Residence Procedures

The population register reflects valid and correct residence data for every individual to enable the state and local government agencies to perform their duties for the residents. People should take care of the accuracy of the information entered in the register in regard to places of residence both in Estonia and abroad.

Residence data entered in the population register have legal effect at the Riigikogu, European Parliament and local government council elections, referendums and opinion polls.

This information also has legal effect in paying the taxes collected for the local government budget and in performing public duties if the performing of such duties is connected with the place of residence.

 

Registration of residence

The registration of residence is necessary for the state and local government agencies to offer public services to people residing on their territory and to facilitate cooperation and information exchange.

Local government can offer necessary services if the receipt of taxes from the residents is ensured and it is known how many people have registered the local government unit as their place of permanent residence.

If, in reality, there are more people living on the local government territory than indicated in the population registry, the quality of services may suffer and damage is done not only to people with incorrect residence data, but those who have performed their registration duties correctly.

Entry or placement of an individual in a hospital, social welfare institution, custodial institution or in military service shall not constitute sufficient basis for changing the residential address of an individual entered in the population register.

Residential information can be changed:

  • on the basis of a notice of residence (759.37 KB, PDF) submitted by an individual;
  • on the basis of a notice of residence or an application to register a permanent residence in a foreign state if an individual permanently settles in a foreign state;
  • on the initiative of a city or rural municipal government;
  • at the reasoned request of the owner of a property;
  • on the basis of a judicial decision whereby an individual loses the right to use a property as his or her residence;
  • if the administrative-territorial organisation which is the basis of the residential address, or the names and numbers of objects which are address units, are altered;
  • on the basis of information received from a competent foreign state authority if the individual’s residential address is in a foreign state.
 

Submission of a notice of residence

An individual must submit a notice of residence if he or she changes his or her residential address in Estonia, settles in a foreign state, or from a foreign state to Estonia.

Note of residence (PDF) (printable)

Note of residence (759.37 KB, PDF) (electronically fillable)

For a residential address to be entered in the population register, an individual must submit a notice of residence to the city or rural municipality government of his or her residence or to the Tallinn City District Government within 14 days; in case of relocating to a foreign state, within 30 days. The date when the notice of residence is received by the city or rural municipality government is considered to be the starting date of the validity period of the residence data. If the person wants to, he or she can state a date 14 days earlier than the reception of the notice of residence by the city or rural municipality government as the starting date of the validity period of the residence data. In case of relocation to a foreign state, the data concerning the place of residence in another country may be communicated 30 days in advance before settling there or in 14 day after the effect upon settling in the foreign state.


A notice of residence can be submitted to the city or rural municipality government governing the individual’s place of residence:

  • by going in person;
  • by sending a notice of residence by post and appending a copy of the page containing the personal data from an identity document;
  • by sending a digitally signed notice by e-mail;
  • by using the e-service of the population register at the information gate eesti.ee (an ID-card, ID-card reader and ID-card PIN-codes are necessary).


A notice of residence must be signed by all adults presented on the notice of residence except individuals under his or her guardianship.


Valid place of residence can be checked at the information gate eesti.ee.

The purpose of registering the residential address of an Estonian citizen permanently living in a foreign state is to inform the population register about his or her address details in a foreign state. This makes it possible to ensure him or her citizen and alien’s rights, which are organised by the Estonian state on the basis of information held in the population register.

On leaving Estonia, an individual can submit his or her residential address in the foreign state with a notice of residence to a local government in Estonia. If an individual already lives in a foreign state, he or she can submit an application for the registration of his or her permanent residential address to the Estonian honorary consul or foreign mission or, in their absence, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which in their turn will submit the relevant information for entry in the population register.

If you have once lived in Estonia, submitted an Estonian address for entry in the Population Register, and left the residence address unchanged in the Population Register upon your departure from Estonia, your Estonian residence address is still shown in the Population Register. According to the Population Register, you are therefore a resident of Estonia. The residence data in the Population Register can be changed on the basis of a residence notice submitted by you. More information can be found here (257.28 KB, PDF).

Data to be submitted

The address of the new place of residence is provided in the notice of residence. People living together may submit a joint notice of residence. The notice of residence must also contain information about minor children. The correctness of the residential data on the notice of residence submitted for entry in the population register must be certified by a signature.

The property whose address the individual states in the notice of residence must be a residential building or apartment. Exceptions are made if an individual applies for the entry of the address of a building under construction belonging to him or her in the population register or the address of another property belonging to him or her, or if the person proves the use of a property which is not a dwelling as a residence.

Together with the notice of residence, an individual may also submit his or her contact details such as the e-mail address, post box number, telephone, or the number or address of another means of contact. An additional address of a place of residence can also be provided if the person resides in another place for a long period of time, from time to time, or if only the city, rural municipality, city district or rural municipality district is indicated as the place of residence of the person.

When registering a place of residence for the first time, an EU citizen may also state the date of leaving Estonia and the address in a foreign state where he or she is going in the residence notice.

Permission of the owner of the dwelling

If an individual is not the owner of the dwelling indicated in the notice of residence, the person shall append to the notice of residence a copy of the document certifying his or her right to use the residence; for example, residential lease contract, or permission of the owner of the dwelling. A signature on the notice of residence or permission stated in a separate document shall be considered as permission.

If an individual wishes to enter the address of a dwelling which is in common ownership or the address ow a dwelling which is not in his or her common ownership in the population register, the consent of all co-owners or their representatives must be attached to the notice of residence. If there is an agreement of use for the commonly owned property between the owners, a document proving the agreement between the co-owners shall be appended to the notice of residence instead of the statement of permission.

