Netherlands Worldwide

How can I exchange my Dutch driving licence in Bulgaria?

If you live in Bulgaria and your Dutch driving licence has expired (or has almost expired), you cannot renew it. Your only option is to exchange your Dutch licence for a Bulgarian one.

Exchanging your driving licence

You can exchange your Dutch driving licence for a Bulgarian one at the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, Traffic Police division. This must be done according to the European rules. You can only have 1 European driving licence. Exchanging your driving licence is only possible if your driving licence is still valid. You don’t need to retake your driving test.

Attention: Your Bulgarian driving licence may be valid for longer or shorter than your Dutch driving licence.

What do I need?

If you want to apply for a Bulgarian driving licence, you will need the following documents:

  • application form
  • Bulgarian residence permit
  • medical assessment
  • statement that your place of habitual residence is not in another EU country (standard form)
  • your Dutch driving licence, which is still valid, and a photocopy of the same
  • proof that the fee has been paid.

Exchanged driving licence?

If your original driving licence was issued by a country that is not part of the European Union (EU) and you then exchanged it for a Dutch driving licence, you may not always be able to exchange your Dutch driving licence in another EU country. The Traffic Police division of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior can tell you whether you can exchange your Dutch driving licence for a Bulgarian licence in this case. If this is not possible, you will need to take your driving test again.

Lost your driving licence?

Have you lost your driving licence? Then you will need a certificate of authenticity (echtheidsverklaring) from the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) (information in Dutch) if you wish to apply for a Bulgarian driving licence. This shows whether your driving licence is listed in the Central Driving Licences Register. Visit the website of the RDW for information on how to apply for a certificate of authenticity. There is a fee for this service. Once you have paid you will receive the certificate of authenticity by post at your address. The certificate is in English. You will need to have this translated into Bulgarian by a sworn translator. Find a sworn translator (Legal Aid Council).

Other documents

Visit the website of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, Traffic Police division (information in Bulgarian and English) to read which other documents you need for exchanging your driving licence.

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