Converting your Foreign Driver’s License

||||Converting your Foreign Driver’s License

CONVERTING YOUR FOREIGN DRIVER’S LICENSE

The Israeli government has implemented changes to ease the transfer of foreign driver’s licenses.

Olim who meet specific criteria can, as of August 13, 2017, obtain an Israeli driver’s license without the need for an eye exam, doctor’s exam and practical driving test. Read more about the NEW EXPEDITED PROCEDURE below. We have answers to your frequently asked questions about this new procedure HERE.

Olim who do not meet this criteria can transfer their license according to the STANDARD PROCEDURE below.

NEW EXPEDITED PROCEDURE

To obtain an Israeli driver’s license, the following steps must be completed:

In order to be eligible to convert a driver’s license with the expedited procedure, an Oleh must meet the following criteria as laid out by the Ministry of Transportation:

  1. Within 5 years of Aliyah, according to the date found on the Oleh’s Teudat Oleh or Teudat Zakaut.
  2. Proof of 5 years of consecutive driving on a full foreign license that was issued prior to your date of Aliyah (not probationary or temporary). The driver’s license must be valid. The 5 years of consecutive driving history must be for the 5 years immediately preceding your date of Aliyah. Meaning, they will count back from the date of Aliyah and NOT from the day of applying to convert your license.
    The 5 years of driving history necessary to convert your license does not include the time driving after your Aliyah.

    • The Misrad HaRishui must see proof of the Date of Issue for your license (which proves 5 years of consecutive driving immediately preceding your Aliyah date). This can be proven in 2 ways: (1) on your current license itself  and/or your older licenses (if you kept them or have copies) OR (2) an original record from your DMV which states the original Date of Issue and your full driving history.
    • The 5 years of consecutive driving history must be for the 5 years immediately preceding your date of Aliyah.
  3. Failed no more than one conversion test.*
  4. Olim who are 70 or over must undergo the eye exam and doctor’s exam and present this form with their renewal documents. The form may be submitted in advance to Misrad Harishui via an online submission or by mail to the Holon Misrad Harishui office (P.O. Box 270, Holon, Zip 5810201). If they meet the other criteria, they may still convert their license without completing a driving exam (conversion test or practical driving test).

*Olim who have failed the conversion test twice must take a practical driving exam.

To obtain an Israeli driver’s license, the following steps must be completed:

Visit an optical store affiliated with Teldor or Femi-Premium

Issta and Femi-Premium are two private companies who provide services for Misrad Harishui. Click below for a listing of opticians around Israel who are affiliated with Issta or Femi-Premium, or phone: Femi-Premium: 03-953-5656

When you visit the optician, bring your Teudat Zehut with you.

You will receive from the optician’s office, a Tofes Yarok, a green form printed by Misrad Harishui (Ministry of Vehicle Licensing). You will also be photographed. Your photograph will be printed on the green form.

There may be a cost associated with getting the Tofes Yarok, likely no more than 50 NIS. If you are eligible to convert under the new regulations and only need a green form with your picture and no additional tests, such as an eye exam, you will not be charged for the green form (Tofes Yarok).

Please note: The Tofes Yarok is only valid for 3 years from its issue date. If your license is not converted within 3 years, or if you lose your Tofes Yarok, the process must be restarted from the beginning – including the appointments with the optometrist and the doctor (if applicable).

Nefesh B’Nefesh strongly recommends making a copy or taking a picture (even on your phone) of your Tofes Yarok after it has been signed by the physician. Keep this copy for your records.

There may be a cost associated with getting the Tofes Yarok, likely no more than 50 NIS.

Go to Misrad Harishui

Bring the documents, and a copy of each document, listed below to a Misrad Harishui in your district, where you will apply for a temporary driver’s license. You will need to wait about 30 minutes at Misrad Harishui and then you will receive your temporary license. Your temporary license is NOT valid until you go to the post office and pay the fee (step 3).

  • Tofes Yarok
  • Teudat Zehut
  • Teudat Oleh / Teudat Zakaut
  • Valid foreign driver’s license and a copy (front and back) of your license
  • Proof of having a full foreign license for 5 years immediately preceding the date of your Aliyah (this could be the issue date on your license or a transcript of your driving history from your local DMV)

To make an appointment, click here. *Appointments are not required, but are recommended.

For a list of Misrad Harishui offices, see the list at the top of this page: Misrad Harishui Offices. You can also go to www.mot.gov.il or phone 1-222-5678 or *5678.

You will receive a temporary license which will be valid for 6 months. Within 2-3 months of issuing your temporary license you will be mailed a permanent driver’s license card.

Visit the Post Office

Bring your temporary license which you received at Misrad Harishui to the post office and pay the fee (approximately 438 NIS) in cash. Most post offices will not accept credit cards or checks.
You can also pay the fee over the phone at *5678 or at any of the Automated Licensing Machines around the country. If you choose to use an Automated Licensing Machine, you can only do so using a credit card that holds the name of the licensed individual.

Your temporary license IS NOT valid until you pay the fee at the post office.

Your permanent license, valid for up to 10 years, will be sent to the address listed on your Teudat Zehut.

It may take up to 3 months to receive your permanent license by mail. If after 3 months you have still not received your license in the mail, call the Misrad Harishui License Delivery department at 08-994-9700.

STANDARD PROCEDURE

To obtain an Israeli driver’s license, the following steps must be completed. As part of the process, you will need to take a Mivchan Shlita, a practical driving test. The total cost of the driver’s license conversion is approximately 1000 NIS (for someone who passes the exam either the first or second time).

Visit an optician affiliated with Teldor or Femi-Premium

Issta and Femi-Premium are two private companies who provide services for Misrad Harishui. Click here for a listing of opticians around Israel who are affiliated with Issta or Femi-Premium, or phone: Issta: 03-777-7777, or Femi-Premium: 03-5688140

When you visit the optician, bring with you your Teudat Zehut, and glasses or contact lenses (where relevant).

You will receive from the optician’s office, a Tofes Yarok, a green form printed by Misrad Harishui (Ministry of Vehicle Licensing). You will also be photographed, and you will have an eye examination.

Please note: The Tofes Yarok is only valid for 3 years from its issue date. If your license is not converted within 3 years, or if you lose your Tofes Yarok, the process must be restarted from the beginning – including the appointments with the optometrist and the doctor.

Nefesh B’Nefesh strongly recommends making a copy or taking a picture (even on your phone) of your Tofes Yarok after it has been signed by the physician. Keep this copy for your records.


Cost: The eye examination costs 50 NIS.

Fill Out the Hatsharat Briut
(Declaration of Health)

Part of the Tofes Yarok is a Hatsharat Briut, a declaration of health. Fill out this form, listing only medications that may affect your driving.

Visit a Physician

Bring your Tofes Yarok to a physician to sign. The doctor will make a note on the form of any medications you take that may affect your driving.

It is strongly recommended to make a copy or take a picture (even on your phone) of your Tofes Yarok after it has been signed by the physician. Keep this copy for your records.

Go to Misrad Harishui

Bring the following documents, as well as a copy of each document: Tofes Yarok, Teudat Oleh, Teudat Zehut and valid foreign driver’s license (issued prior to your Aliyah date) to a Misrad Harishui that handles license conversions to be stamped.

To make an appointment, click here. *Appointments are not required, but are strongly recommended.

For a list of Misrad Harishui offices that convert licenses, see the list at the top of this page: Misrad Harishui Offices. You can also go to www.mot.gov.il or phone 1-222-5678 or *5678.

Schedule Your Lesson(s) and a Practical Test

  1. Contact a driving instructor. You may ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations. Even though you are not required to take lessons, the law states you must use a driving instructor’s car for the testing process. You are required to pay the instructor for the use of his car during the test.
  2. Schedule either one or two driving lessons, as well as a practical driving test. (The lessons are optional but recommended and are in your best interest to make sure you feel comfortable driving in Israel prior to testing).
  3. Give your signed and stamped Green Form to your driving instructor.
  4. You will receive an Agrat Mivchan (a form indicating you must pay a fee for the test), to bring to the post office.

Cost: A lesson costs about 110 NIS on a manual car and 130 NIS on an automatic car; specify which type of car you drive. A test on an automatic car will only allow you to drive legally on automatic cars.

Visit the Post Office

Bring your Agrat Mivchan to the post office.

Cost: 68 NIS. Make sure you obtain a receipt.

Take the Test

Bring your Teudat Zehut and the receipt from the post office, to give to your driving instructor. The instructor will phone you after the exam to let you know whether you passed, usually within a day or two.

In most cases, the driving tests are not private.  Be prepared to have at least one other person in the car with you, also taking their test.

If you have passed the test, the instructor will give you your temporary license.

Cost: The test costs 229 NIS.  This payment goes to the instructor and is for the use of the instructor’s car during the test.

Olim can take the conversion test up to two times before they reach their five-year limit on converting a foreign license. If they fail the conversion test two times, they will need to take the full driving test (the one given to new drivers) in order to transfer their license. This test can be taken as many times as possible until five years have passed sine your Aliyah. If the Oleh reaches five years post-Aliyah without successfully converting their license, they will need to take a written theory test (in English) as well as the full driving test.

Return to the Post Office

Pay the fee to activate your temporary driver’s license. Your permanent license (photo ID) will be mailed to your home address listed on your Teudat Zehut within 2-3 months. Until the age of 70, you will need to renew your license every ten years; over the age of 70, you will need to renew it every five years; over the age of 80, you will need to renew it every two years.

Cost: Approximately 438 NIS for a 10 year license and 93 NIS for a 2 year license

Additional Information and FAQ

An Oleh is entitled to drive on a foreign driver’s license up to one year from the last entry date, following one full consecutive year abroad.

How do you determine the date?
For the entitlement to drive on a foreign license in Israel – (1 year from) Entry date.
For the eligibility to convert your license – (5 years from) Aliyah date.

There are many differences between driving in Israel and in North America. Click here for a short summary of Driving in Israel for North Americans and to read up on some of the differences. We would like to give credit to and thank Ruth Lockshin for this informative article on Driving in Israel. Please note that the information is subject to change.

The Ministry of Transportation has clear guidelines for Israelis who do not hold a foreign license (or whose foreign license expired) which states that when travelling abroad you must hold a valid International Driver’s License.

This is mainly required by Car Rental companies, but regardless this is the law. This is being clarified as a reaction to changing reality in various countries around the world which are now requiring an International License for security reasons.

You can obtain an International Driver’s License at any of the locations in the following link:

International Driver’s License Locations

The International Driver’s License is valid for one year and costs 20 nis.

If you have a valid US license you DO NOT need to have an international license.

Afula
Ashdod
Ashkelon
Be’er Sheva
Beit Shemesh
Bnei Brak
Dimona
Eilat
Hadera
Haifa – 2 Edison Street
Holon
Jerusalem – Binyan Clal
Jerusalem – Talpiot
Kiryat Gat
Netanya
Petach Tikva
Tveria

Important Note: Bnei Brak and Petach Tikva ONLY convert licenses under the NEW procedure.

Did Misrad HaTachbura pass legislation saying that Olim do not need to take a driver’s license exam?
Yes and no. Olim who have proof of having a full driver’s license for five years can convert their foreign licenses without need for eye exam, doctor exam and practical driving test. Nothing has changed for Olim who do not meet this criteria.

Did I have to have my full license for five years before making Aliyah?
Yes. It must have been valid for five consecutive years immediately preceding your Aliyah date in order to convert according to the new regulations. You then have 5 years from your Aliyah date to convert your license.

Do I still need a Tofes Yarok?
Yes, you still need a Tofes Yarok (the form and picture). If you are eligible under the new regulations, you DO NOT need to do an eye or doctor’s exam. If you do not meet the criteria for converting under the new regulations then you are still required to do all necessary exams.

How long will my new license be valid for?
Until the age of 70 – 10 years.
Ages 70-80 – 5 years.
Age 80 & above – 2 years.

Has the timeline for converting my license after Aliyah changed from three years to five years?
Yes.

How much will this new license conversion cost?
Approximately 438 NIS for the license, plus no more than 50 NIS for the green form (Tofes Yarok). If you are eligible to convert under the new regulations and only need a green form with your picture and no additional tests, you will not be charged for the green form (Tofes Yarok).

What happens if I’ve already failed a few conversion tests (מבחן שליטה) in the past?
If you have already failed the conversion test twice you must do a practical driving exam to convert your license.

Can all Misrad Harishui offices convert licenses under the new procedure?
No, there are certain offices which convert licenses under the new procedure. Please look above for a list of which offices convert licenses under the new procedure.

Is there a distinction between manual and automatic licenses?
Misrad Harishui is most likely going to issue a general manual license that should cover both options. If you have taken a practical driving test in order to convert your license and were tested on an automatic car, your license will be limited to only driving automatic cars.

Can I combine my driving history from 2 separate states to form a 5 year driving history?
No. The 5 years must be from one state and the license needs to be valid when applying for a license conversion.

Questions? license@nbn.org.il

2018-06-12T08:53:55+00:00Driver's License and Cars|