Most of the public services are provided by the local municipality and the services are provided based on a person’s place of residence according to the data of the population register. Therefore, it is important whether according to the data of the population register, a person lives in Estonia and in the local municipality where they wish to use the services. Through the population portal at Eesti.ee, anyone can specify their data, and if necessary, easily update them. Make sure that your residence is in the area where you would like to use the services of, for example, a family physician, which is a location-based service.
To find a more suitable place to live, read more information on the sub-page “I do not live in Estonia”.
Health insurance and family physician’s services
Each resident of Estonia for whom social tax is paid in Estonia or pays the social tax for himself or herself, has the right for health insurance. If a person is employed in several European Union member states, they are given health insurance in the country where social tax is paid. If social tax is paid for a person in several countries, health insurance is valid in the country of his or her permanent residence. You can check if you have health insurance via the state portal eesti.ee under the service “Health insurance and family physician”, by sending a digitally signed query to the e-mail address [email protected] or by calling to the Health Insurance Fund’s client information telephone 669 6630. Permanent residents of Estonia who are up to 19 years old, have health insurance regardless of if their parents work or not.
Each Estonian resident who has health insurance, has the right to choose a family physician. Family physician’s medical care is free of charge for people with health insurance. In the Estonian health care system, the first contact for the person with health issues is his or her family physician or family nurse. In terms of family physician’s service, it is important to remember that it takes time to be added to the list of a family physician. That is why you should do it immediately, and not when there is something wrong with your health. Additional information on choosing a family physician and registering with a family physician is available here.
Additionally, 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.
The Health Insurance Fund pays several financial compensation to the insured people, including benefit for incapacity for work, supplementary benefit for medicinal products and dental care benefit.
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.
If a marriage is entered into in Estonia, it is based on Estonian law, 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.
Population-related activities (e.g. registration of birth and death; marriage and divorce etc) are performed by municipalities in county centres: Tallinn Vital Statistics Office, Hiiumaa Municipality Government, Jõhvi Municipality Government, Narva City Government, Jõgeva City Government, Paide City Government, Haapsalu City Government, Rakvere City Government, Põlva Municipality Government, Pärnu City Government, Rapla Municipality Government, Saaremaa Municipality Government, Tartu City Government, Valga Municipality Government, Viljandi City Government, Võru City Government. The tasks of population-related activities do not change in other municipalities, they still register deaths, births, residences and issue extracts from the population register.
A person’s name can be changed in four locations: Tartu City Government, Tallinn Vital Statistics Office, Pärnu City Government and Jõhvi Municipality Government.
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
If you come to Estonia with a personal vehicle that has the registration of another country, you should contact to the Road Administration to re-register the vehicle to Estonia. A vehicle must be re-registered no later than within 12 months, provided that the vehicle has a valid inspection certificate and motor third party liability insurance. 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.
Information on what to do if there is a traffic accident can be found here.
In Estonia, local public transport is free of charge for example for the residents of Tallinn and Tartu. See if it is so where you live!!
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 the consumers and represent their interests. Information on the rights and obligations of the consumers is available here https://www.ttja.ee/en. 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 Estonian).
No matter how carefully and correctly we go about our things, anyone can find themselves in a situation where they need the help of lawyers. To help residents in legal matters, a website called Jurist aitab (Lawyer helps) has been created, featuring the most common situations and instructions for solving them. Additionally, all residents of Estonia can get free legal counselling. Additional information about free legal counselling!
Legal assistance is impartial and will help you even if both parties are in default. To prevent the situation from escalating, it is always worth the while to be active and find solutions by using the help of lawyers.
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!