Estonian identity card : Estonia in the digital age

Trüb, now part of Gemalto, has been delivering the Estonian national ID card known as ID kaart ​since 2002. In addition, the company provides personalization and certification services from its center based in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. 

 Estonian e-ID known as ID kaartThe secure national polycarbonate e-ID card includes an embedded PKI application which enables online authentication and digital signature with electronic certificates.

The Java-based technology offers multi-application capabilities. A contactless chip in the card allows for special functions such as a fingerprint check and can be utilized when traveling in and around Schengen.

Mostly used applications 

e-School  or eKool (The name of the Estonian e-service) 

is the most used secure e-service of all time in the country. This school management system covers over 90% of schools and over 95% of Estonian students. eKool is used on a regular basis by 28 to 30% of the population. 


From 2015 onward, the new Estonian BRP implements not only the ICAO application with BAC and EAC, but also supports SAC. 

National Driver's License

Estonia is the first country to rely on the e-ID card for checking a driver's permit and related status information. Police cars are equipped with an e-ID reader and a mobile workstation enabling easy and fast access to the corresponding databases. 

E-Health and e-Prescription

 The e-ID serves authorized users to access centrally stored health insurance files and medical records. With e-Prescription the whole process of issuing a prescription by a medical doctor, ordering medicine by the pharmacy, pickup by the patient and reimbursement by the insurance has become completely paperless. 

Digital documents can be signed electronically with locally installed DigiDoc signing software or online via DigiDoc portal. Both use the PKI applet, qualified certificates and the securely stored credentials on the e-ID card. The electronic signature has therefore the same legal status as a handwritten one. 

+95% prescriptions were issued electronically in 2013. 


Estonia was the first country in the world to conduct national elections over the Internet in 2007. Citizens can cast their vote electronically via Internet. This is not only convenient for voters, but also reduces the administrative burden for collecting and counting the votes. A sophisticated system ensures the legitimacy of the voters, but also their privacy and the correct and unbiased accounting of the votes. The idea of e-Voting in Estonia is not to kill off paper-ballot voting but to get more people to vote. 

Voter participation in parliamentary elections rose from 61.9% in 2007 to 64.2% in 2015. 

In 2017 local elections, advance voting stated on 5 October and ended on 11 October when e-Voting also ended as a part of advance voting, attracting 306,508 voters, up from 265,208 in last local elections in 2013.
The 2017 local council election is the first time in Estonian election history 16-17 years old young people can vote, with more than 24,000 new voters.​
The Estonian registered voters totalled more than 1.1 million​ according to vvk​.


The e-ID card is widely in loyalty schemes at the supermarket or gas station. Just insert into the card reader before you pay with your credit card and you get your discount. 


The e-ID can be used for secure and convenient access to banking services. The 2-factor login procedure and confirmation of transactions relies on the PKI functionality. The major banks are actively promoting the switch form their own credentials to the more secure and already widely used e-ID card. 

​98% of all banking transactions are conducted via Internet in Estonia. 

Reaping the benefits of electronic signature

Estonia entered the digital age and hand-signature is becoming a sign of the past​

"The use of electronic signature in the country helps save 2% of Estonian GDP per year, the size of Estonian defense budget." The e-Estonia Showroom, April 2016.​

Want to know more about the benefits eID and eGov can bring? read our web report on digital dividends​.


​More on Estonia and how e-ID has been transforming the country: ​
Visit our micro-site​​​​​


  • Case Study Estonia

    Case Study Estonia

    e-ID card - Key enabler for advanced e-Services

    Case Study Estonia [PDF - 1mb]
  • White paper: Putting the E in Estonia

    White paper: Putting the E in Estonia

    This white paper highlights some aspects of Estonian daily life and how technology and convenience, security and privacy are at the service of the country’s transformation.

    White paper: Putting the E in Estonia