Time Benefits and Obligations
Upon Arrival at the Airport Sal Klitah (The absorption basket of financial assistance) – the first payment is made in cash at the airport.  Then additional payments are paid directly into your bank account.
Upon Arrival at the Airport Receive your Teudat Oleh (immigrant booklet) and Teudat Zehut (identity card) at the Misrad HaAliyah VeHaKlitah (Ministry of Absorption).
Upon Arrival at the Airport Register for basic Health Insurance and choose your Kupah (Health Fund). 
Within 1st week In order to receive financial benefits, olim need to open a bank account shortly after arrival and give bank details to the local Misrad HaAliyah VeHaKlitah.  
Within 1st week If you haven’t done so at the airport, register for basic Health Insurance at the postal bank (small fee).  Sign up at the Kupah of your choice. 
Within 1st week If you haven’t received one at the airport, apply for your Teudat Zehut at Misrad HaPnim (Ministry of Interior).
3 months  Obtain a biometric Teudat Zehut at Misrad HaPnim.
3 months Automatic acquisition of Israeli Citizenship, unless declined.
8 months Begin period of eligibility for Rent Subsidy, if you do not own a residence.
Within 1st year Receive free year AACI membership upon payment of one-year membership (2 years for the price of 1).
12 months You are no longer allowed to drive on a foreign driver’s license.
13 months If you are not working or receiving a Bituach Leumi (National Insurance) allowance you must go to your local Bituach Leumi office and arrange for payment of your National Health Insurance.  
18 months End of first period of Income Tax Reduction, 3 additional credit points.
Within 24 months Utilize oleh discount on Arnona – municipal real estate tax. 
30 months End of second period of Income Tax Reduction, 2 additional tax credit points.
Within 3 years Eligible students must begin studies within 3 years from their date of aliyah to qualify for assistance from Minhal HaStudentim (Student Authority). There is an age limit.
Within 3 years Olim may convert their valid foreign driver’s license for an Israeli license. Please see AACI’s Information Sheet “Driving in Israel”.  
3 years End of period of Customs exemption on imported goods.
3 1/2 years(42 months) End of third and final period of Income Tax Reduction, 1 additional credit point.
5 years End of period of oleh Rent Subsidy.
7 years End of period of reduction on Mas Rechisha (real estate transfer fee).
10 years Olim are entitled to one course of free Ulpan.  
10 years Tax exemption for non-Israeli-source income and capital gains.
15 years

End of Mortgage Rights 

Driving on a foreign license in Israel
Driving in Israel without a valid driver’s license is illegal.  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.
* The age requirement must comply with the Israeli requirements for that category (17 for a private car).
You need to make an appointment before  you go to Misrad HaRishui (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) at myVisit

Getting an Israeli license
Converting an existing foreign license – immediate conversion
Misrad HaRishui  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 a theory or road test. Olim may do this within 3 years of their aliyah.  Returning Residents may do this within their first year of returning to Israel.

Requirements – bring to Misrad HaRishui:
* teudat zehut (identity card) / passport
* teudat oleh (immigrant booklet)
* foreign driver’s license 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, or bring a document from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that gave you the license that states when you were first issued a driver’s license. Photocopy the documents.
* online form – https://govforms.gov.il/mw/forms/RishumTheory@mot.gov.il for a level B (private vehicle) license. This form is essentially a declaration of health.  If you have health issues you must attach medical documentation.
* photograph and eye exam, if needed Taken at a Femi Premium optician’s store, listed HERE or a Memsi store listed at https://www.memsi.co.il/license-green-form/ 

For a list of Misrad HaRishui branches that process foreign license conversions, click this link.  The branches usually take care of the conversions in the morning hours. 

Converting an existing foreign license – general
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.
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 the abridged process.
Documents required – foreign driver’s license with an issue date (or see above) + photocopy, teudat zehutteudat oleh.
* Temporary Residents must convert their license within one year of their arrival.
Documents required – foreign driver’s license with an issue date (or see above) + photocopy, passportthe official permit for staying in Israel.
* Returning residents may convert their license on condition that the foreign license was issued at least six months prior to their return, and the applicant was abroad for at least six months prior to the request. They must convert their license within one year of their return.
Documents required – foreign driver’s license with an issue date (or see above) + photocopy, identification card, passport with the stamps specifying all the dates of existing and entering Israel.
* Tourists must convert their license after residing in Israel for one year. The license will be valid for six months / last date of your visa (whichever is earlier), but can be renewed immediately when it expires.
Documents required – foreign passport, foreign driver’s license (if not in English, must be translated), a valid 3-month tourist visa.

