Population Register

The population register is a database which unites the main personal data on Estonian citizens, citizens of the European Union who have registered their residence in Estonia and aliens who have been granted a residence permit or right of residence in Estonia. The register is maintained and developed by the Ministry of the Interior, as the chief administrator of the register.

State and local government agencies and legal and natural persons can access information in the population register in order to perform public duties, where the performance of public duties must be based on the main information of the population register. Natural and legal persons with legitimate interest can also access information in the population register.

The requirements for the protection of personal information must be followed in maintaining and issuing information in population register.

Rahvastikuregister
 

Information entered in the population register shall be used by both the state and local government agencies and Estonian residents in order to perform public duties or to simplify proceeding with matters according to established laws and limitations.

The correct information in the population register makes it possible for the state to perform their duties better. On the basis of the information in the population register, the state can plan the allocation of its funds more specifically and direct developments. In addition, the existence of accurate information ensures smoother dealing with matters for residents involving administrative agencies.

In cases prescribed by law, the information entered in the population register has legal effect; this means that if the law refers to the use of information in the population register, that information forms the basis for further proceedings.

Information contained in the population register

The population register contains the following information:

  • given name and surname, birth data (date and place of birth), sex and personal identification code, citizenship, data on residence and contact details (postal address, telephone number, e-mail address), existence and term of an alien’s residence permit and work permit or right of residence, data on death (the time and place of death).

The following information shall also be entered in the population register:

  • marital status of an individual (single, married, widow/widower, divorced); information on mother, father, spouse and children, including right of custody; information on guardianship; restricted active legal capacity; voluntarily submitted information and information collected for statistical purposes (ethnic nationality, mother tongue, education, area of activity) and on documents issued to an individual (number of identity card, residence permit card, passport, vital statistics documents etc., date and place of issue).

In addition to personal information, the population register contains information on the processing of the register data; for example, on the time of entry in the register, the person entering the data and persons making inquiries about the data.

Information in the population register is preserved for an unspecified term. If the information entered in the population register loses its relevance; for example, the marital status of a person changes or a person dies, this information is transferred to the archives of the population register.


Access to information in the population register

The information in the population register can be accessed by natural and legal persons in order to perform public duties or if they have a legitimate interest.

Services that provide access to the population register include:

  • preparing samples based on provided terms;
  • comparing the information on an individual applying for access to information in the population register, and preparing a record of differences;
  • transferring information concerning changes to details in the database during an agreed period of time concerning an individual applying for access to information in the population register.

An adult has the right to access all actual information about him or her, his or her minor children and individuals under his or her guardianship entered in the population register. The relevant information, including extracts from the register, are issued by the city or rural municipal governments or the authorised administrator of the population register Ministry of the Interior's IT and Development Centre (SMIT). In addition, it is possible to access your data using the e-services of the population register at the state portal eesti.ee.

Access restrictions

A person has the right to restrict access to his or her personal data and related information.

To establish access restrictions, a signed application can be submitted to the authorised administrator of the population register, SMIT, which is located at Mäealuse 2/1, 12618  in Tallinn. The application may be submitted in person, by post or electronically by e-mail: abi@rahvastikuregister.ee. The application may also be submitted to the city or rural municipal government which in turn forwards it to the authorised administrator.

Information under restricted access may be issued from the population register only for the performance of public duties; that is, in cases where the information is required for the performance of public law functions assigned to the state or local government agencies, legal or natural persons by law or on the basis of such criteria.

On the basis of a legitimate interest, information under restricted access cannot be issued to natural or legal persons.

Protection of information in the population register

The use of information in the population register shall be guided by the provisions of the Population Register Act and the Personal Data Protection Act. The protection of data shall be monitored by the Data Protection Inspectorate and the Ministry of the Interior as the authorised administrator. Upon maintenance of the population register, the protection of the private life of individuals shall be ensured.

Individuals who participate in the processing of information in the population register are required to maintain the confidentiality of the data in the population register and information on data protection measures which become known to them in the performance of their duties. The duty to maintain confidentiality applies even after the termination of their employment or service relationships.

 

Verification and correction of the information in the population register

An adult person has the right to access his or her information in the population register. A parent or a guardian has the right to access information regarding a minor child; in the case of a person with restricted active legal capacity, the right of access is granted to the guardian.

Access to the personal information entered in the population register is made possible through the information portal eesti.ee by using the e-services of the population register, by identifying yourself using an ID-card or through an internet bank.

Access to the information is also made possible by the city, county or rural municipal government agency or by the register’s authorised administrator SMIT in response to a person’s application.



Upon discovering a mistake in the data, an individual can notify the authorised administrator of the register, SMIT, or use the information portal eesti.ee or the e-services of the population register by identifying him or herself using an ID-card or through an internet bank. In addition, depending on the mistake discovered, it is possible to notify the city, county or rural municipal government of his or her residence.



