Bulgaria: Vehicle Registration

Find your way through KAT? This can be difficult if you do not speak Bulgarian. For registering your vehicle you would like this to be done correctly and preferably with assistance of someone trustworthy. Since 2012 we have successfully assisted expats through the KAT process. Make your life easier and enjoy our Bulgaria Vehicle Registration Service.

Vehicles are registered at KAT, this is the only places in Bulgaria to do vehicle registrations and get Bulgarian papers for the vehicle.

Note: The general information is similar for all KAT offices.

KAT Sofia is just south from Boris Garden, follow Boulevard Dragan Tsankov in the middle of the park down from the TV Tower. When you see traffic lights plus the metro above the road, you are close. Coming from Boris Garden turn left at Litex Tower or right at Litex Tower if you come from the direction Mladost. KAT is immediately on your left hand side (opposite of the Litex Tower). The first entry is a regular parking, the second is where you need to be to pass through KAT. You will see cars on trailers etc. You can’t miss it.

KAT Sofia: (Google Maps Search) ul. “Lachezar Stanchev” 4, Sofia – 1797

For other KAT locations in Bulgaria, check here.

Requirements

Depending on the documents you have, there are your options: Register the vehicle as a natural person or to a Bulgarian company/legal entity.

Time required for registration: 1 morning – start early 7:30 with a coffee with our team and he will walk you through the process, arrange best deal for insurance and assist where needed in the various steps of the actual registration. All should be done by 11:00/12:00.

Note: As of 2017 KAT Sofia experiences a severe increase of vehicle registrations. For this reason we cannot guarantee the procedure times indicated. Of course you can expect we will do everything we can to limit the duration of the process as much as possible.

Natural person:

>Valid (minimum 3 months) Bulgarian ID residence (with picture!)
> European ownership papers (or translated other ones)
> Insurance (you get on the spot with our team, see below)
> Proof of eco taxes paid (paid on the spot > only for first registration)
> Current EU registration documents (or translated other ones)
> Current license plates or export plates
> Notary sales declaration (if you bought the car in Bulgaria)

For registering a vehicle as a private person you need a Bulgarian ID. This ID you can get at the Immigration Office on 46, Maria Luisa Boulevard. If you do not have a BG ID card, this is your first concern. Check for more information Bulgarian Residence Card. This ID will be valid for 1 year initially/usually, so is your vehicle registration(!). This means you will need to renew your vehicle papers also each time your ID card expires/changes.

Company:

> Company registration papers (EIK statement)
> Notary sales declaration (if you bought the car in Bulgaria)
> Insurance (you get on the spot with our team)
> Proof of eco taxes paid (paid on the spot > only for first registration)
> Old European registration documents (or translated other ones)
> Current license plates or export plates

The second option is to register the vehicle to a Bulgarian company. The company would then be formally owner of the vehicle. A notary can issue a declaration for a change of ownership. If the vehicle is registered to a Bulgarian business, you can get some refund of paid VAT for business usage, maintenance and maybe on other costs. Ask you accountant for more information on this.

FEES:

> Ecotax – Cars 10- years BGN 250; Cars 10+ years BGN 265; Motorbikes NO Ecotax
> Insurance, minimum 3rd party liability, or casco (you will get advise and/or price comparison)
> License plates and registration cards
> Assistance through our team = free of charge, however if you feel you have received good assistance, a tip is appreciated
> Our fee for this information: BGN 0,00, if you enjoyed our service, we would appreciate a comment on our Facebook or your referral

Note: Vehicle fees depend on the make, age and engine of the vehicle, not the weight (as is custom in some countries).

What else? Be sure to bring some patience and a magazine for your vehicle registration.

AFTER KAT: Registration in your local municipality

This step is very important and often overlooked, as usually nobody at KAT will mention this to you. You are expected to pay a yearly tax on your vehicle. The only way for you to be able to pay the vehicle tax is after the KAT registration also register the vehicle at your local municipality. This registration might seem strange, but Bulgaria does (yet) not work with this type of advanced centralised databases. There are fines between BGN 20 and BGN 200 in place for registering too late. Taxes depend on municipality and engine of the vehicle.

What to do? For this registration you need to bring your newly acquired documents and fill out some more forms. You have untill two months after the KAT registration to make also this Municipal registration. Note: you cannot go the same day as the Bulgarian compauter systems are not that fast. Vehicles older than 16 years pay only 50% of the taxes.

How to pay the tax? This tax payment is due in March/April. If you pay the full amount you get 5% discount. You can also choose to pay in two times, with a second payment in October. Payments can be made at any Easypay point by showing your vehicle registration card or via Payment to Budget  internet banking with a security certificate. So make a note in your agenda that come March you need to pay your vehicle tax.

The payment slip you need to keep, because this proof of payment is required for the yearly Technical Control.

What can we do?

Bulgarian ID: At the Immigration Office people do not speak English, strange but true (one woman with black hair speaks some English). If you want, we can arrange a personal (English-speaking) assistant for your application for the ID Card, fee BGN 20/visit/card. Advise: start early 8:30, bring all you need and the process will pass relatively fast.

