All identifying documents have recently been paper-based and their functions were restricted. This time has already passed, and modern ID card is gradually replacing usual passports and driver’s licenses, incorporating their functions in a small piece of plastic. Such documents provide ample opportunities for its holder, but in some countries they are greater than in others.

An ID card fully reveals its uniqueness and convenience in one state – Estonia. To certain extent this Baltic republic has long been the global reference, because the Internet and new technologies are widely used here as nowhere else in Europe to make easier work in many spheres. ID cards in Estonia are intended not only to replace identifying documents, but they also make it possible to utilize services of various state authorities, banks and other organizations using the World Wide Web. Thus, it is possible to resolve a wide range of issues from home – from registration of a business and tax payment to voting in elections and payment of bills.


Specific feature of the Estonian ID card is that even foreigners can get it and enjoy its advantages, though not to the full extent. Of course, such a document can’t be used everywhere, that is why you need to know when this card may be used and how it works.

Use of an ID card: necessary devices

What do I need to use an ID card in Estonia to the full extent? You just need to have a personal computer or laptop and reader. This makes it possible to use electronic signature which is the main function of the card. Thus, you can resolve various issues from home.

If you don’t have a card reader or a personal computer, you will have to go to a bank, revenue service or office of another service. All such institutions in Estonia have special terminals and readers, and there will be no problems with the use of a card.

In general, application of such a document saves your time required for payment of taxes, conduct of banking operations, registration of a business or resolution of other issues. It is especially important to note that foreigners may apply for the card, though in this case functions of the document are restricted.

What should foreign holders of Estonian ID cards know?

First of all, Estonian ID card for a foreigner is the possibility to start its business in this country. Of course, the document doesn’t grant the right to vote and, moreover, it doesn’t grant citizenship or residence permit. Nevertheless, with this card you can run a business at the European market in one of the developed Baltic and European countries remotely. It is quite difficult to get such rights by acting in stereotyped ways, but the Internet and modern Estonian legislation give an opportunity to realize plans without wasting too much time.