The British embassy in Sofia says that it is working closely with Bulgarian Traffic Police (KAT) to clarify the requirements for UK nationals to continue driving in Bulgaria.
The embassy said that it had posted a video on social media in February explaining how UK nationals living in Bulgaria can exchange their UK driving licence for a Bulgarian one.
“Many UK nationals in Bulgaria wrote to the Embassy with question or issues they encountered in doing so. The embassy has been in constant contact with Bulgarian Traffic Police (KAT) in order to address those concerns and to provide accurate information on the topic,” the embassy said.
The embassy posted question-and-answer information on 10 issues related to driving in Bulgaria on its website.
To the question: “What will happen to my UK driving licence in the event of No Deal if I have been resident in Bulgaria for more than six months?” the embassy said: “You are able to exchange your UK driving licence for a Bulgarian one if you have been registered in Bulgaria for at least six months and have established your ;habitual residence’ here.
As to the question what would happen about UK driving licences in the event of no deal if a UK national had been resident for less than six months as of March 29 2019, the embassy said: “We are working with the Bulgarian authorities to clarify this issue and will provide further information as soon as it is available”.
In the event of a deal, UK driving licences will be subject to the same rules as those issued by EU member states, “and you will be able to drive with your UK licence until it expires or until the end of the transitional period on December 31 2020”.
“You will be able to exchange your UK driving licence for a Bulgarian one if you have been registered in Bulgaria for at least six months and have established your ‘habitual residence’ here.
“Your declaration of ‘habitual residence” will be subject to a security check. Therefore you should not apply for a Bulgarian licence earlier than six months from the date you registered in Bulgaria or from the issue date of your UK licence. As further proof of your residence status in Bulgaria, you may wish to submit additional documents, such as a labour contract or a ‘Certificate of no obligations’ from the National Revenue Agency,” the embassy said.
“If you are already a long-term or permanent resident in Bulgaria, but you had a new residency permit issued less than six months prior to your driving licence application, you will still be able to apply for a Bulgarian driving licence. You will need to prove that you have established your ‘habitual residence’ in Bulgaria,” it said.