NOTE: Driving without a valid license invalidates both compulsory and comprehensive insurance.

General Procedure for obtaining your Driver’s License

  1. Online Form
    Fill out online form at https://govforms.gov.il/mw/forms/RishumTheory@mot.gov.il  If you have health issues, attach medical documentation. Take the online form and go to your local Femi Premium or Memsi store with your valid foreign license and a photocopy (both sides) of it, your teudat oleh and teudat zehut or passport. Femi Premium optician’s stores are listed at the bottom of this sheet,  Memsi stores are listed at   https://www.memsi.co.il/license-green-form/ . You will have your photograph taken and be given an eye test if needed. 

  2. Applying in Misrad HaRishui
    Take the online form with your other required documents to the Misrad HaRishui near you that processes olim. For the list click this link .  You will be issued with a referral (hafnaya) to a driving school in order to take your road test.

    Note: 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.

Taking a road test
Contact a driving instructor to schedule and take the road test. The instructor will give you a form to pay the registration fee for the road test.  The instructor must schedule the test for you and the instructor’s car must be used for the test.  You will be asked to take a minimum of one lesson and maybe several more lessons by the instructor. 

The test may take place at any branch of the Misrad HaRishui.   Note that if you take your 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 ­­­you will be able to drive a standard or automatic vehicle.

Driving lessons cost approximately NIS 120 per lesson.  Standard time for a driving lesson 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. Getting your Israeli driver’s license
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 driver’s license will be mailed to you. The license is valid for 10 years except for specific cases.

10 year license – The fee for a 10 year license is NIS 438 (fees subject to change).

  5 year license. The fee for a 5 year license is NIS 227. (Fees subject to change)
* A 5-year license is issued following completion of the 2-year new driver period.
* A driver of: a public transport vehicle, a heavy goods vehicle, a security vehicle and a children transport vehicle.
* A driver 70 – 80 years old

2 year license. The fee for a 2 year license is NIS 93. (Fees subject to change)
* A new driver.
*A driver 80 years old or older


Renewing your driving license
The renewal date that appears on your license is identical to your date of birth.
1. Getting a payment slip
Approximately one month before the renewal date, you will be sent a payment slip.  If you do not receive it, notify the Ministry of Transport at telephone *5678 or 1-222-56-78 (from overseas: 972-3-5086905), or by coming to one of Misrad HaRishui branches with your ID. 

2. Paying the fee
There are several ways to pay your fee:

  • Postal bank – go to any of the branchews, and you will get your license on the spot. The payment will be updated in the Ministry of Transport witin 14 days. 
  • Telephone – call *5678 or 1-222-5678 and pay using a computer answering machine. You will receive an approval number, and your payment will be updated immediately. A temporary license (signed “paid”) will be sent.
  • Bank – you can pay the fee at any bank. It is updated immediately.
  • Service stand – Self-service stands (RISHIOMAT) to pay your fee are available in Misrad HaRishui branches, shopping malls and super-pharm. Notice! You can only pay with a credit card owned by the person renewing his license. The payment will be updated immediately.
  • Internet – Pay using a credit card in this link. The payment will be updated
  • App – You can pay the fee using the government services app, available for both Android and I-phone.
  1. Temporary license

If you paid using the phone or online, a temporary license will be sent to your address within 2 weeks of payment.

  1. Driver’s license

Within 2 months of paying the fee, a new license (with a picture) will be sent to you. If the Ministry of Transport does not have a current picture, a comment will be written on your payment slip. In this case, once you’ve paid your fee and received a temporary license you must go to a photo-stand with your temporary license to take your picture. A list of photo-stands is available HERE and https://www.memsi.co.il/license-green-form/ .

Comments: If your license is about to expire soon, it is recommended to pay the fee in the Bank/Postal bank. Drivers over the age of 70, and professional drivers (taxi, bus, truck etc.) over the age of 60 are required to get a medical check-up before renewing their license. The medical form will be sent to them 6 months prior to the license renewal date.

