Due to the emergency situation, vehicle and gun owners were given extensions on renewing their requisite health certificates, and while there are not too many gun owners in need of new certificates, there are more than 12,000 drivers whose certificates do need to be reassessed.
The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) extended weapon permits from mid-March to late-May, and those who needed new medical certificates were given 60-90 extra days in order to get their certificates set up.
Senior law enforcement officer Riita Proosa said this meant a lot of extra work for the PPA. "Because of COVID-19 and the emergency situation, the work process and workload was made difficult because nearly 1,100 weapon permits were extended," Proosa said.
Weapon owners are obligated to apply for an extension a month before their permit expires. The PPA does not have to inform the owners when the deadline for application has expired.
If a weapons owner fails to apply for a new permit after missing the deadline, they have to go through the permit process from the beginning, including an exam, before they are allowed to again receive their firearm. The PPA retain the firearm during the intervening time.
A punishment of up to three hundred fine units can be set if a person does not apply in time, where a "fine unit" equates to €4.
Proosa said, however, that there are not too many who miss the deadline: "There are not too many, relatively, because media coverage [of the requirement] is pretty widespread. The data varies - the northern region has more [lapsed medical certificates]; there are close to none in other regions."
Many medical certificates for drivers expired during the emergency situation as it was difficult to find appointments for family physicians. The Road Administration (Maanteeamet) extended the validity of certificates by 90 days; this will expire on August 17.
Tarmo Vanamõisa, head of the examination department for the Road Administration, said there are nearly 12,000 people whose certificates, and therefore drivers licenses, will expire on that deadline.
Owners of weapons permits and drivers licenses have the opportunity to be sent a notification on the eesti.ee portal, which will remind them of their permit expiring. The remaining validity of medical certificates can be checked on the Road Adminstration's portal.
Vanamõisa said: "If you do not have one (a valid medical certificate - ed.), go on Patient Portal, fill out a medical certificate form, make an appointment with your family physician and if they have declared you medically fit, all of the necessary data will be transferred without you having to go anywhere."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste