CONVERTING YOUR FOREIGN DRIVER’S LICENSE

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

Misrad Harishui has instituted a new online service. You can now obtain your Tofes Yarok online, here. (Hebrew)
For a translated guide of the new online application form , click here.

Olim who meet specific criteria can 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.

Service is available in the branches of Misrad Harishui by appointment ONLY.
To book an appointment, MyVisit.com or call *5678

For assistance with booking an appointment, check out our online guide for appointment setting on MyVisit.com.

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, Teudat Zakaut or letter of Aliyah Recognition from Misrad Haklitah (for those who have resided in Israel for an extended period of time prior to Aliyah).
  2. Proof of 5 years of consecutive driving on a full (unlimited, unrestricted) 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 of your original license and of your current license 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 or will be turning 70, must undergo the eye exam upon license conversion and renewal. 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:

Apply online for your license (it is recommended to open with Google Chrome browser). The application is currently in Hebrew only. In the past this process was done manually on a document called Tofes Yarok “Green Form”. It is no longer available, but you may still hear people refer to it as an online Tofes Yarok/ “Green Form”.
For a translated guide of the new application form, click here.

The first page includes your personal details and contact information.

After inserting your details, you will be asked for the “license type” (in Hebrew דרגה).

B – private

C1 – commercial (up to 12,000 kg)

A1 – a motorbike (up to 47.46 horsepower)

A2 – a motorbike (up to 14.916 horsepower)

A3 – electrical bicycle

1 – tractor

Next, you will be asked for your contact info. Make sure your phone can receive text messages (SMS) as this is how Misrad Harishui is going to communicate with you. If you have a ‘Kosher’ phone, there is an option to receive voice messages. You will be sent a verification code. Make sure to click מסרון for a text message or הודעה קולית for a voice message.

The last part is a medical self-declaration. Please, make sure to fill it out correctly. If you are taking any medications that may have side effects possibly influencing your driving skills, write it down. Concealing information may only harm you during this process.

Based on your declaration, you may be required to submit additional medical paperwork.

Once you submit the online form, an SMS (or a voice message) will be sent with further instructions. Upon receiving this message, you can proceed to step 2.

Visit an optician affiliated with Issta or Femi-Premium

At this station you will:
– Have you picture taken for you license
– Get your eyes examined

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 (if relevant).

The fee for the eye exam is set by the provider and is usually around 50 NIS.

Remember to ask the Optician for a printout of your exam results. This may prove useful in the future.

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. Your temporary license is NOT valid until you pay the fee (see step 4. Pay the Licensing Fee, below).

  • 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)

Service is available in the branches of Misrad Harishui by appointment ONLY.
To make an appointment, click here.

In order to make an appointment, select משרד התחבורה – the Ministry of Transportation (circled in the image below).

Next, you will want to select פעולות רישוי לרכב ולנהג  – Driver and Car licensing actions (as circled in the image below).

For a list of Misrad Harishui offices, see the list at the top of the following 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.

Your temporary license IS NOT valid until proof of payment is presented on the license via one of the following payment methods.

Online
Automated Licensing Machines
Over the phone – *5678
You can pay at the Post Office. All payment options available.

Your permanent license, valid for up to 10 years, will be sent to the address listed on your Teudat Zehut. (First license is often issued for 5 years)

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:

  1. If you have a full foreign driver’s license for less than 2 years prior to your date of Aliyah, you will be required to take a written theory test and a Mivchan Shlita (a short conversion driving test).
  2. If you have a full foreign driver’s license for more than 2 years but less than 5 years prior to your date of Aliyah, you will only need to take a Mivchan Shlita (a short conversion driving test).

Apply online for your license (it is recommended to open with Google Chrome browser). The application is currently in Hebrew only. In the past this process was done manually on a document called Tofes Yarok “Green Form”. It is no longer available, but you may still hear people refer to it as an online Tofes Yarok “Green Form”.
For a translated guide of the new application form, click here.

The first page includes your personal details and contact information.

After inserting your details, you will be asked for the “license type” (in Hebrew דרגה).

B – private

C1 – commercial (up to 12,000 kg)

A1 – a motorbike (up to 47.46 horsepower)

A2 – a motorbike (up to 14.916 horsepower)

A3 – electrical bicycle

1 – tractor

Next, you will be asked for your contact info. Make sure your phone can receive text messages (SMS) as this is how Misrad Harishui is going to communicate with you. If you have a ‘Kosher’ phone, there is an option to receive voice messages. You will be sent a verification code. Make sure to click מסרון for a text message or הודעה קולית for a voice message.

The last part is a medical self-declaration. Please, make sure to fill it out correctly. If you are taking any medications that may have side effects possibly influencing your driving skills, write it down. Concealing information may only harm you during this process.

Based on your declaration, you may be required to submit additional medical paperwork.

Once you submit the online form, an SMS (or a voice message) will be sent with further instructions. Upon receiving this message, you can proceed to step 2.

Visit an optician affiliated with Issta or Femi-Premium

At this station you will:
– Have you picture taken for you license
– Get your eyes examined

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 (if relevant).

The fee for the eye exam is set by the provider and is usually around 50 NIS.

Remember to ask the Optician for a printout of your exam results. This may prove useful in the future.

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 register for your Driver’s License conversion.

  • 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)

Service is available in the branches of Misrad Harishui by appointment ONLY.
To make an appointment, click here.

In order to make an appointment, select משרד התחבורה – the Ministry of Transportation (circled in the image below).

Next, you will want to select פעולות רישוי לרכב ולנהג  – Driver and Car licensing actions (as circled in the image below).

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

Misrad Harishui will approve your request to begin the Driver’s License conversion process.
If you have between 2-5 years of driving history, skip to step 5, Schedule Your Lesson.
If you have under 2 years of driving history, continue with step 4, Theory test.

If required, you will be given the instructions, by SMS or Voicemail, on how to take the theory test. Here you can find an online pool of Q&As to get a sense of what the test may look like. Use this link to find the closest branch to take the test. Find the one you want and click the blue button that says רישום (registration).

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.
  5. The instructor will schedule your test and notify you of the date and time/details.

Cost:

The fee for use of the instructor’s car during the test is NIS 229, this must be paid to the instructor directly.

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.

The fee for the test (Agrat Mivchan) is NIS 68.

You can pay the test fee in one of the following ways:

Online

Bring your Agrat Mivchan to the post office. All payment options available.

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

Bring your Teudat Zehut and proof of payment and give it to your driving instructor.

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.

The instructor will phone you after the exam to let you know whether you passed, usually within a day or two.

If you have passed the test, you will receive your paper temporary Driver’s License to your email. You can go to the nearest Automated Licensing Machine and print out your temporary paper license if you don’t have access to a printer.
Your temporary license IS NOT valid until proof of payment is presented on the license via one of the following payment methods.

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 since 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.

Your temporary license IS NOT valid until proof of payment is presented on the license via one of the following payment methods.

Online
Automated Licensing Machines
Over the phone – *5678
You can pay in cash at the Post Office

Cost: Approximately 438 NIS for a 10 year license, 215 NIS for a 5 year license and 93 NIS for a 2 year license

Your permanent license, valid for up to 10 years, will be sent to the address listed on your Teudat Zehut. (First license is often issued for 5 years)
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.

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.

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 can only be obtained if you already hold a permanent Israeli Driver’s License card, is valid for one year and costs under 20 nis.

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

For information on Parking Cards for Disabled Individuals, click here.

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 Expedited procedure.

You can find a list of all Misrad Harishui Branches here.
Please note: only the locations stated above deal with conversions from foreign licenses.

For information on Renewing your Driver’s License, click here.

Did Misrad HaTachbura pass legislation stating 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 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 physical Tofes Yarok?
No, Misrad Harishui has instituted a new online service. You can now obtain your Tofes Yarok online, here. (Hebrew)
If you do not meet the criteria for converting under the new regulations then you are still required to do all necessary exams.

Do I need to get a Doctor’s exam?
No, the new Online Tofes Yarok is based on a self health declaration. Only in cases that cause concern you will be asked to get checked out by a doctor.

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 your picture taken and no additional tests, you will not be charged for this service.

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 full practical driving exam to convert your license.

Can all Misrad Harishui offices convert licenses under the new procedure?
No, there are certain offices that provide this service. 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 will issue a general license that covers 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?
Yes, they must overlap with no gaps proving a full 5 years of driving history.

If I am eligible to convert my license under the expedited procedure, do i need to get an eye exam?
Yes.

What documents can be used to prove my driving history?
You must hold a current valid driver’s license, in addition you can present physical old licenses that complete a 5 year span. If you don’t have those, you MUST present a DMV driving history record with your Original Issue Date, Current License Issue Date and Expiration Date of your current license. Some states allow you to order the DMV record online others provide only in person service. It is highly recommended to get this document pre-Aliyah.

Questions? answers@nbn.org.il

Last updated on May 31, 2020