Contact the Ministry of Transportation

Misrad HaRishui has a Central Information Service – Dial *5678 (or 1-222-5678). A computer answering machine is available 24/7.  To talk to a representative call Sun-Thurs. 7:00-20:00, Fri 7:00-13:00.  AACI recommends you call to confirm office hours. A list of all the Misrad HaRishui branches is available HERE (Hebrew only).

Addresses of some of the Misrad HaRishui branches that deal with olim:




17 HaTnufa Rd, Talpiot Industrial Area

Clal Building, 97 Yaffo

Tel Aviv

1 HaLochamim, Holon


1 HaOrazim, Hadarim Mall


2 Edison, Haifa Bay


5 Manof, Emek Sarah

Femi Premium and Memsi Branches 





Optica Center, Rigosin 9

08 8565628

Beer Sheva

Mercaz Optica Ben Tzvi 1

Memsi, Henrietta Szold 8

08 6234440

08 6270695

Beit Shemesh

Optica Halperin, Mercaz Big,

Yigal Allon 3

02 9921347


Opti C, Herzl 27

04 6201111


Optic Center, Israel Bar Yehuda 111

Ziggy Shaul, Lev HaMifratz

04 3748666

04 8416997


Optica Halperin, Malcha Mall

Agudat HaSport Betar 1

Optica Roim Shesh Shesh

King George 21

Memsi, Canion Hadar Talpiot

02 6306402

02 6222416

02 6259711


Opticanion,  HaCharoshet 4804

04 9580811

Kfar Saba

Opticana Arim Mall

09 7677304


Memsi, City Center Giborei Yisrael 5 Poleg

09 8870610


Memsi,  Ra’ananim Mall

09 7461991

Ramat Gan

Ital Optic, Ayalon Mall

03 5224225

Tel Aviv

Optica Halperin Dizengoff Center

Memsi, HaRakevet 20

03 5254535

03 5641122

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!

The National Health Law guarantees equal basic medical care to all residents of Israel regardless of their age and medical condition. There are four Health Funds (Kupot Cholim)* that provide an equivalent range of medical services. Each Israeli chooses to register with the fund of his choice. Supplementary insurance plans are offered for an additional fee paid directly to your Health Fund for medical services or discounts not included in the basic health services package.

A monthly “health tax” (mas bruit), paid directly to Bituach Leumi, the National Insurance Institute, covers the basic medical services.

New Immigrants (olim chadashim): The oleh may register for one of the health funds at the airport free of charge or at a post office, later on, for a small registration fee. If the oleh opts to register at the post office instead of the airport, he must request a medical insurance voucher at the airport from the immigration officials who welcome him. He then brings the voucher and his immigrant booklet, the teudat oleh, to the post office and tells the clerk which fund he wishes to join. For those changing status in Israel, they need to go to the local Absorption Ministry office to obtain a teudat oleh and the medical insurance voucher.

Olim receive free health insurance for 12 months if they are not working or if their income is very low. This also applies to ezrachim olim and k’tinim chozrim. If you are employed, the health taxwill automatically be deducted through your place of employment. Once the 12 months are up, one must make arrangements to pay the health tax to Bituach Leumi if one is not working.

Couples & Children: Each spouse may register with a different Fund. Children under 18 are registered with the Health Fund of the mother, barring special circumstances.

Salaried Workers: The health tax is deducted automatically from an employee’s salary.

Self-Employed: The self-employed must coordinate payments with Bituach Leumi.

Students & Yeshiva Students: Students must coordinate payments through Bituach Leumi.

Retirees: Retirees receiving Bituach Leumi allowances have their health tax deducted from the allowance. Seniors who do NOT receive a Bituach Leumi allowance must arrange payment for their health tax at the Gviya (Payment) Department at their local Bituach Leumi office. Arrangements can be made with Bituach Leumi to set up a standing order (hora’at keva) at your bank, to simplify the payment procedure.

Returning Residents: Please see the AACI Information Sheet on Returning Residents.

