Bulgaria's Interior Ministry: No Gratis Period for ID Documents in 2011Society | December 27, 2010, Monday // 15:39| views
According to Bulgaria's interior ministry, there are no more queues in front of the offices that issue the new identity documents. Photo by BGNES
Identity documents, which expire after December 31, 2010, will not have a 6-month gratis period to be renewed, the Bulgarian interior ministry has announced.
The gratis period was implemented for documents, which expired in 2010, because of the problems with the system for issuing new biometric identity documents.
According to information from the Bulgarian National Television, about 140,000 people will be fined because of invalid identity documents.
More than 2,9 million identity documents have already been renewed in Bulgaria, but 140,000 people are still using their old documents, which expired before July 1, 2010.
The interior ministry has announced that people could use the last working days of the year to submit requests for renewing their documents. Otherwise, they would have to pay a fine between BGN 20 and BGN 150.
The ministry also pointed out that there are no long queues in front of the offices for issuing the new passports, which work until 7 pm during the week.
Since there will be no gratis period in 2011, the interior ministry has warned people to submit their requests for renewals one or two months before the expiration date of the documents.
One of the problems that Bulgarians have experienced is that they leave the country with a valid passport, which expires while they are abroad. In this case, they have to issue a temporary passport, in order to return to Bulgaria.
Bulgarians who have been driving in EU countries with invalid documents have already been fined with EUR 500.
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