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The Estonian ID card

Estonia has been issuing ID cards from 1 January 2002. ID cards are issued by the Citizenship and Migration Board – for Estonian citizens as well as foreigners who reside in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit. Since then, over one million cards have been issued, which marks the biggest ID card roll-out in Europe.

In addition to the conventional visual identification of persons, ID cards can also be used for electronic identification and to affix digital signatures. A digital signature has the same legal consequences as a hand-written signature.

The ID card is a mandatory ID document for all Estonian residents from the age of 15. The card is valid for ten years as an identification and travel document (within the EU). The certificates entered on the identity card shall be valid for three years, but no longer than the period of validity of the identity card. The data file shall be valid just as long as the identity card. The renewal of certificates is free. An electronic processor chip contains a personal data file, a certificate for authentication (along with the e-mail address Forename.Surname@eesti.ee) and a certificate for digital signature.

The ID card performs automated checks from the Population Registry and is used as a common key to access different services. The digital signature has a universal concept – it can be used in any open user group and in any relation – governmental, business or private. The legislation for the digital signature follows the legislation of the European Union (EU).

Read more: www.id.ee


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Added 13.02.2012
Updated 09.05.2012

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