E-Resident's digital ID

Frequently asked questions

If you did not find an answer to your question, please send an e-mail to ppa@politsei.ee. Please also note that the PBGB deals with matters regarding the issuing of e resident’s digital IDs.

Information regarding other topics regarding e-residency (business activity, banking, taxing etc.)

Information regarding taxation matters on the website of the Tax and Customs Board.

Crossing the border and opening a bank account in Estonia

Does having an e-resident’s digital ID make it easier to get a visa (including a digital nomad’s visa) and vice versa?

No, it does not. Applying for an e-resident’s digital ID and applying for a visa are not interrelated; rather, the two are separate processes with separate requirements and regulated by separate laws. Having an e-resident’s digital ID does not constitute a basis for being granted a visa, and vice versa.

Can I travel to the European Union and Estonia using an e resident’s digital ID?

No, you cannot. An e-resident’s digital ID is solely intended for electronic use.

More information on the bases and purposes of issuing an e-resident’s digital ID.

Does having an e resident’s digital ID ensure that I can start a company and open a bank account?

No, it does not. While an e-resident’s digital ID makes it possible to start a company without travelling to Estonia and to manage the company, for the most part, remotely, starting a company is still a separate procedure, and merely having been granted an e-resident’s digital ID does not mean that a company has been automatically set up.

More information on starting a company.

Opening a bank account is not related to being issued an e-resident’s digital ID either. To open a bank account, you need to submit a separate application to the bank, and before opening the account, the bank conducts its own checks regarding the applicant in conformity with the main principle and obligation of banking: know your client. The criteria and requirements that banks apply to opening bank accounts may be very different from the bases for granting an e-resident’s digital ID.

More information on banking services.

Application and processing

Am I required to create an account in the application environment – is it not possible to submit my application without an account?

You need to create an account to be able to submit your application; otherwise, it is not possible to submit your application. The advantages of creating an account include ease of submitting your application (as you need not complete the application in one go, you can resume the process when convenient for you) and the opportunity to track the processing status of your application once you have submitted it.

How do I create an account?

The account operates based on your email address and you need not set a password. When creating the account and subsequently upon each login, your account email address will receive a unique link for activating / logging into the account. The link will be valid for 60 minutes.

For how long will my account stay active?

Your account’s lifespan depends on whether or not you have already submitted your application. You have two months from the initial login (account activation) to submit your application; if you have not completed the application process within that period, the account will be deleted. If the application has been successfully submitted (i.e. the state fee has also been paid), the account will be valid for 12 months (from the initial login), whereafter it will be deleted.

How can I delete my account by myself?

You can delete your account by yourself at any moment, using the “Delete account” functionality in the application environment (a menu button at the top right). However, please note that once you have deleted your account, you cannot restore it. If you wish to resume submitting your application, you need to create a new account and start completing your application from scratch.

Once an application has been submitted, deleting the account in the application environment will not delete the data from the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) information systems or suspend the processing of the application. To withdraw your application, you need to submit a separate request to have your application dismissed to the email address of the PBGB: ppa@politsei.ee. For more information, please see the question “I wish to cancel the application that I have submitted. How can I do this?“. Please note that withdrawing your application ensures only the termination of the proceedings, not the deletion of the data from the PBGB proceedings information system. As prescribed by law, data regarding terminated proceedings are also stored in the PBGB proceedings information system.

I deleted my account by mistake. Is there any way to restore it?

It is not possible to restore an account. If you deleted your account and still wish to resume the application process, you need to create a new account and start completing your application from scratch. If you have already submitted your application and wish to restore your account to be able to track the processing status, that is unfortunately not an option. In that case, you may submit a query regarding the status of your application to ppa@politsei.ee.

I deleted my account after submitting my application. Why is the PBGB still processing my application?

Once an application has been submitted, deleting it in the application environment will not delete the data from PBGB information systems or suspend the processing of the application. To withdraw your application, you need to submit a separate request to have your application dismissed to the email address of the PBGB: ppa@politsei.ee. For more information, please see the question “I wish to cancel the application that I have submitted. How can I do this?“

I forgot which email address I used for creating my account. What should I do?

There really is no other solution than to try to remember and to establish, by reviewing the contents of your mailboxes, which email address you used for creating the account. The sender of the emails sent from the application environment is ppa@politsei.ee. If you are unable to remember the email address, you need to create a new account using another address and start completing the application from scratch.

How long do I have until I need to submit my application?