Transferring to Another Health Fund: Anyone registered with a Health Fund may transfer to another Fund up to 2 times in a twelve month period. Transfer requests may be submitted any time, but take effect only 1½ to 3½ months later on specific dates 6 times a year. Until the date for all transfers of a particular period take effect, the member remains the responsibility of his current Fund. Transfers must be done at the Post Office for a small fee or online on the Bituach Leumi payments site (in Hebrew).

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.

Rent Subsidy assistance to new immigrants (olim) is provided by the Ministry of Housing (Misrad HaShikun) from the 8th month after aliyah. It is deposited automatically into the same bank account as the Absorption Basket (Sal Klitah). If the oleh changes his bank account for any reason, he must inform the Ministry of Absorption (Misrad HaKlitah). This assistance is in addition to the Sal Klitah that is received by each oleh. Rental assistance may not exceed 95% of the rental fees.

The amount of rental assistance varies according to the classification of the recipient, the period of assistance and family status.

Current rates of monthly rental assistance in NIS are listed below. This information is correct to the best of our knowledge, but it is advisable to check with Misrad HaKlitah as to your individual situation as the amounts may change.


Period of Eligibility

Single Oleh

& Oleh Married to a Veteran Israeli


Single Parent

8-12 months




2nd year




3rd Year




4th Year




5th Year




6th Year




Service in the Israel Defense Forces extends the period of assistance to up to 96 months. A lone soldier is an immigrant who arrived to Israel without family and is serving in the IDF or in National Service and has been recognized as a ‘Lone Soldier’ by the IDF or by Misrad HaKlitah.  The eligibility period of assistance for a ‘Lone Soldier’ starts from when he receives Lone Soldier status. A Lone Soldier receives 402NIS a month from Misrad HaShikun.

Single-parent families are eligible for assistance for a period of five years, beginning from the 8th month of their aliyah and up to six years from the date of aliyah. A single parent will NOT get the rent subsidy automatically. He must apply for it through a housing company.

Olim who do NOT receive their rent subsidy automatically must go to one of three companies to arrange their rent subsidy. When you go, bring with you your (and your spouse’s) identity card (teudat zehut), your immigrant booklet (teudat oleh) and a copy of your signed rental contract.

Milgam:  1599 563 007

M.G.A.R: 074 7695455,  1599 500 301

Amidar: *6266

The period of eligibility for automatic assistance (without an income investigation) is given to those who meet the definition of “without housing” and who have been in the country for up to five years from their date of aliyah. This means that if you did not automatically receive your housing subsidy, you can contact Misrad Haklitah to assess your eligibility.

Olim who leave Israel during their first year of aliyah must go to their absorption adviser at Misrad HaKlitah upon their return and request that the advisor ask Misrad HaShikun to reinstate him on the list for rent subsidy. Olim who leave Israel after their first year must contact Misrad HaShikun directly for reinstatement. *5442 or *2310. 

Olim who have stayed in an Absorption Center (Mercaz Klitah) must be officially signed out of the Mercaz Klitah and pay their final utility bills at the Post Office. They must receive official documentation (an ishur) from the Mercaz Klitah confirming the period they stayed in the Mercaz and the date they left. This ishur is then taken to Misrad HaKlitah where their address is officially changed on the Ministry’s computer system. Only then, will olim automatically receive the rent subsidy relevant to their status.

If olim own their own apartment, they are not entitled to a rent subsidy. It is their responsibility to inform Misrad HaKlitah that they are homeowners and are not eligible to receive the rent subsidy. If it is found that ineligible olim received rental assistance, they may be asked to return the money with fines.

Olim, including the elderly and families living on National Insurance allowances (Bituach Leumi) are entitled to increased rental assistance for an unlimited period of time provided that they are defined as “without housing.” If you are eligible to apply for an increased rent subsidy based on status and/or low income, contact one of the three companies listed above. Bring with you your teudat zehut, teudat oleh, and documentation from Bituach Leumi of your disability status (if appropriate) and the allowances you receive from Bituach Leumi as well as any other income.

Each family or individual will receive an Eligibility Booklet (Teudat Zaka’ut) which defines their rights to housing assistance, which is provided by the housing company or a mortgage bank. The booklet is valid for one year and must be renewed upon expiration.

The information presented in this article was accurate at the time of publication.  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.


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