If an individual wishes to change his or her own vital statistics information or that of his or her minor children or persons under his or her guardianship entered in the population register, he or she shall submit an application to the county government. Residence data shall be changed in the city or rural municipal government of the person’s residence on the basis of a residence notice.

Entry of personal information in the population register

Information in the population register shall be updated continuously by registering events happening to a person or issuing documents in state or local government agencies. The principal agents submitting such information are county and local government agencies, foreign missions of the Republic of Estonia, courts, the Police and Border Guard Board and other state agencies.



Information shall be entered in the population register using special software on the immediate registration of the event (birth, death, marriage, divorce, residence etc.) or on issuing the relevant document (identity document, passport, residence permit etc.).


For example, upon the registration of the birth of a child, an entry of a new born person shall appear in the population register with information about his or her given name, surname, sex, personal identification code, date and place of birth, parents’ right of custody, residence and, in certain cases, citizenship.

At the same time, there is information that can be submitted for entry in the population register only by the person him or herself. In addition to information collected for statistical purposes, such information includes residence and contact details, which can be entered or changed on the basis of a notice of residence submitted by the person.



Upon the registration of the birth of a child, the address of his or her mother entered in the population register is automatically registered as the address of the child.

 

Personal identification code

A personal identification code is a number formed on the basis of the sex and date of birth of a person which allows the specific identification of the person.

The basis for the formation of personal identification codes is the EVS 585:2007 standard “Personal identification code. Structure”, and the Population Register Act and the regulation by the Minister of Regional Affairs, which regulates the formation, distribution and granting of personal identification codes.

Personal identification code consists of 11 digits, the first of which shows the sex of a person and the next six show his or her date of birth. The following three digits are sequential numbers for children born on the same day and the last is a control number which is calculated according to a special formula.

A personal identification code is granted:

  • to a child born in a health care institution in Estonia; for a child born in a foreign state, the personal identification code is formed when the birth document is entered in the population register;
  • to a citizen of a foreign state with no personal identification code in the vital statistics office in case he or she is part of a family event registered in Estonia (e.g. marriage or birth of child);
  • to people who have been granted right of residence in Estonia or who settle in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit;
  • to people who are not permanent residents in Estonia but require a personal identification code for the entry of their data in the database of the Estonian state  (e.g. for the Tax and Customs Board, Health Insurance Fund or Social Insurance Board).

If an individual stays in Estonia temporarily; for example, lives in Latvia but works in Estonia, he or she may submit an application for a personal identification code in the nearest county government agency in person. If an individual cannot submit an application in Estonia, he or she can do so in an Estonian foreign mission in a foreign state.

Citizens of the European Union can submit their application for a personal identification code to the city or rural municipal government agency together with their notice of residence.

Granting a personal identification code does not grant the right to stay, live or work in Estonia – these rights must proceed from other bases prescribed by law. For further information on the Right of residence of a citizen of the European Union read the next section.

A personal identification code shall be considered granted to a person after it is entered in the population register.

Right of residence for citizens of the European Union 

Citizens of the European Union who wish to settle in Estonia or want to be granted right of residence, must submit an application for a personal identification code in the city or rural municipal agency of their residence and a notice of residence to register their residence. For this purpose, they have to go in person to the city or rural municipal agency of their residence. For a minor child or child under guardianship, the application for a personal identification code and notice of residence can be submitted by a parent or guardian.

The following have to be submitted to register your residence:

  • notice of residence;
  • identity document;
  • in case of children, birth document formalised in compliance with the requirements;
  • consent of the other parent to register the residence.

If the citizen of the European Union is not the owner of the property, he or she must submit a document certifying the right of use of the property or permission from the owner of the property to enter his or her property as the residence of the applicant in the population register.

All documents shall be in Estonian, Russian or English. If the documents are translated, the translation must be prepared by a sworn translator or certified by a notary. A document from a foreign state must be legalised or apostilled, unless otherwise specified by an international treaty.

Upon registration of residence, a citizen of the European Union is automatically granted a temporary residence permit for five years in Estonia. In order to be granted an ID-card certifying the right of residence, the person should turn to the Police and Border Guard Board after registering his or her residence.

If, after five years, the residence of a citizen of the European Union in Estonia is still registered in the population register, his or her temporary residence permit shall be automatically extended for another five years. At the same time, he or she can apply for a permanent residence permit in Estonia. For this purpose, the person should turn to the Police and Border Guard Board.

If a citizen of the European Union leaves Estonia to live in another country, he or she must submit a new notice of residence to the population register. By submitting residence details in a foreign state his or her temporary right of residence in Estonia shall be terminated. In order to terminate the validity of the ID-card, a citizen of the European Union must turn to the Police and Border Guard Board.

 

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Last updated: 16 February 2016