First you must register your residence in the population register. Most of the public services are provided by the local municipalities and the basis for the provision of the services is the place of residence of the person according to the population register. To register your place of residence, you can contact your local municipality directly. Read more!
People are free in Estonia to choose where they live. Anyone can choose a preferred area and housing that is suitable for them. Everyone is also free to sell and rent their property. Many use the help of estate agents for these transactions, but this is not mandatory. If a person feels unsure in the things they have to do to find housing (e.g. little knowledge of regulations, unable to speak Estonian), it is always advisable to use the help of a professional estate agent. Information on available properties can be found in real estate portals:
To find a estate agent and/or check their background, it is advisable to visit the website of the Chamber of Estonian Estate Agents and the register.
Persons whose residence is not registered in Estonia (i.e. they are not permanent residents of Estonia) can turn to emergency rooms or private medical institutions to get medical assistance (e.g. https://www.qvalitas.ee/en/, http://www.sinuarst.ee/en/frontpage/). Family health centres also offer family physician services.
Each Estonian resident with health insurance has the right to choose a family physician. Family physician’s services are free of charge for the persons who have health insurance. Information on getting health insurance can be found at the Health Insurance Fund’s homepage as well as on the websites of private insurance companies. If a person wants to get a health insurance in Estonia, but Estonian social tax is not paid for him or her, health insurance can be obtained by concluding a voluntary health insurance contract.
You can ask for assistance with minor issues by calling the 24h family physician’s hotline 1220 or (+372) 634 6630 – there professional medical advice is provided in Estonian and Russian. Information on health care options is available here.
Marriage and family
In Estonia, marriages are entered into between adult men and women. A miner in the ages between 15 and 17 may marry if the court has expanded his or her active legal capacity for marrying and given permission to marry. Marriage is not allowed for people one of whom is already married; people of the same gender; relatives who are direct relatives in the ascending or descending line; brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters; adopters and adoptees as well as children adopted by one person.
Couples are married in Estonia irrespective of the citizenship and country of residence of the persons who are marrying. The documents submitted for entering into a marriage must be in Estonian, Russian or English. Otherwise they should be translated and the translation must be made by a sworn translator or notarised. A document of a foreign country must be legalised or apostilled, unless foreseen by an international agreement. A marriage is generally not entered into earlier than one and later than six months after the persons to be married have submitted the respective application. For good reason, the term could be shortened. A marriage is considered to be entered into from the moment when the word “yes” is uttered. Additional information on marriage and other family-related topics can be found here.
Children are the wealth of Estonia. Each child is a gift for Estonia. The Estonian state pays several benefits to support children and families.
Furthermore, the state of Estonia supports persons with disabilities or incapacity for work. Read more!
Driver’s licence and registering a car
People arriving in Estonia can bring their own personal vehicle, but it has to be re-registered no later than within 12 months, provided that the vehicle has a valid inspection certificate and motor third party liability insurance. To re-register the vehicle, you must contact the Road Administration. Further information on the requirements and contacts is available at the Road Administration’s page.
Persons, whose driver’s licence was issued in a foreign country should read the requirements at the Road Administration’s homepage in order to maintain the right to drive and if necessary, renew the driver’s licence on time.
It is not required to replace a driver’s licence issued according to the European Union standard before its expiry. However, third country nationals should observe if their driver’s licence is valid in Estonia and what are the conditions set for their replacement in Estonia. Read more!
Information on what to do if there is a traffic accident can be found here.
Purchases and services
The Consumer Protection Board is responsible for the rights and protection of the consumers. The main task of the Board is to protect the legal rights of consumers (including persons staying in Estonia temporarily) and represent their interests. Information on the rights and obligations of the consumers is available here. Hotline 620 1707 is the fastest and easiest way to get answers to your questions. You can call on working days from 10:00 to 15:00. Electronically you can send in your question or tip via the Board’s service environment (only in Esonian).
To help aliens arriving in Estonia to acquire as quickly and conveniently as possible the first knowledge and skills necessary for successfully coping in Estonia, the Estonian state offers a possibility to participate in the Welcoming Programme. The following persons who have resided in Estonia for less than five years can participate in the Welcoming Programme:
1) aliens with temporary residence permit based on the grounds set out in the Aliens Act or Granting Aliens International Protection Act;
2) citizens of the European Union who have acquired the temporary right of residence in Estonia based on the grounds set out in the Citizen of the European Union Act;
3) family members of the Citizens of the European Union who have been granted the temporary right of residence in Estonia based on the grounds set out in the Citizen of the European Union Act.
Materials of the Welcoming Programme and instructions for adapting in Estonia are available for everyone. Read more on the possibilities of the Welcoming Programme.