the document: the document will not be issued to you unless you agree to the terms and conditions.

    Above all, you must remember the following:

    1. You must not give your document or PINs to anybody else.
    2. If the document is lost or may have been used without authorisation, the certificates must be suspended immediately by calling +372 677 3377.
    3. Suspended certificates can be reactivated at Police and Border Guard Board service points.
    4. As the certificate holder, you are obligated to revoke the certificates if there is suspicion that you may have lost control of your document while the certificates were suspended.
    5. If your document is lost, stolen or has become unusable due to another reason, as the document holder you must notify the PBGB immediately for the document to be declared invalid.
    6. As the certificate holder, you are responsible for the operations conducted using the certificates and for the consequences thereof.
    7. When logging in to e‑services, the certificate containing the certificate holder’s name and personal identification code is sent to the service provider.
    8. When providing a digital signature, the certificate containing the certificate holder’s name and personal identification code is appended to the document.

    It is definitely worth reading the terms of use of certificates – this way you will be informed of your rights and obligations and are able to protect your electronic identity better.

    If you no longer agree to the terms and conditions for the use of certificates, you can cancel the certificates. This means that your ID-card will remain valid as a physical identity document (e.g. as a travel document), but you can no longer use it to access electronic services.

    Digital IDs and e-Resident’s digital IDs are only meant for electronic use and therefore become invalid if certificates are cancelled.