The Road Administration issues international driving permits pursuant to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.
An international driving permit is a booklet in A6 format which formalisation complies with all requirements of the convention. An international driving permit – which is essentially a translation of an Estonian driving licence into French, English, Spanish and Russian – may be required in order to drive a power-driven vehicle in countries not belonging to the European Economic Area.
It should be remembered that an international driving permit is valid only with an Estonian driving licence. It is issued based on a valid Estonian driving licence with a validity of three years. If the driving licence on the basis of which the international driving permit is issued is due to expire within three years, the international driving permit is issued with the same term of validity. This is noted on the national driving licence.
To apply for an international permit the following documents must be submitted to a service bureau of the Road Administration:
an identity document;
and a document photo (min. size 35 x 45 mm);
has paid the state fee.
Applications for the driving permit may also be submitted with a digital signature. In this case the document photo may be sent by post. In such a case, a digitally signed document must also be sent on which the front and rear of the applicant’s Estonian driving licence and the document photo are scanned.
An international driving permit is replaced when it expires, becomes useless, the holder’s data or the category of the vehicle for which the right to drive was granted changes or when it is not possible to recognise the holder from the photo.
If the international driving permit is lost, stolen or destroyed, then in order to apply for a replacement the holder of the international driving permit must submit an explanatory letter or proof from the police or rescue board and the documents and photo required for the application. Previously issued valid international driving permit is repealed as of the date of the written notice of the holder of the driving licence.
Validity of an Estonian driving licence abroad
A driving licence issued in a Member State of the European Union is recognised throughout the European Union. Additional information is available on the EU website under the section “Driving licence”.
The following paragraphs concern countries that are not Member States of the European Union.
The most common conventions concerning the forms and mutual recognition of driving licences are the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. The texts of the conventions and lists of State Parties can be found here.
- Texts of the conventions: Vienna 1968 (PDF); Geneva 1949 (PDF)
- Lists of State Parties: Vienna 1968; Geneva 1949
Pay attention! Countries are considered State Parties if there is a date marked after its name in the column "Ratification, Accession (a), Succession (d)".
Estonia has only joined the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Therefore, an Estonian driving licence is valid in all State Parties of the Vienna Convention. International Driving Permits issued in Estonia are also valid in those countries. A driving licence is recognised by a State Party as long as the owner of the driving licence has not established their residence in the territory of the said country. It is also important to bare in mind that the convention does not require a State Party to recognise a driving licence issued by another State Party if it has been issued at a time during which the owner of the driving licence resided in its territory. For example, Ukraine is not required to recognise an Estonian driving licence if it has been issued at a time during which the owner of the driving licence resided in Ukraine.
NB! Countries that have not joined the Vienna Convention are not required to recognise an Estonian driving licence. The recognition of an Estonian driving licence in such countries is up to those countries. Even an International Driving Permit may not be of help in those countries.
The website of Reisi targalt of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has specific information concerning the validity of an Estonian driving licence if the information is known to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If there is no information available, it is recommended to obtain information on your own before a trip.
The conditions concerning the exchange of a driving licence are entirely determined by each individual country.
Information about the validity of foreign driving licences in Estonia can be found here.