You have two months from the initial login (account activation) to submit your application.

Do I need to complete the pages in a particular order?

No, you need not – you may start with any page you wish. However, please note that an incomplete page cannot be saved; if you have completed a page only partially, the data entered will be deleted if you move on to another page.

How can I move between the pages?

You can navigate between the pages by clicking the numbered dots at the top of the page or by selecting “Save and proceed” and “Back” at the bottom of the page. However, please note that to be able to select “Save and proceed”, you need to have completed the entire page.

Why am I unable to move to pages 7–9 at once?

Pages 7–9 are confirmation pages, and page 7 also displays all of the data you have entered so that you can check them conveniently. To access these pages, you first need to complete the previous pages 1–6.

How can I view my application data after submitting the application?

You can view the data of your application after submitting it by selecting “View your application”. However, it is not possible to modify the data in the application environment after submitting your application. If your data have changed and you wish to modify them after submitting your application, please send an email to ppa@politsei.ee, containing at least the following data:

  • first and last name (as indicated in your travel document);
  • date of birth.

Where possible, please provide the number of your application for an e resident’s digital ID (if you know the number).

How can I change my information if I have already submitted my application?

To modify your data afterwards, please send an email to ppa@politsei.ee, containing at least the following data:

  • first and last name (as indicated in your travel document)
  • date of birth.

Where possible, please provide the number of your application for an e resident’s digital ID (if you know the number).

I didn't manage to provide feedback regarding the application process (I closed the window containing the link). How can I give feedback?

Please find a link to the feedback form in the confirmation email sent to you after you submitted your application.

Can I log into the application environment after submitting my application?

Yes, you can log into the environment after submitting your application and track the processing status of your application.

Is the application environment secure?

Yes, we have conducted the necessary security tests to ensure that the application environment is reliable and able to block any attacks.

How are my personal data protected when using the application environment and who processes my personal data?

When processing your data, the PBGB is guided by the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more information on the principles of processing personal data and data protection requirements, see here.

Which web browsers support the application environment?

The operability of the application environment has been tested in all common browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari. Please make sure that you are using the latest browser version.

Can I also submit my application using a smartphone or a tablet?

Yes, you can log into the application environment and complete the application using a smartphone and a tablet (both Android and iOS are supported). However, answering the longer questions may be more convenient using a computer rather than a mobile phone/ tablet.

I am a repeat applicant. Why is it not possible to create an account by authenticating with my currently valid e resident’s digital ID?

The process for repeat applicants is currently the same as for first time applicants: you need to create an account and complete the entire application. Unfortunately, the current application environment does not feature an authentication solution, but the PBGB is working on providing this option in the future.

My payment failed in the online application environment. What should I do?

There are several reasons why your payment might fail:

  • your bank does not authorise the payment;
  • the card you are using for the payment does not support 3D Secure payments;
  • you have made several payment attempts from the same IP address at short intervals, and the payment service provider has temporarily blocked you;
  • your Internet connection is not sufficient and/or your browser settings are blocking the payment;
  • the service of the payment service provider is experiencing difficulties.

In the first two cases, please contact your bank. Alternatively, you may ask someone else to make the payment for you. In the rest of the cases, please wait a while and try again. You might also try deleting your browser’s search history and cookies.

If the payment still fails, please contact ppa@politsei.ee and be sure to provide at least the following information in your e mail:

  • the browser that you used
  • the operation system that you used
  • when and how many times in a row you attempted to make the payment.

Which cards can I use for the payment?

The application environment accepts VISA and Mastercard credit cards and debit cards. If you are using a debit card, please make sure that online payments are enabled. The card must also support 3D Secure payments. Please direct any questions regarding your bankcard to your bank.

If you do not have an acceptable card, you may ask someone else to make the payment for you. In that case, the e-mail address provided when making the payment should be the applicant’s address in order to make it easier to identify the payment later.

Will I receive a payment confirmation?

If your payment has been successful and you have submitted your application in the online application environment, you will receive two notifications to the e-mail address provided in your application (from the sender ppa@politsei.ee):
a notification on having successfully submitted the application and on the next steps
payment confirmation.

Therefore, please check your inbox (including the junk mail folder) to see whether you have received the notifications. If you are unable to find the payment confirmation or if you have deleted it by accident, please e mail ppa@politsei.ee.

On what basis am I being asked to provide information?

The data and evidence to be submitted when applying are listed in sections 6, 7, 12, 24 and 241 of the relevant Regulation of the Estonian Minister of the Interior.

