Bulgaria is set to amend its regulations on issuing driving licences, meant to reduce the number of people holding multiple driver cards issued by different EU member states, Bulgarian daily Sega reported on March 6.
The draft amendments, posted on the Interior Ministry’s website, stipulate that no driving licences will be issued to applicants if they are found to be residents of another EU member state or if they already hold a driving licence issued by another EU country.
By the end of March 2014, Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry will have full access to the EU-wide database that will allow to cross-check applicants to check whether they already hold a foreign driving licence, the Sega report said.
The new ministry regulations appear to target primarily Bulgarian immigrants that have a permanent residence in other EU member states, rather than the citizens of other EU member states who live in Bulgaria, the report appeared to suggest.
Some Bulgarians get a second driving licence when moving to another country and occasionally use their Bulgarian cards to get out of paying traffic fines in their country of residence, because the existing EU procedures for collecting traffic fines across different EU countries (whether a Briton in Bulgaria, or a Bulgarian in France, if they do not have permanent residence in the country where the fine was issued) remain largely inefficient, the daily said.
However, holders of multiple valid driving cards would not be asked to relinquish their licences, they just would not have the cards renewed, the newspaper said.
Last year, the EU passed new regulations regarding the format of driving licences, which also stipulated that while existing driving licences were valid in all EU member states, they could be renewed only by authorities in the country of residence. People who hold driving licences for life would be required to switch to the new format cards and would be notified by the authorities in their country of residence, under the new EU regulations.
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