It will soon be possible to collect newly issued Estonian ID documents from supermarkets. Initially, only five stores will offer the service but this will expand to 50 across the country and Finland by April.
The scheme will launch on January 12 at four Selver supermarkets in Tallinn and one in Pärnu.
Marit Abram, head of PPA's identity and status office, told Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK): "You can collect all documents issued by the PPA from Selver — in addition to passports and ID-cards, residence permit cards, foreign passports, seafarers' documents, and digital identity cards."
Abram said all documents have a physical and digital status which are recorded in the PPA's system.
Store employees issuing documents will be subjected to background checks and training before they can hand over documents. but do not need to be citizens of Estonia.
Selver told AK it has everything in place to start issuing documents from its information counters, including surveillance systems and safes. The only thing missing is special computer software.
By April, the service will have expanded across the country and to Finland. Documents can be issued in Oulu, Turku, Kuopio, Vaasa, Tampere and Helsinki.
"In total, there will be 50 collection points across Estonia and Finland where it will be possible to receive documents," said Tex Vertmann, head of business solutions provider Hansab's card unit, which has signed an agreement with Selver.
"They will be spread all over Estonia, in every county, in bigger cities. They will gradually be added and the last ones will be open in April at the latest."
If documents are not collected within six months they will be returned to the PPA.
Earlier this year Minister of Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said involving Hansab, a private company, to issue identity documents will reduce queues at PPA service halls.
Last year, the PPA issued a total of more than 409,000 documents.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera