Thursday, 15 November 2018

A Guide to Converting your Driver's License in Israel

 

drivers licenseA new immigrant (oleh) has 3 years from the date of his/her Aliyah to to convert their license to an Israeli one. Olim, tourists, temporary residents and an Ezrach Oleh may drive in Israel using a valid foreign license for one year following their arrival.

Requirements

  • You must be in possession of a valid driver's license issued prior to your Aliyah date
  • You are at least 17 years old  (17 refers to a license for a private motor vehicle - up to 4 tons. Different categories of vehicles have different age requirements)

The Procedure for Getting your Driver's License

1. Obtain a Tofes Yarok (The Green Form) a.k.a Tofes 18 and with that you will have an eye test

The eye test is carried out at an appointed optician approved by the Ministry of Transport.

You will need:

  1. Teudat Zehut or Teudat Zakaut
  2. 50 Shekels
  3. Your glasses or contact lenses, where required
2. Declaration of Health

You need to:

  1. Sign the declaration of health (which is part of the tofes yarok)
  2. Get your family physician to sign as well
  3. Keep a copy of the document for your own records.
3. Visit the Licensing Authority (Misrad HaRishui)

Before you can arrange driving lessons with an instructor, you need to go to one of the branches of Misrad HaRishui; there  they will stamp the Tofes Yarok and thereby confirm that you are fit to take driving lessons.  If you have any chronic health conditions, Misrad HaRishui may require a medical opinion and therefore getting the required confirmation, may be delayed.

Take with:

  1. Tofes Yarok
  2. Foreign driver's license + copy
  3. Your Teudat Zehut, Teudat Zakaut or your Teudat Oleh
 4.  Take lessons

There is no set law for a minimum number of lessons to be taken before taking your actual driver's test.  Most driving instructors however, will insist that you take at least one or two lessons. Budget approximately 125 shekels for a single driving lesson.

Looking for a driving instructor? You'll find one and other English speaking, oleh friendly professional services in our biz directory.

 5.  Pay for the driving test The fee for the actual driving test currently stands at 68 shekels.  This must be paid at the Post Office. The fee maybe reviewed from time-to-time.
 6. Taking the test

Good luck! Make sure you have these documents on hand:-

  1. Teudat Zehut or Teudat Zakaut
  2. Your foreign driver's license
  3. A receipt and confirmation of payment for the 65 shekel fee

Note: your driving instructor may charge upwards of 200 shekels for using his vehicle during  the test.  It is not possible to use your own vehicle for the test.

Note: If you take your test on an automatic car, you license will be endorsed and you are then restricted to drive an automatic vehicle.  Taking your license on a manual/stick, allows you to drive both manual and automatic.

You have 2 opportunities to pass the conversion test during the 3 year period.  Should you not pass, you may be required to take the full driving test (theory as well).

 7.  Results You should receive the results within a day or two.  If you pass you will need to go to Misrad HaRishui to get a temporary license issued.
 8.  Paying for your permanent license The cost of a permanent license, valid for two years, is 92 shekels. A license valid for 5 years costs 225 shekels, a ten year license costs 433 shekels.  This can be paid at the Post Office or online on the Ministry of Transport website or by telephone - call *5678
9.  Renewing your driver's license Anyone over the age of 40 must submit to an eye examination (through a MOT recognized optometrist) before your renewed license is issued.  The cost is 50 shekels.

 

For a list of all branches of the licensing authority.  Please click here. (Hebrew)

Driving test tips

  • One of our readers was told by her driving instructor not to wear sunglasses during the driving test.  If you do, the examiner cannot see that you are looking and checking your mirrors and he may fail you.  Good to know!
  • Yigal Machluf, a seasoned driving instructor who works with Olim in the Haifa area, recommends that you start the license conversion procedure at least 6 months before the expiration of your license.  DO NOT wait until the last minute.  You never know how many lessons you will need and delays that may occur.

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