Bulgarian identity card
|Bulgarian identity card|
Front of the card
|Valid in|| Bulgaria |
Europe (except Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine)
French overseas territories
Montserrat (max. 14 days)
|Type of document||Compulsory identity document|
The Bulgarian identity card (Bulgarian: лична карта, lichna karta, literal translation: 'personal card') is a compulsory identity document issued in Bulgaria. The document is issued by the police on behalf of the Ministry of Interior and is the main form of identification on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. All Bulgarians are obliged by law to carry their identity cards with them at all times and are subject to fines should they not.
Since 1 January 2007, the Bulgarian identity card can be used for travel within the European Union and the Schengen Area instead of a Bulgarian passport. In addition, the Bulgarian identity card is accepted as a travel document by European microstates, the French overseas territories, Montserrat (max. 14 days), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia, North Cyprus, and Serbia.
The Bulgarian identity card (лична карта in the Cyrillic alphabet, or "lichna karta" in the Latin transliteration of Bulgarian) is first issued and is compulsory after turning 14 years of age. The new Bulgarian ID cards were introduced in 1999. They follow the general pattern in the EU and replaced the old, Soviet-style "internal passports", also known as "green passports". Since 29 March 2010  new Bulgarian identity cards were introduced.
The physical appearance of the Bulgarian identity card is similar to that of a credit card, the identity card is plastic and rounded-rectangular in shape. On the left side is the photograph of the bearer. On the top edge of the card, the name Republic of Bulgaria is available in two languages, Bulgarian and English, written in capital letters, below, the name of the card is available in the same two languages and also written in capital letters. The middle part of the flag of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bulgaria are also displayed on the identity card.
Furthermore, the following information is contained on the front side of the card:
- The unique 9-digit ID number of the card
- The cardholder's full name, sex, and date of birth
- The cardholder's uniform civil number (Bulgarian: единен граждански номер; abbreviated ЕГН, EGN): a unique 10-digit number that serves as national identification number
- Date of expiry of the card
- Cardholder's signature
The back side of the identity card contains the cardholder's family name, place of birth, permanent address, height, and eye colour, as well as the place where the card was issued together with the date of issue. At the bottom there is a machine-readable zone according to ICAO specifications.
Obtaining an identity card
In order to be issued an identity card, one needs to fill in a form, which should be taken to the Identity Documents and Passport Regime Units within the District Police Stations. The forms could be obtained at all District Police Stations. When applying a digital picture of the person is taken, and—in the case of applying for a passport at the same time—fingerprints of the thumbs of the applicant. First-time applicants (i.e. persons turning 14) must also provide a valid birth certificate. It is possible for a person to apply for a renewal of the ID card via a representative with a notary signed permit, provided there are no significant changes in his or her appearance. There are, however limitations. If you apply via a representative, you must receive the new ID yourself. Vice versa, if you applied yourself, then an authorized representative may receive your ID. This does not apply to applying for passports, as fingerprints must be taken.
A monetary tax is paid for the issuing of the identity card; the price depends on the selected type of issuing which is basically the time needed for the card to be issued (the prices are listed in District Police Stations). The standard time for issuing a Bulgarian identity card is 30 days. There are, however, express services that allow you to apply for a 7-day or even 24-hour service. These cost extra (twice for the 7-day and quadruple for the 24-hour service). If you apply for a standard 30-day service there is a great chance your Id card will be ready way before that. The Ministry of Interior has provided an online service that allows you to check whether your ID card is ready.
For people ages 14 to 18 years, the identity cards are valid for four years, while citizens ages 18–58 are issued cards with 10-year validity; citizens over 58 years old are issued identity cards with no expiration date.
Identity card validity check
Anyone can examine the validity of Bulgarian identity cards on the website of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior here; there's also a service by the Ministry of the Interior that can be used to see if an identity card is ready to be picked up (in Bulgarian). The services are free and only card number and birth date need to be given.
- National identity cards in the European Union
- National identity cards in the European Economic Area
- Citizenship of the European Union
- Bulgarian passport
- Bulgarian nationality law
- Uniform civil number
- Driving licence in Bulgaria
- Visa requirements for Bulgarian citizens
- Visa policy of Bulgaria
- List of identity card policies by country