I'm planning to drive from Thessaloniki, Greece to Sofia, Bulgaria. I will be driving an owned car, registered in Greece, and will cross the border at Promachonas/Kulata. I have a Greek driver's license, which presumably is valid throughout the EU.

Do I need any other kind of documentation for the car? If so, how can I obtain it?

  • If you (and anybody else in the car) have Greek passports or ID cards, then Schengen doesn't matter. The issue is if you need to jump through specific hoops to drive the car in Bulgaria (which I don't know anything about). Jan 9, 2017 at 14:29
  • @Yannis of course it's relevant to driving through the border that Bulgaria is not in Schengen. If Bulgaria were (like Greece) a full member of the Schengen area, then there would be no border controls between them (except perhaps temporarily for exceptional reasons). If one drives from France to Germany, there's nobody checking that you have the correct documents for the car. As it is now, the border guards may check that when you drive between Greece and Bulgaria in each direction.
    – phoog
    Jan 9, 2017 at 15:37
  • @Yannis in that case then you're probably responsible for having the correct documents for the car, but if you don't, the only way you'll get in trouble for that is if you come into contact with the police (at a checkpoint, or because of a traffic stop or an accident, for example).
    – phoog
    Jan 9, 2017 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


If you are travelling to another EU country as a tourist, you don't need any documentation. However if you are planning to stay long-term in Bulgaria you need to register the car in Bulgaria.

Even though it is not necessary, it is still advisable to have printed form of your car insurance and to check what your insurance covers in Bulgaria. This site has some guidance on how to find what your insurance covers.


Here is an excellent guide: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bulgaria/safety-and-security#road-travel

The above is guidance by the UK government, particular points are very signifficant:

  • there is a small sticker for your car's windshield known as a vignette, it verifies that you have paid road tax ( I think the weekly one is 8 euros). You can purchase one at the border.

  • you need to carry evidence for your car's ownership and insurance

  • as you might know, your headlights must be on at all times, day and night

As stated by the European Commission here http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/going_abroad/bulgaria/other_en.htm

You must also have a warning triangle, first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher (small is fine) in the car, also just in case - a hi-viz vest.

And also there is the following legislation:

"Snow chains must be carried from 1 November until 1 March and used when the relevant sign is displayed"(first url).

Considering the weather there now, I would wear chains even on my shoes.

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