Four foreign companies bid to build new Bulgarian ID card system
Four foreign companies – three German and one Dutch – have made offers to build the new Bulgarian ID card system which will include extensive biometric data.
The offers of the four companies were publicly opened at the Bulgarian Interior Ministry on October 16.
The companies are the German services Dermalog, Veridos and Muehlbauer ID and the Dutch company Gemalto.
This is the second attempt to build the system after the suspension of a public market in 2016 by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.
The current project allocation is just over 239 million leva, excluding value added tax.
It is planned to start issuing the new ID cards in 2019. It will not be mandatory to replace the existing ID cards, the validity of which will continue until their current expiration date.
Recent changes in Bulgarian law retain the main types of documents: identity card, commonly known as lichna karta, driving license, passport and residence permit for foreigners. Bulgaria plans to create identity documents for people subject to criminal proceedings, so that they have an identity document but not a document allowing them to cross a border.
For Bulgarians living abroad, the validity of passports will be 10 years, not the current five years. Children’s passports will be valid for five years. Another new document must be introduced, a NATO employee residence permit.
(Photo, of a specimen Bulgarian identity card: Ministry of the Interior)