Identity Document Act

Identity Document Act

This act establishes a mandatory identity document, and regulates the issuance of identity documents to Estonian citizens and aliens by the Republic of Estonia. In addition to other functionalities, the identity document can also be used for electronic transactions.

“The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the development of policies of identity management and for policies in connection with issuing identity documents to Estonian citizens and aliens, as well as for coordinating relevant activities of governmental agencies. The issuing of identity documents is regulated by the Identity Documents Act.”

General principles of the policy for identity management and personal identification documents:

  • The state determines the person’s identity
  • One person has one identity
  • Use of another person’s identity or identity document is forbidden.
  • Identity management is performed by the state and in a centralized manner.
  • Both physical and digital personal identification documents are inextricably and uniquely linked to the document user’s identity.
  • Certificates that enable digital identification and digital signature for digital identity of a document are uniquely associated with the user’s personal data.
  • Data of both physical and digital documents, including digital authentication and certificates enabling digital signing are publicly controllable.

Identity management

Identity management policy involves identification and verification of identity in both physical and electronic environments. Identity management policy primarily deals with the following matters:

  • How to ensure reliable authentication, i.e. infallible and beyond reasonable doubt?
  • How to prevent the use of another person’s identity?
  • How to prevent the emergence and use of several identities for a single person?

Identity management policy is related to personal identification documents policy that primarily addresses the following issues:

  • What documents are recognised as personal identification documents by the state?
  • Which personal identification documents are issued to what categories of people?
  • How is the lifecycle management of documents performed?
  • To which security requirements do personal identification documents conform?

The Police and Border Guard Board is responsible for issuing personal identification documents.

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