The driving test starts with taking the theory test. The theory test is not part of the study process. It is first and foremost a test of knowledge. Theory tests can be taken in Estonian, Russian and English.
General requirements and procedure for carrying out the test
General requirements for carrying out the theory test:
- The test is conducted by an examiner assigned by the Estonian Road Administration.
- The test is carried out at the service centre of the Road Administration chosen by the examinee at a previously scheduled date and time.
- You can schedule a theory test through the online service site.
- All applicants for the right to drive are obliged to take the test using the computer.
- If the applicant for the right to drive is not able to take the test using a computer, they must submit a written motivated application to the Road Administration in order to take the theory test in writing or orally, where the oral test will be conducted using a computer. An examination board comprising three members will be formed to conduct the written or oral theory test.
- The test will be conducted in the test room of the Road Administration or in a location determined by the Road Administration. When coming to the theory test, the examinee must bring a valid identity document, which will be checked before entering the test room. Latecomers will not be permitted to take the national theory test. Therefore, it is advisable to be present approx. 10-15 minutes before the start of the test. The examinee will also give their signature regarding participation in the theory test.
- As a rule, theory tests are carried out in Estonian. The test can also be taken in English and Russian with the help of an independent interpreter (incl. for sign language) at the expense of the applicant for the right to drive.
It is prohibited for the examinee to communicate with other examinees during the test, to use auxiliary or additional means, to use the help or guiding notes (incl. by an interpreter) of unauthorised people, which may affect independent passing of the test, to distract other examinees and to make notes on the questions of the theory test while taking the test. Mobile phones and other electronic devices must be switched off. In the event of questions, the examinee can turn to the examiner only. In the event of infringement of the procedure, the test will be interrupted and considered failed.
Taking the test and notification of the results
Before taking the theory test, the examinee is introduced to the current requirements and procedure of the theory test and the general principles of taking the theory test and the examinee's specifying questions are answered. All examinees start taking the theory test after the examiner has given the relevant permission.
The theory test consists of 30-50 questions depending on the category of the vehicle the right to drive is applied (PDF) for. The questions cover traffic rules, traffic safety, traffic psychology as well as questions related to the technical condition of a vehicle and other areas.
The time limit for answering the questions on the theory test can be found here (DOCX) and the total number of questions in the theory test, the number of questions related to traffic safety and the required minimum number of correct answers needed to pass the test can be found here (DOCX). In the event of simultaneous application for the right to drive power-driven vehicles belonging to different categories, all questions to be answered per all relevant categories of the power-driven vehicles must be answered within the time limits given to answer to the test questions.
Only one answer should be indicated per question as each question can only have one correct answer.
In tests with up to 30 questions (categories AM, BE, CE, C1E, DE and D1E), up to four mistakes are permitted in total, one of which can be made in questions on traffic safety. This means that a maximum of four mistakes can be made in total and if one mistake is made in questions on traffic safety, no more than three mistakes can be made in the other three categories. If there are two or more mistakes in questions on traffic safety, the theory test is considered failed regardless of how many mistakes are made in the other three sections.
In tests with over 30 questions (the rest of the theory tests, incl. category B), up to five mistakes are permitted in total, one of which can be made in questions addressing traffic safety. This means that a maximum of five mistakes can be made in total and if one mistake is made in questions addressing traffic safety, no more than four mistakes can be made in the other three categories. If there are two or more mistakes in questions on traffic safety, the theory test is considered failed regardless of how many mistakes are made in the other three sections.
Questions remaining unanswered by the end of the allocated time for taking the theory test are considered answered incorrectly. Examinees can see the answers only after the end of the theory test. The sets of test questions are secret and not to be disclosed. Examinees are not allowed to keep the questions and answers. The results of the theory test will be announced to the examinee immediately after taking the test. The examiner does not comment on the questions and answers of the national theory test because this is not an instruction on traffic theory.
If the test is passed, the examiner will inform the examinee how to schedule a practical driving test. A practical driving test can be scheduled immediately after taking a theory test. In the case of failure, the examiner will inform the examinee how to schedule a repeated test.
If the examinee fails the theory test, they can re-take the test no earlier than two days after the day of the test they failed.
In the event of disagreement with the test result, an appeal can be made pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Administrative Procedure Act within 30 days after the test results are announced. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the manager of the service centre.
The results of successfully completed theory tests are valid for 12 months starting from the date of the test. The term of validity of the theory test cannot be extended. When scheduling a practical driving test, bear in mind that the waiting period for a practical driving test may be different and it is advisable to schedule a test as soon as possible.