Driving in Israel
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Driving in Israel without a valid driver’s license is illegal.
 
October 2017
 
Olim (new immigrants), temporary residents, returning residents and tourists are permitted to drive in Israel with a foreign or international driver's license for one year following their date of entry into Israel.  The category of vehicle driven must match the category stated on the valid license and the age requirement must comply with the Israeli requirements for that category.
 
Misrad HaRishui (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) allows olim and returning residents who have a valid foreign driver’s license that was valid for at least 5 years before the date of aliyah or return to receive an Israeli driver’s license without any tests.  Olim may do this within 3 years of their aliyah.  Returning Residents may do this within their first year of returning to Israel. 
Qualifying olim must bring to Misrad HaRishui: teudat zehut (identity card), teudat oleh (immigrant booklet), foreign passport, foreign driver’s license, and a Tofes Yarok (green form) with just a photograph.  The driver’s license has to have an issue date of at least 5 years before aliyah, if it doesn’t, bring the previous driver’s license, as well and if you don’t have that, bring a document from the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles that gave you the license that states when you were first issued a driver’s license. 
Qualifying returning residents must bring to Misrad HaRishui: teudat zehut (identity card), passport plus visa slip, foreign driver’s license, entries and exits form from Misrad HaPnim (Ministry of Interior) and a Tofes Yarok (green form) with just a photograph.  Here too, the driver’s license has to have an issue date of at least 5 years before your return. 
 
Olim and returning residents who do not qualify for the above and temporary residents and tourists may convert their foreign license to an Israeli one using an abridged process. They are exempt from taking the written exam, although a short road test is compulsory. All foreign drivers’ licenses must show an issue date.  If they do not, a document from the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles with the date the person received their driver's license may be shown.  Please note: you must be at least 17 years old.
 
Olim may convert their license on condition that the foreign license was issued prior to their aliyah.  They have 3 years to convert their license using an abridged process,
 
Returning residents may convert their license on condition that the foreign license was issued at least six months prior to their return. They must convert their license within one year of their return.
Tourists must convert their license after residing in Israel for one year. If that year was interrupted by trips abroad, the tourist may be permitted to drive in Israel for longer than one year but only if they receive permission from the Ministry of Transportation. Tourists must receive an identifying number from Misrad HaRishui before they start the license conversion process and can then apply to transfer their foreign driver’s license, They need to bring to Misrad HaRishui their foreign passport, foreign driver’s license and a valid 3-month tourist visa. If the Tourist has multiple entries and exits to and from Israel, Misrad HaRishui reserves the right to request a written test in addition to the practical test.
Temporary Residents must convert their license within one year of their arrival.
 
NOTE: Driving without a valid license invalidates both compulsory and comprehensive insurance.
Abridged Procedure for Obtaining a Driver’s License
Please note:  You do not need to hand in your original foreign driver's license.
 
  1. Go to your local Femi Premium or Teldor optician’s store with your valid foreign license and a photocopy (both sides) of it, your teudat oleh and teudat zehut or passport.  
  2. At the optician’s store you will have your photograph taken and computerized medical and eye test forms will be printed with your photo. This is called a Tofes Yarok (Green Form).  (Note: If you hold a license for more than 1 type of vehicle, you must have a Tofes Yarok for each license you wish to issue.)  The eye test can be done through your health fund or at most local opticians’ offices, for approximately NIS 70.  The medical forms must be filled out and stamped by the appropriate medical professionals at your Kupat Cholim (Health Fund). If their stamps do not appear on the forms, the forms will not be accepted.  Upon completion of the forms, take them to your regional Misrad HaRishui with your teudat zehut and teudat oleh, foreign license (with an issue date) with a photocopy of both sides and your foreign passport.  Once Misrad HaRishui stamps the Tofes Yarok, you will be issued with a referral (hafnaya) to a driving school. If you have special medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive, see the AACI Information Sheet Driver’s Licenses for People with Health Problems.
 
Major Femi Premium and Teldor Branches  (Check the Transport Ministry’s website for other opticians http://rishuy.mot.gov.il/he/photo-station)
 
Femi Premium    and    Teldor    Branches           
City
Address
Phone
Ashdod
Optica Center, Rigosin 9
 
Beer Sheva
Optica Markovitz, Mercaz Big
08 628 6386
Beit Shemesh
Beit Shemesh Eye Center
Nahal Refaim 38, RBS
02 679 9008
Hadera
Optica Markovitz, Giborim 85
 
Haifa
Optica Opticlub, Neviim 2
 
Herzliya
Optica Samarot, Mercaz Samarot
03 929 8587
Jerusalem
Optica Markowitz, Beitar Sports Association, Malcha Mall 1
Eye Optics, Benin City Gates 216 Jaffa Road
 
