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Driving And Public Transport In Estonia: A Guide For Expats

If you are planning to drive in Estonia, please be aware that you will need to be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid driving licence of equivalent category – all international driving licences are recognised.If you don’t have the Estonian ID smartcard, you will need to carry the below documents whilst driving:

• Full, valid driving licence
• Proof of insurance (third party or above)
• Proof of ID (passport)
• Proof of ownership (V5C certificate)

You are will also need to have the following items in your vehicle:

• Headlamp beam deflectors – depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or to be able to adjust the beam manually
• A fire extinguisher is compulsory in all motor vehicles, while a first aid kit is only required in a company car
• Any motor vehicle travelling in Estonia, regardless of country of registration, must carry two warning triangles

All vehicles must have their lights on during the day and at night. If you are planning on driving between October and April, make sure your vehicle has winter tyres or snow chains. Failure to meet any of the above requirements will result in an on-the-spot fine.

Speed limits in Estonia are as follows:

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• in built-up areas: 50 km/h
• outside built-up areas: 90 km/h
• on dual carriageways: 110 km/h

The legal drink driving limit for drivers is 0.02 percent alcohol in the blood.

Both the driver and passenger in the front seats of the car must wear seat belts. Rear seat belts must also be worn when they are available.

When travelling with children, note that:

• A child under the age of 12 who is not yet tall enough to use an adult seatbelt must travel in a child restraint. Failing that, a special seat adapted to their size must be used

• A child under the age of 12 cannot travel in the front seat unless a child restraint or a special seat is used. Rear-facing child restraints must not be used if the seat is equipped with an operational airbag

A handy number to know when driving in Estonia – and across Europe in general – is 112. You can call this number from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to the relevant emergency service in the country you’re in. Operators will be able to assist you in their native language, English and French.

If you are a Tallinn resident, you are entitled to free public transport. To purchase the Smartcard (Uhiskaart) which gives you access to this, you will need proof of ID and Tallinn residency. Once purchased, the card will need to be activated online; this will cost you €2. At the start of each ride, you must validate your ticket by touching the Smartcard to the ticket point located by the vehicle door unit the green light appears. If you require more information about the Smartcard, you can contact the ticket vendors on +372 611 8000, info@pilet.ee, tallinn.pilet.ee.
The other types of tickets used on Tallinn’s public transport are as follows.

Tallinn Card

A Tallinn Card is a ticket that entitles the holder to unlimited free public transport as long as it remains active. You can also use it to gain free admission to museums, a free sightseeing tour of your choice and various other discounts. Each time you board a vehicle, you must validate your Tallinn card the same way you would with a Smartcard. Additional information about the cost and ways to purchase the card can be found here.

Paper Ticket

A single-use paper ticket can be bought from a bus driver for cash when you board the vehicle. Please be advised that the drivers only accept the exact change. Tickets cost €2, although discounts are available for students and old age pensioners. They are only valid for that ride in that vehicle. Please keep the ticket for the duration of the ride in case the vehicle is stopped by the inspectors. If you are unable to produce a valid ticket, then a fine will be issued.

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