A registered vehicle must have a national registration plate. In Estonia, registration plates are issued to vehicles by the Road Administration, this means that only the use of a valid registration plate ordered and issued by the Road Administration is allowed. Driving a vehicle (incl. power-driven and off-road vehicles) without a registration plate is prohibited. One vehicle may only have one assigned registration number at a time and the same registration number must not be assigned to any other vehicles.
If a vehicle is designed to have several registration plates (e.g. motor vehicles), the registration plates must be identical. Vehicles are prohibited from having the European logo and a registration plate with a field for a sign of Estonia “EST” together at the same time and from having a registration plate without such field.
More detailed requirements for registration plates are set out in regulation "Requirements for state registration plates and their manufacturing".
Categories of registration plates
Registration plates are divided into following categories:
- Registration plate for general use on motor vehicles and trailers – category A1;
- Special-order registration plate – A2;
- Registration plate with reduced size for general use of motor vehicles and trailers – category A3;
- Registration plate for diplomatic vehicles – categories A4, A5;
- Registration plate with reduced size for diplomatic vehicles – categories A6, A7;
- Transferrable registration plate – category A8;
- Registration plate for vintage vehicles or their trailers – category A9;
- Registration plate for racing cars – category A10;
- Registration plate for motorcycles and off-road vehicles and their trailers – category B1;
- Registration plate for vintage vehicles (motorcycle, moped, off-road vehicle) and their trailers – category B2;
- Registration plate for mopeds – category B3;
- Transit plate for cars – category D1;
- Transit plate for motorcycles, mopeds, tractors, mobile machinery and their trailers – category D2;
- Registration plate for tractors, mobile machinery and their trailers – categories E1, E2.
Additional information can be found here (PDF).
Reuse of registration plates
Usable registration plates issued for a vehicle and later deposited to a Road Administration service bureau due to amendments to register data or deletion from the register are allowed to be reused for a given period, i.e. issued to another vehicle. The state fee for reusing a registration plate is lower than the state fee for issuing a new registration plate (for automobiles 30 and 62 euros respectively).
In order to deposit and later reuse a registration plate, the possessor of the registration plate (a registration plate is state property) must submit a proper application to the Road Administration. The Road Administration shall assume that the registration plate will be used in the future by its current possessor but in exceptional circumstances it is also possible to surrender right of use.
The service bureau does not accept deformed or dirty registration plates!
The possessor of the registration plate may apply for the issue of a replacement or duplicate registration plate (state fee is 10 euro/pcs).
Registration plates taken into storage based on an application will be held at the service bureau for two years. Before the deadline the Road Administration shall send a notification stating that the storage period is about to end to the possessor of the registration plate using contact details submitted to the Road Administration by the possessor. The possessor of the registration plates can then decide whether he wishes to reuse the registration plate before the storage period is over or send it for destruction. The Road Administration does not store registration plates for over two years!
It is not possible to reuse a registration plate after its destruction, however, the same plate may be ordered on an individual basis or based on a special order.
Ordering registration plates
Registration plates can be ordered on an individual basis or based on a special order.
An individual order allows to choose a registration plate of a suitable category and a combination of numbers and letters (e.g. 555YYY), special-order registration plates, however, are specifically manufactured as category A2 registration plates (e.g. PEETER 1).
Information about state fees can be found here.
Replacement of registration plates
In order to replace a registration plate that has been lost, stolen or become unusable, an application and an explanatory letter stating the circumstances of the replacement of the registration plate must be submitted to the Road Administration. The application can be submitted by the owner of the vehicle or an entitled user of the vehicle. It is easier to apply for this through Road Administration’s e-service. The Road Administration shall issue a duplicate registration plate that can be ordered while applying through the e-service and which can be delivered to a courier terminal.