Foreign driving licence

Estonia recognizes driving licences issued in the following states. Click on the group of the states below to get an overview of how long and under which conditions the driving licence issued in that country is valid in Estonia and how to exchange it for an Estonian driving licence.

Member states of the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation 

The licence is valid until its expiration date. If the licence is valid for longer than 15 years, then it must be exchanged for an Estonian licence by 18 January 2033 upon moving to Estonia.

  • An Estonian driving licence can be applied for by an Estonian resident who lives in Estonia for at least 185 days of a calendar year or a person who can prove that they have studied in Estonia for at least six months. The applicant's right to drive has not been suspended, withdrawn or revoked in the country of issue or Estonia. Estonian residency is proved on the basis of population register data. You must be ready to prove your Estonian residency, if necessary.

  • Typically, the driving licence is exchanged for an equivalent Estonian licence without exams, however, a theory test and a practical driving test are necessary when exchanging a licence that has been expired for more than five years.

  • If your driving licence is missing, stolen or has been destroyed, then an enquiry will be made to the authority that issued the licence and an Estonian licence will be issued upon receiving confirmation of the licence data and the right to drive. The service centre also has the right to issue enquiries in other cases.

  • The exchanged licence is handed over to the Estonian Transport Administration and will be sent to the authority that issued the licence for invalidation.

To exchange your licence, you must present to the service bureau the following:

  • An identity document.

  • A valid driver’s health certificate. The health certificate does not have to be submitted if the data in the driver’s health certificate are valid in the traffic register and the driver’s health status has not changed or if the issuer of the health certificate has submitted the data electronically. The health certificate is issued by a general practitioner, an occupational health doctor or a traffic medicine committee.

  • Photograph and signature. Estonian driving licence contain photograph and signature taken from the identification documents database or from the traffic register. The photo must not be older than five years.

  • Exchangeable foreign driving licence.

  • state fee must be paid for issuing an Estonian driving licence (also applies to exams when exams are mandatory).

Contracting Parties of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic

Driving licence is valid in Estonia for 12 months from the owner’s residency in Estonia. Residency is proven by the data of the population register. You must be ready to prove your Estonian residency, if necessary.

Licence entries must be in Latin characters or cursive script or transliterated into Latin script. The licence must include the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive. The description must include the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle and, in the case of buses, the passenger capacity. Licences not meeting these requirements are only valid with an international driving permit. A licence with a translation is only valid if the translated licence includes the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive.

The licence is not valid in Estonia if the owner was an Estonian resident at the time of issue. Such licences can be exchanged for an Estonian driving licence after passing a theory test and a practical driving test.

  • An Estonian driving licence can be applied for by an Estonian resident who lives in Estonia for at least 185 days of a calendar year or a person who can prove that they have studied in Estonia for at least six months. The applicant's right to drive has not been suspended, withdrawn or revoked in the country of issue or Estonia. Estonian residency is proved on the basis of population register data. You must be ready to prove your Estonian residency, if necessary.

  • Typically, the driving licence is exchanged for an equivalent Estonian licence without exams, however, a theory test and a practical driving test are necessary when exchanging a licence that has been expired for more than five years.

  • The Estonian Transport Administration and the police have the right to demand an international driving permit and a translation of the licence if the licence does not meet the requirements established in the convention.

  • The exchanged licence (including an international driving permit) must be handed over to the Estonian Transport Administration.

  • Lost, stolen or destroyed licence will not be replaced with Estonian licence.

  • If the licence has restrictions which do not allow an equivalent Estonian licence to be issued, it cannot be exchanged.

To exchange your licence, you must present to the service bureau the following:

  • An identity document.

  • A valid driver’s health certificate. The health certificate does not have to be submitted if the data in the driver’s health certificate are valid in the traffic register and the driver’s health status has not changed or if the issuer of the health certificate has submitted the data electronically. The health certificate is issued by a general practitioner, an occupational health doctor or a traffic medicine committee.

  • Photograph and signature. Estonian driving licence contain photograph and signature taken from the identification documents database or from the traffic register. The photo must not be older than five years.

  • Exchangeable foreign driving licence. An international driving permit and a translation of the licence if the licence does not meet the requirements established in the convention.

  • state fee must be paid for issuing an Estonian driving licence (also applies to exams when exams are mandatory).

Contracting Parties of the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic

Driving licence is valid in Estonia for 12 months from the owner’s residency in Estonia. Residency is proven by the data of the population register. You must be ready to prove your Estonian residency, if necessary. If the name of the country is not in the list, but it may be a territorial application, please contact us at info@transpordiamet.ee.

Licence entries must be in Latin characters or cursive script or transliterated into Latin script. The licence must include the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive. The description must include the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle and, in the case of buses, the passenger capacity. Licences not meeting these requirements are only valid with an international driving permit. A licence with a translation is only valid if the translated licence includes the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive.

The licence is not valid in Estonia if the owner was an Estonian resident at the time of issue. Such licences can be exchanged for an Estonian driving licence after passing a theory test and a practical driving test.

  • An Estonian driving licence can be applied for by an Estonian resident who lives in Estonia for at least 185 days of a calendar year or a person who can prove that they have studied in Estonia for at least six months. The applicant's right to drive has not been suspended, withdrawn or revoked in the country of issue or Estonia. Estonian residency is proved on the basis of population register data. You must be ready to prove your Estonian residency, if necessary.

  • A theory test and a practical driving test must be passed in order to exchange the licence for an Estonian licence.

  • If the licence has been expired for more than five years, it will not be exchanged.

  • The Estonian Transport Administration and the police have the right to demand an international driving permit and a translation of the licence if the licence does not meet the requirements established in the convention.

  • The exchanged licence (including an international driving permit) will be handed over to the Estonian Transport Administration. Upon request, the Estonian Transport Administration can preserve the foreign licence and issue it to the owner in exchange for the Estonian licence.

  • Lost, stolen or destroyed licence will not be replaced with Estonian licence.

  • If the licence has restrictions which do not allow an equivalent Estonian licence to be issued, it cannot be exchanged.

To exchange your licence, you must present the following:

  • An identity document.

  • A valid driver’s health certificate. The health certificate does not have to be submitted if the data in the driver’s health certificate are valid in the traffic register and the driver’s health status has not changed or if the issuer of the health certificate has submitted the data electronically. The health certificate is issued by a general practitioner, an occupational health doctor or a traffic medicine committee.

  • Photograph and signature. Estonian driving licence contain photograph and signature taken from the identification documents database or from the traffic register. The photo must not be older than five years.

  • Exchangeable foreign driving licence. An international driving permit and a translation of the licence if the licence does not meet the requirements established in the convention.

  • state fee must be paid for issuing an Estonian driving licence (also applies to exams when exams are mandatory).

United Kingdom driving licences of people who have become Estonian residents prior to the end of the Brexit transition period (31 December 2020) are valid for 12 months after the end of the transition period, i.e. 31 December 2021.

When exchanging licence, the same rules apply as for other Contracting Parties of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. See more here.

United Kingdom licences of people who become residents of Estonia after 1 January 2021 are valid for 12 months after the beginning of their residency. If the person wishes to drive a vehicle in Estonia after that period, they must exchange their United Kingdom licence for an Estonian driving licence. Conditions for the exchange can be found here.

Reference § 2641 in the Traffic Act .

Driving licence

Related links:

International driving permit

Last updated: 27.10.2021

Last updated: 10.11.2021