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 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 (3.14 MB, PDF) (can be filled in electronically, saved and printed)

For a residential address to be entered in the population register, an individual must submit a notice of residence to a competent city or local government agency of his or her residence or to the Tallinn city district government within thirty days.


A notice of residence can be submitted to the competent city or local government agency 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.


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 city or rural municipal 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.

Data to be submitted

The address of one residence is provided in a notice of residence.

People living together may submit a joint notice of residence, which shall also contain information about minor children. The correctness of the residential data on the notice of residence submitted for entry in the population register shall be certified by a signature.

The property which an individual indicates using address details in a notice of residence must be a residential building or apartment – except when 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 telecommunications details such as e-mail address, post box number, telephone, and other telecommunications numbers or the address of another property of residence if the person resides in another place for a longer period of time or from time to time or if only the city, rural municipality, city district or rural municipality district is indicated as the residence of the person.

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 in the population register, a statement of permission from all co-owners or their representatives shall be appended to the notice of residence. If there is an agreement of use for the common ownership 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 city or rural municipal government

A competent city or rural government agency 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 city or rural government agency shall enter the residential address in the population register.

A competent city or rural government agency may refuse to enter data on residence in the population register if:

  • an 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;
  • a property is not a dwelling (some specifications shall apply);
  • information provided in the notice of residence is incomplete;
  • an individual submits false information in the notice of residence.
 

Legitimate request of the owner

The owner of a property shall be entitled to submit an application (PDF) to a competent city or local government agency to change the details of the address 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.

All the conditions shall be complied with simultaneously and their correctness shall be confirmed by the signature of the owner of the property on the application.

The competent local government agency shall notify the person of the property owner’s application by registered mail at the residential address indicated in the population register and publish the notice in the official publication "Ametlikud Teadaanded". The application of the owner of a property shall be denied if the person 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 a procedure, the legitimate request of the owner is satisfied, the residential address of the person is preserved among the actual data in the population register to the level of accuracy of the city or rural municipality and city district or rural municipal district and settlement unit if possible.

Changing the address is possible if the owner of the property submits an application:

  • in person to the city or rural municipal government of the location of the property or to Tallinn city 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 competent local government agency.

 

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 city or rural municipal 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 city or rural municipal government

City and rural municipal governments are entitled to initiate the entry or amendment of the residential address of an individual in the population register.

Local government are entitled to do so if the residential address of an individual who continuously stays on the territory under a local government and who is a subject of the population register is not entered in the population register, or who has a valid residential address entered in the population register, which does not correspond to the actual situation, or if the individual uses a property that is not a dwelling as a residence.

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 on territory under the local government.

In order to enter the residential address of an individual in the population register at the accuracy level of the property, the city or local government shall make a written inquiry to the individual and the owner of the property in regard to permission for right of use. If neither the person nor the owner of the property provides notice of their permission within one month of sending the inquiry, the residential address of the individual shall be entered in the population register at the accuracy level of the city or rural municipal and city or rural municipal district and settlement unit if possible.

In this case, the address of the place of residence of the individual is specified as his or her contact details.

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

A city or rural municipal 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 at the accuracy level of the city or rural municipality and city or rural municipal district and settlement unit if possible.

In the case of a change of the address details

A city or rural municipal 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 city or rural municipal 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: 28 December 2015