Conditions of registration of foreign motor vehicles
The basic regulatory act governing this matter is Ordinance 1; I -181 of 3.12.2002 on the registration and record of foreign motor vehicles , owned by foreign natural or legal persons , issued by the Minister of Interior .
It sets forth the procedure for registration and keeping records of the motor vehicles ( MV ), owned by :
- diplomatic, consular , commercial and other foreign government representative offices and their officers , as well as representative offices of international organizations and consulates managed by their honorary consuls in the Republic of Bulgaria ;
- foreigners , who are granted temporary stay permits in the Republic of Bulgaria for more than 3 months .
Motor vehicles owned by foreign natural or legal persons must be registered at Road Police sectors (ПП – КАТ) specified by the Road Police Division of the National Police Service Directorate (НПП – ДНСП) of the Metropolitan Directorate of Interior (СДВР) or Regional Directorates of Interior (РДВР) within 14 days from the date of issue of the customs document of import or document of property acquisition in this country .
Motor vehicles are registered by their identity number ( VIN ), type , make , model and other data indicated in the compliance (type approval) certificate or manufacturer’s certificate, upon an initial technical inspection, provided they meet the requirements of the Road Traffic Act (RTA) and the Bulgarian State Standard .
The inspection under para 1 is carried out following the procedure specified in Chapter 4 of Ordinance 1; I -45 of 2000 on the registration, records , release or suspension of licences for motor vehicle and trailers towed by them , and covers the completeness and proper operation of the units, systems and mechanisms related to traffic safety , noxious gas emissions by motor vehicles and the performance of their noise abatement devices ( SG , No. 31 of 200 0 ; amended , No . 48 and 105 of 2002).
It should be noted that at the registration of each motor vehicle , the units of the Ministry of Interior perform the necessary checks for :
- identification of the motor vehicle;
- verification of the submitted documents and owner’s data;
- the origin of the motor vehicle.
In additions, each registered MV is designated by special standard plates with the registration number complying with BSS 15980 and BSS ISO 7591.
The registration number plate is provided for use by the owner. The service is provided against payment of the plate cost and the due fees .
In the Ordinance, the matters related to loss or theft of registration number plates and registration documents are also treated .
For example, in the event of loss or theft of the number plate(s) the plates must be declared for investigation and the registration number may not be used for registration until the expiration of the term of validity marked on the plates. The motor vehicle must be registered anew, under a new registration number according to the established procedure.
In case of damaged number plates, new plate numbers may be produced with the same registration number .
In case of returned or damaged registration number plates, replacement plates must be produced and used for repeated registration within 30 days from their release .
Lost or damaged registration document is replaced by a duplicate upon submission of a standard form application and declaration by the owner .
It should be noted that the documents containing registration data, registration changes, writing-off from the records and other MV related data , are kept arranged by registration numbers in the archive of the respective Road Police sector ( ПП – КАТ ) until a financial audit, but not less than for 10 years from the registration or registration change . Upon expiration of this term, based on a proposal of the head of the respective Road Police sector, the documents are discarded and disposed of by an order of the Head of the Police Service at MDI or the respective RDI . The proposal is subject top approval by the Head of the Head of Road Police Division at the National Police Service Directorate .
Termination of registration
The registration of a motor vehicle is terminated by the service which has performed the registration, upon:
- final leave of this country;
- its appropriation by the state ;
- its destruction in result of road accident, calamity or natural disaster ;
- its placing at disposal of the government without compensation;
- resolutions of judicial or customs authorities.
A requirement exists according to which for termination of the registration a written application and documents must be submitted to certify the grounds of the request .
Upon final leave of this country of a MV which has entered it with a foreign transit number , based on the customs export declaration, a document for temporary operation is issued with a 30-day term of validity, and Bulgarian transit number plates are provided which are not subject to return .
The registration of a stolen MV is terminated after it is declared for search by a written request of the owner or the licensed insurer for the purpose of payment of total damage indemnification for the MV subject to the approval of the customs body which has cleared the temporary import . The data is entered on the record media.
Reinstatement of registration suspended under Art. 1 is performed upon termination of the search and a written consent of the insurer and the customs body which has cleared the temporary import .
In conclusion, it should be noted that upon termination of the registration of a MV registered under the above described procedure stipulated in the Ordinance , the registration number plates are seized. IN such case the registration document is handed back to the owner with a mark of invalidity affixed on it .
According to Art. 8, para 1, of the Ordinance , registration is refused for motor vehicles which :
- do not allow to establish their vendor’s identification number (VIN) – until the authentic identification number is recovered;
- are declared for search – till termination of the search;
- imported or purchased in breach with the established procedure – until the breach is corrected.
For the above instances are reported to the Road Police Division of the National Police Service Directorate.
The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) was established on March 1st, 2003 as a specialized government body for regulation and control on the investment, insurance and social insurance markets. It regulates the conditions for the obligatory insurance of all vehicles on the Bulgarian territory, and registers the licensed car insurers.
Information for the insurance of green cards for traveling abroad can be found on the site of the National Bureau of Bulgarian Insurers