KAT: Will the people at KAT speak English? No, unfortunately not enough. We work since 2012 with our guy Bobi at KAT and he could arrange everything for you at KAT in one morning (provided you get there early at 7:30). Bobbi speaks Bulgarian, English and Finnish. He can arrange the best deal for your insurance, including the international green card. He will provide assistance/translations where required. The vehicle registration fees depend on the make, age and engine of the vehicle. Important: do not loose this eco tax paper, at some point you need to show it again. If you purchase the vehicle from a Bulgarian owner, no Eco Tax applies as this tax is paid only once.

Car Pick Up: If for any reason you cannot drive the vehicle to AT yourself. Contact us, we can arrange a pick up for you. Fee is around BGN 5-10/kilometer.

Registration at municipality: Go there, show your papers and say: Registratsiya na avtomobili za danŭtsi. That should do the trick and people will show you where to go next.

Quote: If you would like a quote for your vehicle insurance, send us make, year of first matriculation, engine and we will see to get you a quote of what you should expect. This could help with your preparation.

After registration:

You now know have documents:

> Eco Tax, for safe keeping
> Large and small ownership cards (talon), small one goes in your wallet, large one you need to bring if eg. you go to another country (Greek authorities want to see this for example) or sell the vehicle
> Technical control card, goes in your wallet
> Insurance card, goes in your wallet
+ Silver window sticker for the technical control
+ Green window sticker for the insurance

Driving in Bulgaria

Outside city limits you need the road vignet, this can be purchased at pretty much any petrol station. The prices went up in January 2016, for normal vehicles BGN 96/year. Renewed each year in January, so if you buy this in May, still renewal in January. In 2016 the vignet price was raised significantly and this started to attract less fortunate people to break other people’s vehicle window to steal the vignet. If this happens to you, your receipt of the purchase of the vignet will do. The vignet sticker is the third window sticker and goes on the bottom right (passenger side) inside on your window.
So: Keep your receipt!

What else we can do?

Repairs/maintenance: Drive safely and have the vehicle checked for any problems by our guy Dobrin, our trusted English speaking mechanic: tyres, fluids, brakes, anything, any make. Fee applies depending on what is necessary. You will get advise and price comparison. Contact us for an appointment. Dobrin can also come to you, bringing his smartphone with all the necessary software for PC engine/system checks on the spot. In case of problems he will advice you what, how much and such.

Yearly Technical Control: KAT perform the first technical control, do not think they will investigate seatbelts, break lights, tyre pressure or any such. Basically they only look at the vehicle engine numbers and you vehicle needs to be in front of the camera for a while. That is it. However each year you need to renew the technical control. One can hardly say any safety is checked, nevertheless you are required to do this. Our trusted Dobrin can assist you with this, contact us if needed. Technical control fees are between BGN 20 to BGN 45 depending where you do this (larger cities tend to be a bit more expensive). Important: you are more likely to fail the technical control for not having your documents than for car flaws.

Technical Control bring with you:

> Vehicle
> Fee (Sofia BGN 45, outside Sofia around BGN 20)
> Old Technical Control Card
> Proof of insurance paid
> Both vehicle registration cards: big and small talon
> Proof of paid (yearly) taxes (Easypay receipt or bank statement with stamp!)

Make sure to have all documents with you, you are more likely to be refused for the check for missing documents than for vehicle problems. Again do not expect a thorough technical check of your vehicle. Basically your car needs to stand in front of a camera with a few test materials added for the camera. After 20 minutes you pay the fee and you are good to go.

You will receive another small card/proof of technical control and a little silver colored sticker in your window. This card needs to be kept with your other vehicle papers in the vehicle. The police could ask you for it.

Tip: We advise you to get a good mechanic and have him/her provide you with yearly checks for safety.

This overview provides you with the necessary steps to follow.

If you like to make an appointment with our team, please let us know and we will set this up for you. Send us a date for your appointment, time=7:30, your phone number and vehicle make/color, so our team can contact and/or spot you.

For more information and Vehicle Registration appointments: info@likejohnny.com

3 Comments

user image Paul

With the help of the contact, Bobi, the technical check-up, plates and insurance took less than 3.5 hours. This included having some very nice coffee across the road.
All KAT staff was most friendly, despite me not speaking Bulgarian.
(Bobi had everything well prepared)
A highly recommendable service.

user image Susanne

Everything went well. Thank you very much for Bobis phone number and the hint regarding the green card. We got through the process without any problems. Waiting was longer than expected (around 7hours, most of it at the last point, where you get the plates and the papers). I guess there is not much to optimize….therefore: Thank you very much! You both were a big help. :)

user image Evan

OK, I will be sincere with you. I had been recommended to contact you from the “Foreigners in sofia” group in Facebook, but I was reluctant to send. My thought was that I had too many questions and that I would not get enough answers. I was surprised by the speed and accuracy of your reply and will not stop recommending you to any colleague of mine who needs help. Best regards and with gratitude for your help.

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