The content of the above mentioned sections is translated as follows:

  • § 6 (5) a copy of the personal data page of the applicant’s travel document, or in the absence of a travel document, a copy of the personal data page of another identity document issued by the applicant’s country of citizenship or residence
  • § 7 a photo of your face meeting the requirements for a document photo
  • § 12 (1) in accordance with subsection 207 (1) of the Identity Documents Act, a written explanation or other evidence regarding the intent to use the digital identity card and regarding the facts constituting the bases for its use
  • § 24 (1) 1) personal data (first names, last name, Estonian personal identification code or date of birth, place of birth, gender)
  • § 24 (1) 2) citizenship
  • § 24 (1) 3) contact details (street, building, apartment, city or village, municipality, county, postal code, country, phone number, e-mail address)
  • § 24 (1) 4) place of issue of document
  • § 24 (1) 5) reason for applying
  • § 24 (5) when applying for an identity document, a foreign national shall also provide the data of a travel document issued by a foreign state (type of travel document, number, issuing authority, date of issue and date of expiry)
  • § 241 1) previous and other names, including father’s name
  • § 241 2) previous citizenships
  • § 241 3) social media accounts
  • § 241 4) Estonian and foreign companies connected to the applicant
  • § 241 5) curriculum vitae
  • § 241 6) information on a criminal record and any offence proceedings commenced regarding the person.
  • § 241 7) information on prohibitions on business
  • § 241 8) foreign personal identification code
  • § 241 9) purpose of applying and description of the planned activity
  • § 241 10) information on the use of personal bank accounts, accounts held at payment institutions and virtual currencies and on the use of bank accounts, accounts held at payment institutions and virtual currencies belonging to the companies connected to the applicant
  • § 241 11) information on the suspicion and sanctions of terrorism, money laundering and financial and cyber crime
  • § 241 12) information on refusals to issue a visa and the imposition of entry bans
  • § 241 13) information on service in the armed forces and participation in military operations
  • § 241 14) information on membership in civil society organisations
  • § 241 15) information on membership in terrorist groups

The aim of processing the data referred to above is to come to an informed decision on whether to issue an e resident’s digital ID and to identify the applicant. As stipulated in subsection 2012 (2) of the Identity Documents Act, for the prevention of improper use of a digital identity card and for the protection of the rights and interests of the holder of the document, the issuer of the document may require an e-resident to personally appear at the location of the issuer of the document or at an Estonian foreign mission for the submission of the application.

Why am I being asked to provide additional information and am I obligated to provide that information?

The data and evidence collected during processing applications for an e resident’s digital ID are necessary for assessing the purposefulness of the application and the facts forming the basis for granting / refusing to issue the digital document (Identity Documents Act, § 205 (2) and § 206).

According to subsection 38 (1) of the Administrative Procedure Act, in administrative proceedings, an administrative authority has the right to require participants in proceedings and other persons to provide evidence and information which is known to them and on the basis of which the administrative authority establishes the facts relevant for the adjudication of the matter. According to subsection (3) of the same section, participants in proceedings are required to provide the information and evidence in question.

If you fail to provide the requested additional information, the PBGB has the right to dismiss your application and terminate the proceedings.

What are the principles that the PBGB relies on when processing my data and is it in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

For more information on the principles of processing personal data and data protection requirements, see here.

How long will it take to process my application and when can I collect my document?

The decision to grant or refuse to issue an e resident’s digital ID is made within 30 days from the submission of the application. If there is a need to clarify any facts, the processing term may also be extended. In order to avoid having to extend the processing term, please make sure that you have submitted, together with your application, all required information, all necessary documents and an appropriate document photograph. Please check your e-mail as well: while processing your application, we will be sending automatic notifications to the e-mail address provided in your application, and we will contact you if your application has any deficiencies or you need to provide additional information.

If the application is approved, it will take an average of 2–5 weeks for your document to reach the issuing location (depending on the specific location).

I wish to cancel the application that I have submitted. How can I do this?

An application can be withdrawn as long as the procedural decision is pending.

To cancel your application, please send an e-mail to ppa@politsei.ee containing at least the following information:

  • first and last name (as indicated in your travel document)
  • date of birth

Where possible, please provide the number of your application for an e resident’s digital ID (if you know the number).

Collection

I was notified that my application has been approved. When can I collect my document?

