Many Finland-based Estonians have been surprised to find that their new drivers license has Russia, or the Soviet Union, marked as their place of birth.
Kati Kold, who recently changed her expiring Estonian license to a new one in Finland, was surprised by the RUS abbreviation in front of the card. At first she thought that the Finnish officials had made a mistake with her nationality, but at closer inspection it turned out to mark the place of birth. The 1982-born Kold called the information center and was told that the RUS abides by the EU legislation as she was born in the Soviet Union.
Kold is not the only Estonian who has encountered this issue. Many others also have SUN, for Soviet Union, put on their driver's license.
ETV's news program "Aktuaalne Kaamera" reported that similar cases are known from the United Kingdom.
Toivo Kangur, the representative of the Estonian Road Administration, said that people who have had their place of birth changed in that manner should turn to police and present a valid document that states that they were born in Estonia. He added that they will also contact their colleagues from Finland to ask for an explanation.
However, this is not a uniform practice in Finland: many police stations hand out driver's licenses to Estonian citizens born before 1991 that still have EST as their place of birth.