Permission of the other parent with right of custody

To register the residential address of a minor child, a written authority from a second parent with right of custody shall be submitted. The second parent must also submit the authority if the residential address of the minor child is to be submitted from Estonia to a foreign state or vice versa.

The signed permission shall be designated on the notice of residence or appended to it.

Verification process in the local government

A local government shall verify, within ten working days of receiving a notice of residence, whether the notice complies with the requirements. If the notice complies with the requirements, the local government shall enter the residential address in the population register.

The city or rural municipality may refuse to enter data on residence in the population register if:
  • the individual is not the owner of the dwelling specified in the notice of residence and the individual does not have the permission of the owner or a contract to use the dwelling;
  • the property is not a dwelling (some exceptions apply);
  • information provided in the notice of residence is incomplete;
  • the individual submits false information in the notice of residence;
  • the individual applies for a property which is not his or her place of residence or domicile to be entered in the population register as the place of residence of his or her minor child or person under guardianship, and granting the application is against the interests of the minor child or person under guardianship.
 

Legitimate request of the owner

The owner of a property has the right to submit an application to the city or rural municipality government to change the information concerning an individual’s place of residence entered in the population register if the property belonging to the owner is indicated as the residence of an individual, and the individual has no right to use the property as his or her residence or the individual does not use the property as his or her residence.

The following conditions must be met for submitting a legitimate request of the owner:

  • a property belonging to the owner is stated as an individual’s place of residence;
  • the individual does not have the right to use the owner’s property as the place of residence;
  • the individual does not use the owner’s property as the place of residence.

All the conditions must be met simultaneously, and the owner of the property must confirm that they are correct by providing his or her signature.

The local government shall notify the individual about the property owner’s application by e-mail at the address stated in the population register or by registered mail at the residential address indicated in the population register and publish the notice in the official publication "Ametlikud Teadaanded" if the obligation to notify is not fulfilled by other means. The application of the owner of a property shall be denied if the individual provides documentary evidence of his or her right to use the property as his or her residence within one month after delivery of the application or publication of the notice or if a legal dispute concerning the right of use of the property is pending.

If, as a result of the proceedings, the legitimate request of the owner is satisfied, the information concerning the individual’s place of residence in the population register shall become invalid.

The owner of a property may submit an application for changing the address:

  • in person to the local government of the location of the property or to the Tallinn City District Government;
  • by post, appending a copy of the personal information from the owner’s identity document;
  • by sending a digitally signed notice by e-mail;
  • by using the population register e-service on the state portal eesti.ee (an ID-card or mobile ID is necessary).

The owner of the property shall not be entitled to submit an application if an individual lives in a property belonging to him or her, or the individual has the right to use this property as his or her residence. A dispute concerning the right of use shall be settled according to civil procedure or the procedure provided for in the Lease Disputes Resolution Act. The decision of a committee settling a lease dispute or a judicial decision regarding the existence or absence of the right of use which has entered into force constitutes the basis for changing the address entered in the population register by the local government.

 

Change of residential address on other grounds

The local government may also change the residential address of an individual on other grounds, including on the initiative of the local government, on the basis of a decision by a committee settling a lease dispute or a judicial decision, or on the basis of information received from a competent foreign agency.

On the initiative of a local government

Local governments are entitled to initiate the entry or amendment of the residential address of an individual in the population register.

Local governments must initiate the entry or amendment of the residential address of an individual in the population register if the residential address of the individual who continuously stays in the territory under the local government is not entered in the population register, or if the individual states that he or she does no longer use the property at the residential address entered in the population register. Social welfare institutions, medical institutions, rescue service agencies, police authorities and other agencies or individuals may notify local governments of individuals who are continuously staying in the territory under the local government.

In order to specify the residential address of an individual in the population register to the level of the property, the local government shall make a written inquiry to the individual and the owner of the property to obtain their consent. If neither the person nor the owner of the property provides notice of their consent within one month of sending the inquiry, the residential address of the individual shall be specified by the local government in the population register to the level of the city or rural municipality. The person’s known address shall be stated as an additional address.

In case he owner of the property does not give consent during the processing of a notice of residence for the address of the property belonging to the former to be entered in the population register as an individual’s place of residence, but the local government is aware that the individual who has submitted the notice of residence is using the owner’s property as the place of residence, the local government may enter the address of the property stated in the notice of residence in the population register as the individual’s place of residence.

On the basis of a decision of a committee settling a lease dispute or a judicial decision

A local government can change an individual’s residential address entered in the population register on the basis of a decision by a committee settling a lease dispute or a judicial decision, which has entered into force, if the individual receives or loses the right to use the property as a place of residence.


In the case of the loss of the right to use the property as a place of residence, the individual’s residential address shall be preserved in the population register, specified to the level of the city or rural municipality.

In the case of a change of the address details

A local government can change a residential address entered in the population register if the administrative-territorial organisation, which is the basis of the residential address, or the names and numbers of objects which are address units (e.g. the street name or dwelling number) are altered. The local government shall inform the individual of the changes to the address details.

On the basis of information received from competent foreign agencies

An individual’s address details may also be changed on the basis of information received from competent foreign agencies. Information from a foreign state about an address to be entered in the population register may be contained in a document issued by a competent foreign agency or transferred in the course of the automated exchange of information between agencies. Estonia has an agreement to exchange population information with Finland. This means that Finland transfers information on Estonian citizens that have registered or changed their residential address in Finland to the population register automatically once a week. Similarly, information on Finnish citizens having registered their residential address in Estonia is transferred to the Finnish population register.

 

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Last updated: 21 March 2019