Driving in Israel

The GSC Team

Driving in Israel is similar to driving in most western countries, and Israel will even let you use for foreign driver’s license for a time. Tourists and Olim Chadashim can even convert their foreign driver’s license, skipping the theory test and many driving lessons required for Israeli drivers.

Drivers Licence Expiration / Renewal / Replacement

Each driver’s licence comes with a printed expiration date. Most drivers licenses are valid for 10 years, however in certain circumstances, a 2-year or a 5-year license will be granted instead.

Two-Year Licenses

Two-year driving licenses are granted in the following circumstances:

  • New drivers
  • Drivers of public transportation, heavy goods, or security vehicles, and children transport vehicles if the driver is over the age of 50.
  • Drivers who are 65+ years old.

Five-Year Licenses

Five-year driving licenses are granted to new drivers after completing two years.

Ten Year Licenses

After you have driving for a minimum of 7 years (and have received both a 2-year and 5-year license), you will be authorized for a 10-year license.

License Renewal

Around one month before your license is set to expire, you will receive a temporary license and payment slip in the mail, to be paid at any bank, or online. Once paid, a new license should be mailed to you, and arrive within thirty days of payment.

If you did not receive a temporary licence in the mail, you can call the Ministry of Transportation to request a new one.

As of February 2018, the cost of renewing a 10-year license is 433 NIS. 

Medical Exam

All drivers over the age of 70 are required to complete a medical exam by their doctors, as well as an eye exam administered by an optometrist or eye doctor.

This also applies to drivers of public transport, heavy goods, fire-fighting, children transport, and ambulance drivers who are 60+ years of age.

Lost or Stolen Licenses

If your license was lost or stolen, you can order one by calling the Ministry of Transportation, or get a replacement at a local Misrad Harishui.

The cost of a replacement license is dependent on its date of expiry. You can view the entire table of fees at the Ministry of Transportation website.

Driving with a Foreign Drivers License

Tourists and Olim Chadashim are able to drive in Israel using their foreign drivers license for up to one year from their date of entry into Israel.

Tourists who periodically traveled abroad during the year can use their foreign driver’s licence for longer, but only if they receive permission from Misrad Harishui. License Conversion

Converting a Foreign License

Converting your foreign driving license to an Israeli one is a bureaucratic process. Luckily, recent policies have made things more straightforward for certain drivers, allowing those who meet certain criteria to skip many of the steps involved – including the Road Exam.

Note: Tourists wishing to convert your license required to get a temporary ID number from the Misrad Harishui before beginning the process.

Expedited Conversions (no Road Exam)

In certain circumstances, individuals are eligible to expedite their license conversion and skip many steps of the process. To be eligible for an expedited license conversion, you must:

  • Have made Aliyah within the last 5 years.
  • Have proof of 5 years of driving on a full foreign license (not probationary or temporary). This proof can either be in the form of the Date of Issue on your license, or by requesting your driving history from your foreign DMV / MVC.
  • Have failed the road exam less than two times.
  • Be under the age of 70. If you are above the age of 70, you must pass both the eye exam and doctor’s exam, but may still skip the Road Exam.

Assuming you meet the above criteria, you can convert your license by taking the following steps:

  1. Visit any optician affiliated with Misrad Harishui, with your, and request your Tofes Yarok.
    To find the closest approved optician, see the lists offered by Issta or Femi-Premium.
    Cost: 50 NIS.
    What to Bring: Foreign License (and photocopy), Teudat Zehut, Teudat Oleh, Glasses and lenses (if relevant).
  2. Visit Misrad Harishui

    Bring originals and photocopies of the following documents:
    • Tofes Yarok
    • Teudat Zehut
    • Teudat Oleh
    • Valid foreign driver’s license (photocopies of both sides)
    • Proof of having your license for a minimum of 5 years.

      Note: Not all Misrad Harishui offices allow you to convert licenses. See the list below for participating offices.

      On the following day, return to Misrad Harishui (it can be a different branch which offers conversions) to receive your temporary license. This license will remain invalid until you pay the fee at the post office.
  3. Pay license fee at Post Office

    Bring your temporary license to any post office and pay the conversion fee.

    After payment, your temporary license will be validated, and a ten-year permanent license will be mailed to the address listed on your Teudat Zehut. It may take up to three months for your permanent license to arrive.
    Cost: 438 NIS. Most post offices only accept cash.
    What to Bring: Temporary Driver’s Licence and Payment Slip

Standard Conversions (inc. Road Exam)

Individuals who are not eligible for an expedited license conversion will need to take the following steps.

  1. Eye Exam & Tofes Yarok

    Visit a registered optician, where you will have your photograph taken, and be administered an eye exam. You will be given a Tofes Yarok form with all your information printed on it.
    Cost: 50 NIS
    What to Bring: Foreign License (and photocopy), Teudat Zehut, Teudat Oleh, Glasses and lenses (if relevant).

  2. Declaration of Health

    Fill out the Tofes Yarok, listing medications or conditions that may affect your ability to drive. Have this form signed and stamped by your physician.
    What to Bring: Tofes Yarok.

  3. Driving School Referral

    Bring your signed Tofes Yarok to the district-level branch of Misrad Harishui. They will stamp your form and give you a referral (hafnaya) for driving lessons.
    What to Bring: Tofes Yarok, Teudat Zehut, Teudat Oleh, Foreign License.

  4. Schedule your Driving Lesson(s) and Road Test

    Contact a driving instructor to schedule and take your road test. You are also required to take at least one driving lesson beforehand. After taking your lesson, your instructor will give you an Agrat Mivchan, a form needed to take the road test.
    Cost: 110 NIS (approx.) for manual transmission; 130 NIS (approx.) for automatic. Tests taken in an automatic cars will only give you a license to drive automatic cars.
    What to Bring: Driving Lesson Referral

  5. Pay the Agrat Mivchan

    Bring your Agrat Mivchan to the Post Office. You will get a receipt upon payment.
    Cost: 68 NIS
    What to Bring: Agrat Mivchan

  6. Take the Road Test

    The road test is approximately 5 minutes long, and tests your physical control of the car, knowledge of local traffic laws, and safe driving practices. Exams are administered by the Misrad Harishui, using your instructor’s car. Your instructor will bring your forms to the test, and will call you in a day or two with your results.
    You may take the road test twice; if you fail both times, you will be required to take the theory test as well.
    Cost: 229 NIS for use of instructor’s car.
    What to Bring: Teudat Zehut, Foreign Passport, Foreign Drivers License, Agrat Mivchan Receipt.

  7. Get your Temporary Driver’s License

    Go back to the Misrad Harishui, to receive a temporary driver’s licence and a payment slip for your license.
    What To Bring: Teudat Zehut

  8. Activate and Order your License

    Visit the Post Office to pay the fee to activate your temporary driver’s license. Your permanent license will be mailed to your address (listed on your Teudat Zehut) within 8 weeks.
    Cost: 438 NIS
    What to Bring: Temporary Driver’s Licence and Payment Slip

Offices for License Conversions

Not all Misrad Harishui Offices process license conversions. The offices in the Merkaz that process license conversions are: Bnei Brak, Holon, Netanya, and Petach Tikva.