Bulgaria Introduces Enhanced Biometric Identity Cards

Society | June 13, 2024, Thursday // 07:49
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Introduces Enhanced Biometric Identity Cards @Ministry of Interior

Starting June 17, Bulgarians will have the option to obtain a new version of their national identity card, which will feature an embedded chip along with biometric data including two fingerprints and a photograph. This change is implemented with the aim of enhancing the security of the document.

The introduction of the new identity card will streamline border crossings for Bulgarians traveling to EU countries, as they will be able to pass through electronic checkpoints with greater ease and efficiency. Additionally, it will facilitate the verification process by border authorities of other nations. Furthermore, in the future, citizens will be able to utilize the electronic identity certificate to authenticate themselves in virtual environments when accessing electronic services and information systems.

It is important to note that replacing the existing identity card with the new version is not mandatory. Identity cards issued before June 17, 2024, will remain valid until August 2, 2031, unless their expiration date falls before that time.

The application process for obtaining the new identity document will be conducted at all "Bulgarian personal documents" units across the country. The processing time for the service will remain unchanged, with options for ordinary service taking up to 30 days, fast service up to 3 days, and express service completed within 8 working hours. Applicants opting for the express service will only be able to collect their document in person or through an authorized representative in Sofia.

Certain provisions regarding the issuance of identity cards have been adjusted. For instance, individuals aged 14 to 16 can still obtain a free ID card valid for 4 years. However, the issuance of permanent identity cards to individuals aged 58 and above has been discontinued. Additionally, the validity period for identity cards issued to individuals aged 18 to 70 will be 10 years, while those over 70 can choose between 10 or 30 years validity, with the document being free of charge.

Changes in the fees for obtaining the new documents have also been approved, with adjustments scheduled to take effect from the beginning of 2025 onwards. Until the end of 2024, the current tariffs will remain unchanged for all types of services. Furthermore, special provisions apply to individuals with reduced working capacity or disabilities, with adjusted fees introduced based on the type and degree of disability.

Moreover, simplified and expedited services for obtaining residence cards for family members of EU citizens will be maintained, with fees remaining unchanged until the end of the year. However, adjustments in fees are slated to come into effect from the beginning of the following year.

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Tags: identity card, Bulgarians, chip, biometric

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