Roim Shesh Shesh
24 Agrippas
Sun-Thurs: 9:30 - 2:30, 4-7
Fri: 9-1:30
02 678 5858
 
02 502 1292
 
 
02 631-0588
Karmiel
Mercaz Optica, Sd. Keren Kayemet 99
 
Kfar Sava
Opticali, HaDor HaShlishi, Canyon G
 
Netanya
Optica Eye to Eye, HaKadar 2, Hadarim Mall, 2nd fl.
09 861 6544
Ra'anana
Optica Doron, Ra'ananim Mall
 
Ramat Gan
Optica Prince, Ayalon Mall
 
Rehovot
Optic Meir, Derech Yerushalyim 2
1 700 50 65 05
Tel Aviv
Roim Shakuf, Dizengoff Center
Optica Einayim, Azrielli Mall
 
 
 
3.       Contact a driving instructor to schedule and take the road test. The instructor will issue you with a form to pay the registration fee for the road test. It must be paid at the Post Office.  The school should have the up-to-date registration fees.   A driving instructor's car must be used for the test. One driving lesson is mandatory but you may need a few more.  The instructor must schedule the test for you.  The test may take place at any branch of the Misrad HaRishui.  In Jerusalem the test may ONLY take place at 1 HaTnufa Rd, Talpiot Industrial Area.  (Please see below, a list of branches.)  Note that if you take your driving lesson and test in an automatic transmission vehicle, you will be issued a license limiting you to drive only automatic vehicles.  However, if you take the lesson and test using a standard transmission (stick shift) vehicle, it will be valid for both types. 
 
Driving lessons cost approximately NIS 120 per lesson.  Standard time for driving lessons is 40 minutes.  The driving test fee is NIS 400 which includes the practical examination (road test) and use of the car from the driving school.  Please note prices are subject to change.
 
The road test is a control test, which lasts 15 minutes and tests your physical control of the car, knowledge of local traffic laws and safe driving practices.  The instructor will bring your forms to the test.
 
Bring with you: teudat zehut, foreign passport, foreign driving license and a copy of the registration fee receipt.  An examiner from the Misrad HaRishui conducts the road test.
 
Results from your road test will be given to you by your instructor later that day or the following day.
 
4.       If you do not pass the road test you may continue to take it until you pass.  However, if you fail it 2x, you may be asked to take the written theory test.  The theory test can be taken in many languages, including English.   
 
Once you have passed your test, you will receive a temporary paper license either from your instructor or by returning to Misrad HaRishui.  You must take this temporary paper license to the Post Office to pay the fee.  Immediately after payment, your temporary license is valid when used with your teudat zehut or passport. A permanent license will be mailed to you.  The license is valid for 10 years except for the following cases, for which it is valid for a 2 or 5 year period only.  The fee for a 10 year license is currently NIS 438 (fees subject to change).
 
2-year period license. The fee for a 2 year license is NIS 93. (Fees subject to change)
  • A new driver. 
  • A driver 80 years old and over.
5-year period license. The fee for a 5 year license is NIS 227. (Fees subject to change)
  • A new driver upon completion of the 2-year new driver period
  • A professional driver.
  • A driver 70 – 80 years old. 
Renewing your driving license
The renewal date that appears on your license is identical to your date of birth.  Approximately one month before the renewal date, you will be sent a new temporary paper license with an attached payment slip to be paid at any bank/postal bank.  If you do not receive it, notify the Ministry of Transport at telephone *5678 or 1 222 5678 (from overseas: 972 3 942 1920).  Your new photo-card license should be received at your address within one month of payment.  To renew your license on line: www.e.gov.il (Hebrew and English).
 
Following are addresses of Misrad HaRishui branches that deal with olim.  Website: http://www.mot.gov.il
 
City
Address
Jerusalem
1 HaTnufa Rd, Talpiot Industrial Area
Clal Building, 97 Yaffo
Tel Aviv
1 HaLochamim, Holon (Closed Temporarily)
Use: Ramle, 91 Herzl
Netanya
2 HaKadar, Hadarim Mall, 2nd fl.
Haifa
2 Edison, Haifa Bay
Be’ersheva
5 Manof, Emek Sarah
 
Misrad HaRishui is open to the public Sunday to Thursday, from 8:00 am – 13:00 pm (hours vary) and Sundays 15:30 - 18:15 (hours vary) for license renewal. The Misrad HaRishui in Haifa takes care of license conversions during morning hours.  Misrad HaRishui has a Central Information Service where phone inquiries are accepted between the hours 7:00 - 19:00.  Dial *5678 from any phone.  AACI recommends you call to confirm office hours.
 
The information presented in this article was accurate at the time of printing.  Changes in procedures and in the law may occur.  AACI does not take responsibility for changes and recommends you confirm the above information with an AACI counselor at the time of transfer.
 
Safe driving!
 
 
 
 
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