It will take an average of 2–5 weeks (from approval) for your document to reach the issuing location, depending on the specific location. Once your document has reached the destination, our embassy will contact you. If your document is to be issued at a PBGB service office located in Estonia, you will receive an automatic notification when the document has arrived.

If you have not been contacted within 2–5 weeks, please contact the issuing location that you selected for collecting your document.

More information on collecting your document.

Where can I collect my e-resident’s digital ID?

You can collect your e-resident’s digital ID at Estonian embassies and the major PBGB service offices located in Estonia.

List of embassies.

Please keep in mind that only the following service offices are issuing e-resident’s digital IDs:

  • Tallinn Tammsaare
  • Tallinn Pinna
  • Tallinn Kolde
  • Tartu
  • Narva
  • Pärnu

The online application environment features a list of all available issuing locations, and you need to select one when submitting your application.

The contact details of PBGB service offices located in Estonia.

Can I also collect my e resident’s digital ID from an honorary consul?

No, you cannot. Honorary consuls issue documents to Estonian nationals only. Exceptions are also excluded for technical reasons: honorary consuls do not have the technical capacity for fingerprinting, while fingerprinting is a compulsory part of issuing an e-resident’s digital ID.

How can I change the issuing location of my document?

If your document is ready to be issued, you need to contact your initial issuing location to be able to change the location.

More information on the state fees applicable to changing issuing locations and the contact details of issuing locations.

If your application is still being processed, please e mail ppa@politsei.ee to change the issuing location. Please be sure to provide the following information in your e mail: your first and last name (as indicated in your travel document), your date of birth and the issuing location where you wish to collect your document. Please also attach the state fee payment confirmation to your e-mail. When changing the issuing location from a service office to a an Estonian embassy, you need to pay a state fee of 30 euros. When changing the issuing location from an Estonian embassy to a service office, you need to pay a state fee of 10 euros (and the additional 20 euros paid previously when submitting your application will not be returned).

Instructions on how to pay the state fee.

Can my document be kept at the issuing location for longer than 6 months?

If there is good reason, it is usually possible to agree on keeping the document at the issuing location for longer than 6 months. For this, please contact the issuing location that you selected for collecting your document. Please explain the need for an extension and arrange for collecting your document at a suitable time.

Can anyone else collect my document for me?

No, they cannot. According to section 2012 of the Identity Documents Act, an applicant for an e resident’s digital ID must always collect the document in person, including when renewing the document. You cannot have your document delivered to your home and you cannot authorise anyone to collect it. At the time of issuing, you will also be fingerprinted.

Using the document and relevant problems

For how long will my e resident’s digital ID be valid?

E-resident’s digital IDs issued from 1 May 2018 are valid for 5 years. Documents issued before that date are valid for 3 years. The term of validity of your document (including its certificates) is indicated on your document, and you can also check it using the ID software and in the official information portal of Estonia.

During the period from 1 November 2018 to 30 April 2019, it was possible to remotely extend the validity of documents initially valid for 3 years for another two years. If you extended the validity of your document, you need to check its validity using the ID software or in the official information portal of Estonia: in that case, the card features the former term of validity that no longer applies after the extension and does not match the term of validity of the document certificates.

My e-resident’s digital ID expires soon. Can its validity be extended?

It is not possible to extend the validity of a digital ID. If you wish to keep using an e resident’s digital ID, you need to apply for a new document, which you can do in the online application environment here: https://apply.gov.ee/. The application process is the same as when you initially applied for the document; this includes the requirement to re submit all documents.

How can I check whether my e-resident’s digital ID is valid?

The term of validity of your document is indicated on your document. You can check the validity of the certificates contained in the document chip (for authentication and signature purposes) using the ID software. Usually, the term of validity of certificates matches the term of validity indicated on the document, but there can be situations where the physical document remains valid, while its certificates have been suspended or revoked. If you used the opportunity to extend the validity of your document, the reverse situation may occur, where the validity indicated on the document has already expired, while the certificates are still valid.

I have lost my PINs. What should I do?

To be issued new PINs, please go to nearest Estonian embassy or a PBGB service office. If you want to collect the new PINs at an embassy, you need to set up an appointment with the embassy in question beforehand.

The contact details of Estonian embassies.

The state fee for replacing PINs at an Estonian service office is 5 euros and 20 euros if the PINs are replaced at an embassy, and the fee is to be paid on the spot.

I have received my document, but it is not valid. What has gone wrong?

An e-resident’s digital ID is activated on the day following its collection. If you received the document today, please wait until tomorrow and try again.

