Bulgaria’s Parliament voted on September 19 2012 to change the rules on the length of validity of driving licences, cutting in half the validity of licences to drive large passenger and cargo vehicles from 10 to five years.
The categories affected are C and D licences – C licences are for vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons and which have more than nine seats, while D licences are those to drive buses and other vehicles with more than nine seats – and the changes are in line with a European Commission directive.
The term of most other driving licences, including the commonplace category B to drive a light vehicle, will be 10 years.
After parliamentary second-reading approval of the changes, the amendments to the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act will take effect on January 19 2013.
The Interior Ministry hopes that the changes will encourage more people to come forward to change their driving licences. Statistics released a few weeks ago show that about 300 000 people are driving with expired licences, an offence that in the Road Traffic Act means only a small fine.
Opposition MPs who objected to the changes to the law said that Government was bringing them in as a means to make money by requiring people to renew their driving licences more often.
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