Tallinn City Bureaucracy Part 2

Blog Projects
estonia tallinn
HEADS UP! This article was written in 2007. Information provided might not be valid anymore and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Shocking news! Expired residence permit can cause problems. Even inside European Union.

In previous part I had problems with Tallinn city officials. I tried to register my living address. Landlords signature was not valid because he had taken a home loan from bank. City database says apartment owner was bank.

Bank sent letter of attorney to landlord. This letter gave him permission to sign a paper. This paper gave me permission to fill a form. With this form I was able to register my address in Estonia. After registering living address I could renew my residence permit.

Problem was all this took three weeks. During this time my residence permit ended. Not a biggie.

At the same time I got letter from my bank. I had just paid last lease payment of my car. Car was now fully owned by me. My bank instructed me to get new car insurance. Bank provided insurance was about to end in two days. I also needed to inform ARK I am now car owner. If I fail to inform I might need to reregister my car. This would mean new license plates and possible repayment of state fees.

So I went to my insurance company. Told them I need to buy new insurance. We started to fill papers.

Sir. It seems you are not the owner of this car.
Yes I know. I need to go to ARK and change my name to car data. My bank already instructed me to do it.
Ok. But we can not sell you insurance if you are not owner of the car. Only owner can buy insurance.
Yeah but current insurance ends tomorrow. I really would not like be without insurance few days.
But I can not sell you if you are not the owner.
Ok. Will come back later…

So I went to ARK to register myself as owner of my car. Filled needed forms and paid state fees. Clerk started to tap her computer. Blushed. Tapped some more. Blushed even more and…

Sir. It seems your social security number is not valid.
Yes I know. My residence permit ended this week. I applied for new one. I just had some problems with city officials not approving my landlords signature.
Then you can not be owner of this car.
Well just put my Finnish social security number to database
I’m sorry but that is not possible. Only residents of Estonia can own a car in Estonia.
Maybe you can come back when your residence permit is renewed?
But I need to have insurance too and they wont give me insurance if I am not registered owner of my car.
Wait I ask from someone…

She went and talked with couple of other clerks. Came back and asked:

Can your girlfriend come here?
Err. Yes I think so.
If she comes here she can sign a paper. Signing this paper she will become your legal guardian in Estonia. If you have a legal guardian you can own a car in Estonia.
You’re kidding me?
No, this will solve the problem.
Ok. Great I will call her.

My girlfriend came. She signed some papers. Now she owns me literally. We all laughed at this fact. In the end I must thank ARK for their great service. They do not make the rules. Clerk was really helpful. She even bothered to solve my rather peculiar problem.

I eventually was able to register my living address. Got renewed residence permit straight after that. This one is valid until 2011. Everything seems to be ok. However I will be moving to new address this month. Interesting to see how hard address change will be this time…

Related entries: Tallinn City Bureaucracy Part 1

When asking a question include an URL to example page where the problem occurs. Even better is to make a Fiddle which demonstrates the problem. If you have longer code examples please use pastie.org.