If it has been more than a day since you received the document and it remains invalid, please contact ppa@politsei.ee.

My card is not working. Will I get a new one?

In case of technical issues, please contact the ID helpline first. They will help you identify the nature of the issue and advise you on the next steps. If the document turns out to be defective, the PBGB will replace it under warranty.

My card reader is not working. What should I do?

First, you should make sure whether the issue really stems from the card reader. To do that, try using the card with another reader if possible. You should also make sure that the use of the card is not restricted by your computer or browser. For further instructions, please contact the ID helpline , who will assist you in identifying the issue.

If you are certain that the issue stems from your card reader, the quickest solution would be to get a new card reader. For more information on supported card readers, see here. Card readers can also be replaced under warranty, but that is lengthy and time consuming. First, the reader must undergo expert examination and delivery of the new reader will also take time. If you wish to be given a new reader under warranty, please e mail ppa@politsei.ee.

My card reader has damaged the card chip. What should I do?

If you are certain that a defective card reader is the reason why the chip of your digital ID is damaged and if your digital ID is not functioning, please send photos of both the damaged card and card reader to ppa@politsei.ee. The PBGB will then contact you.

My card contains incorrect data (e.g. name or date of birth). Will I get a new one?

If you have already received your card and you discover the mistake afterwards, please e mail ppa@politsei.ee. Please be sure to provide your first and last name (as indicated in your travel document) and your date of birth in the e-mail. Please also attach a copy of your e resident’s digital ID card. If we verify that incorrect data have been entered on the card by mistake, it will be replaced under warranty.

Miscellaneous

My data (e.g. name, citizenship) have changed. Should I apply for a new document?

According to subsection 14 (1) of the Identity Documents Act, the holder of a document is required to notify the government authority that issued the document of any change in the data entered in the document (including changes in the name) within one month after the change is effected. The document will be revoked and you need to apply for a new document. Using a document with outdated data is not in conformity with the law.

If there have been any changes to the data not entered in the document (e.g. citizenship, contact details, etc.), please notify us at ppa@politsei.ee. While it is not necessary to apply for a new document, the PBGB will record the changes in its databases. For example, updating contact details is necessary so that important notifications by the state (e.g. regarding the term of validity of your document) could reach you.

On what basis is my eligibility for e-residency assessed?

We welcome you as an e-resident if you respect the law, are reliable and have good intentions.

When processing your application for an e-resident’s digital ID, we will assess whether you have a clear understanding of the reason you are applying for the document and how you are planning to use it. The purpose of your e resident’s digital ID must be in conformity with the law, i.e. we expect you to use your e resident’s digital ID in a way that somehow contributes to the development of Estonian economy, education, science or culture.

If you have not explained the purpose of applying with sufficient detail in your application, PBGB case officers may ask you additional clarifying questions in the course of proceedings. The PBGB values greatly the fact applicants for e‑residency are willing to cooperate and prove their motives for using the e resident’s digital ID where necessary.

In addition to assessing the purpose of the applicant, we will also be conducting a background check and assessing the applicant’s compliance with the law, their prior and current criminal record and whether there are any circumstances giving rise to denying a visa or temporary residence permit or to imposing an entry ban.

Please note that if you are applying for an e-resident’s digital ID for an economic activity and there is a basis for prohibition on economic activities, you will not be eligible for an e-resident’s digital ID.

As an important prerequisite for granting an e-resident’s digital ID, the applicant needs to be clearly identified and the PBGB should have no reason to doubt their true identity. Where needed, the PBGB will conduct a video interview with you. If your application is approved, you need to appear in person at the issuing location of your e-resident’s digital ID, where your identity is also directly verified.

How can I give up e-residency?

If you have already received your document and you wish to give up e-residency, you need to submit to the PBGB a digitally signed request containing the reasons for giving up e residency as well as your personal data (first and last name and personal identification code).

If you have not collected your document yet, it would be advisable not to collect it if you wish to give up e residency. The document is stored for issuing purposes for 6 months and if you have not collected it by the end of that period, it will be destroyed. However, if you still wish that the approval of your application be revoked, you need to submit by post to the PBGB a signed request containing the reasons for giving up e residency as well as your personal data (first and last name and personal identification code or date of birth). Please use the following postal address: Police and Border Guard Board, 139 Pärnu Road, Tallinn 15060

If you have received your document but are unable to use it for whatever reason, you need to submit your request for giving up e residency also by post, as described above.