Exchanging expired driving licence

Hi, has anyone had a similar or the same situation as myself. My EU driving licence expired in January 2019, I can't renew it for Bulgarian one since I am not a registred citizen for 185 days. Cought myself in whole, since I am registered in Sofia since October 2018. Is there any possibility to renew/exchange before mandatory period necause of the expired one. Being without driving licence is for me difficult.


You have a problem if your driver licence already expired in januari. KAT demands a still valid license when you come to them.

Just perfect, as I was there in end of November, they declined to exchange it knowing it will expire in this period. Are there any higher state authorities that I can refer to?

It might be even worse than you think: you can't exchange your licence if it has a "Valid From" date and that date is less than 6 months from when you want to exchange it....

mcmaxum :

Hi, has anyone had a similar or the same situation as myself. My EU driving licence expired in January 2019, I can't renew it for Bulgarian one since I am not a registred citizen for 185 days. Cought myself in whole, since I am registered in Sofia since October 2018. Is there any possibility to renew/exchange before mandatory period necause of the expired one. Being without driving licence is for me difficult.

Can you get your expired DL renewed without being physically presented in the issuing country?

depends who the issuing country is.  for example, in the UK you can get a new license online simply by logging into the gov.uk website and giving some details.  I am afraid I don't know about other EU countries.

However, you CAN'T get an expired UK licence renewed if you don't live in the UK.  DVLA won't accept a non-UK address for a UK driving licence and you are required by law (with a £1,000 fine attached) if you don't advise them of any change of address or if you provide them with a fraudulent one. 

Of course, no law-abiding Brit would dream of doing such a thing, so it's all purely academic.....  :cool:

True, I am a Dutchman living in Varna for 5 years now. I just renewed my drivers-licence. KAT doesn't renew an expired licence. I had to give them: medical declaration, copy licna karta, copy drivers license ( they checked at once in the Dutch database) and fill in 2 forms. Thursday I will receive my Bulgarian drivers license

I’ve been told that you have to provide proof of address and that your address has to be on the lichna, inc. house no. And street no. Mine has the town, area and village name only, does anyone know if this is true, has there been a change in the requirements, my friend did hers a couple of weeks ago and she didn’t need the full address.

Jimj,  I assume you are not up to date with UK regulation regarding driving licenses.  Currently if you look at Gov.uk Driving license. you will see that there has been a change in that now it says that you need to provide a "contact address"  This needs to be a UK address where they can contact you if necessary.  DVLA actually told me when I moved to Bulgaria that this can be a relatives address.


I renewed my drivers license on the 7th of February, tomorrow I can get it ( after 1 month). I was at the KAT Varna. Normally you can have it in 7 days when you are in a hurry but not for foreigners. I only had to show my licna karta ( there is the adress standing on), copy drivers licence ( they checked at once if it is legal), medical declaration and fill in 2 forms.

No questions about adress.

I hope this will help you

Hi Paul,

Did you need an interpreter to help fill in the forms ?  Or is there someone there that would help us?  I can speak a bit of Bulgarian but don’t think I’m up to filling in forms.  I don’t have a full address on my lichna, my friends have lived here for 15 years and still don’t know their address,  we went to the kmet but she sent us to Aksakova with our house deeds, they couldn’t tell us either.

Good morning,

No there is nobody who can help you there fill in the forms, but the forms are very simple.
Actually I don't have a normal adres but an administrative, because my house is situated on a road which has no name. But if you go to the town hall you get the information about your adres. This adres they put on my ID



Hamousher, with all due respect. I assume that you are among the vast majority of people who don't bother to read "the small print" on contracts - or the T&Cs on Government websites - and who used to make me rub my hands in anticipation of a nice boost to my retirement fund as they sat down in front of me and uttered the immortal words "I know my rights..;)

What you see on the internet, including on HMG's official websites, doesn't purport to be a statement of, or to supersede, the law.  It may well be that I'm the only person on the planet who takes the trouble to read T&Cs but then again I at least like to know what the law is before I break it; as you'll doubtless be aware, "ignorance of the law is no excuse". 

The gov.uk T&Cs include the following:

"While we make every effort to keep GOV.UK up to date, we do not provide any guarantees, conditions or warranties that the information will be:


free from bugs or viruses
We do not publish advice on GOV.UK. You should get professional or specialist advice before doing anything on the basis of the content.

We’re not liable for any loss or damage that may come from using GOV.UK.....

Now, back to the original point: I can assure you that I am entirely "up to date"; the requirements are perfectly clear and haven't changed for donkey's years.  Since you clearly like the site, you'll find them here - https://www.gov.uk/change-address-driving-licence (but don't forget the T&Cs above ;) ).  You'll note that they include the following:

"You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell DVLA when your address changes.

You need:

to be a resident of Great Britain

If you’re moving abroad
You cannot register your new address on your British driving licence.
Contact the driving licence authority in your new country of residence.

No doubt it's still perfectly possible to come across a Plod/Plodski who is even more ignorant of the law than his prospective "victim" but it really isn't a good idea for anyone to rely on "advice" from random strangers, in the pub or on the internet, who not only "know their rights" but who are happy to share this "knowledge" with anyone daft enough to rely on it.

Hi Paul,

Yes we went to our local kmet ( mayor’s) office, then she sent us to Aksakova, but they said they no longer had the plans for our village, apparently they are doing a new (kadestra) which is a detailed plan of all the plots etc., and it’s not finished so impossible for us to get our street no’s.and house no’s we have our medical certificate now, we were charged 30 BGN,   my doctor told me the price had just gone up!

Tomorrow we’ll go to KAT so will let everyone know how we got on, We are taking photocopies of lichna and driving licence as someone told me this was needed too. My advocate has told me to ring him if we have any problem about the address.

Wish us luck, feeling pretty stressed out as would be difficult to manage here without driving .


You got had by your doctor (unless, maybe you were also charged for an exam if you are not in the national health system). I got mine just last month and the exam for driving was still just 15 lev.

Yes, we probably were overcharged, I did say to her I knew people who had it for 20 leva but she said It had just gone up, as it’s taken me years to find an English speaking G.P. I didn’t argue with her. 

We are going on Tuesday I think, my friends work and can’t make it sooner, anyway it looks like ‘Brexit’ will be delayed now.  What a shambles!

Just a quick update - we went to KAT in Varna yesterday and queued for forms, we had to show the medical certificate, our lichna and driving licence with a photocopy of both.

We were given 3 forms, one was a Declaration, I was o.k. With the first form but had to ring my Bulgarian friend to come and help us with the others, they had to be filled in Bulgarian but not difficult. 

We then had an hour wait as the girl was on lunch break from 12 o clock just as we got to the front of the queue.

We paid by card so didn’t have to queue for that,  we asked for fast track but were told we could only have 30 days, we didn’t have to have our full address on the card in the end .  I’m feeling very relieved now it’s sorted.

Hi \,

Yes with us the same procedure. Very easy and for us too it wasn't possible to get the licence faster. We went to the KAT the 7th of february and got the licence the 7th of march.

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