Bulgarians Reach Deadline for License Plate Switch

Politics | May 31, 2006, Wednesday // 00:00
Bulgarians Reach Deadline for License Plate Switch Hundreds of drivers are queuing in front of the police departments in Sofia to keep the deadline June 1 for replacing the car plates. Photo by Nadya Kotseva (Sofia News Agency)

Drivers in Bulgaria had the last chance to switch their old license plates with new ones on Wednesday, before road policemen start writing hefty tickets.

Monstrous lines marked the deadline for exchanging the plates but there are still thousands of cars adorned with the old style.

Police officers warned that as of Thursday, drivers who haven't yet done the switch would indeed face some repercussions. However, during the first couple of months, the ticket wouldn't come right away. Police will first hand the disobedient drivers a note saying that they had been warned to change their plates and they would then have a week to do so.

Despite pulling extra shifts and working on weekends traffic policemen have had a hard time servicing all the cars that join the lines in the last minute. Many believe that most of the latecomers have been obstructed by financial problems, and this made them delay the change as much as possible.

All Bulgarian drivers are required to change their license plates if they do not fit EU standards. The new plate is white with black numbers and has a blue band on the right, with the letters BG on it. Once the country joins the EU a sticker with the Union's banner would also have to be added to the license plate.

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