Conversion of Foreign Driver’s License to Israeli Driver’s License

Converting a foreign driver’s license to an Israeli driver’s license is one of the big steps that many foreigners have to take after moving their center of life to Israel. However, navigating the whole license conversion process might not seem like the easiest task, especially if you’re new to the country. We’re here to help!

The following article includes a clear step-by-step guide on how to convert your foreign driving license to an Israeli one, as well as a list of documents you’ll need to provide.

Let’s jump right to it!

If you don’t have a driver’s license yet and want to learn how to drive, check our guide on how to get an Israeli driver’s license.

*This article is applicable only to B, A, A1, and A2 driving license categories.

Who needs to convert their foreign driving license to an Israeli one?

Basically, people can drive in Israel with a foreign driver’s license for up to one year from their last entry to Israel. If you’ve been living in Israel for more than a year, it’s likely that you can’t use your foreign license to legally drive here anymore.

Read more about driving in Israel with a foreign driver’s license and under what conditions it’s allowed.

Documents Required for the Conversion of Your Foreign Driving License

Driver’s license conversion can only be done in the first 5 years since entry to Israel. The law does not explain how the “entry to Israel” is calculated and whether past touristic visits are counted.

These original documents must be presented:

  1. A passport with a valid visa with a minimum validity of 3 months.
  2. A valid driver’s license from the country of origin with at least five years of driving experience* that was completed outside of Israel.
    • If your driver’s license is not in English, a notarized translation MAY be required (according to recent reports, European format driving licenses were not required to be translated. However, this is not official information – proceed at your own risk).
  3. Entry and Exit Report from the Population and Immigration Authority (not always required, but better have it ready).

*Pay attention – If you didn’t complete 5 years of driving outside of Israel, you will most likely need to do a driving test in Israel to complete the license conversion.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Convert Your Driver’s License

Step 1: Get an MoT ID Number (“מספר זהות פיקטיבי”)

Skip this step if you already have an Israeli ID number (A5 visa holders, permanent residents, citizens, etc.)!

MoT ID number is the so-called “fake ID number” that is necessary to have if you want to convert your foreign driving license in Israel. This number will be your identification number for anything related to the Israeli Ministry of Transport (including law enforcement).

To get the MoT ID number, simply go to the Ministry of Transport office of your choice* (no appointment needed) with your passport and a valid long-stay visa (B1, B4, A2, A3, A4). People on tourist visas cannot apply for an Israeli driver’s license.

At the office, you can first try the self-service kiosk – you might be able to get a “fake ID number” there. You should get a paper with a 9-digit ID number, starting with 89 (89XXXXXXX).

According to the official procedure on the MoT website, you should arrive at the office with all the required documents prepared already at this point. In our experience, the documents will only be needed at a later stage (see step 5).

Step 2: Fill in the Online Application

Once you have your MoT ID number, complete the online Driver’s License Application Form. It is only available in Hebrew so please have your Israeli partner with you or contact us if you need any help.

The form includes:

  1. Personal info – If you don’t have an Israeli ID, don’t forget to use your MoT ID in the ID field (“תעודת זהות”).
  2. Choice of license category – Private cars are category B. View the full category list.
  3. Declaration and written consent to provide medical information to the licensing authority.
  4. Health statement – a Yes / No questionnaire.

Step 3: Take an Eyesight Test and Photo

Go to one of the nationwide photo stations, and bring your MoT ID paper or your Israeli ID with you. Most of the photo stations are located inside commercial optometrist shops which have an arrangement with the Ministry of Transport, so the eye test and photo taking are usually done in the same place.

Cost: For eye test – 50 NIS (unless additional testing is required).

The photo is free.

Step 4: Set an Appointment at the MoT Office

Set an appointment at the MoT Licensing Office of your choice via the new GoVisit scheduling program.

B1 holders who issued MoT ID number (“89 number”) -> Click here
A5 visa holders with an Israeli ID number -> Click here

*License conversion can be preformed at all licensing branches throughout the country, except for the following branches: Beit Shean, Safed, Yokenam, Daylat El Carmel, Kiryat Arba, Ariel, Ofkim and Rahat.

Step 5: Go to MoT to Convert Your Driver’s License

To convert your foreign driver’s license to an Israeli driver’s license, head to the MoT Licensing Office with the required documents listed above on your scheduled appointment.

If everything is correct, a temporary paper driver’s license (valid for six months) will be issued on the spot at the office. This paper license becomes valid upon paying the licensing fee at the post office. Once paid and stamped by the post office, it will allow you to start driving immediately!

After paying the fee at the post office, a plastic Israeli driving license will be sent to you by post to the address you have given to the Ministry of Interior upon your B1 visa application. The permanent plastic license should be received within a month (if it doesn’t arrive – inquire at 08-9949700).

Pay attention – the plastic license that you get is only going to have validity until the current expiry date of your visa. This means that you will have to renew the license after renewing your visa. This process can be done online for Israeli residents who have an Israeli ID number.

Official information: MoT Website

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Adv. Lior Beres
Articles: 70

19 Comments

    • Hello, it depends on the validity that they decide to give to your license. Unfortunately official information about the validity of converted licenses of foreign citizens is not available, we’ve been getting different reports about the validity of converted licenses for B1/A5 holders (sometimes a validity to correlates with the validity of the visa, and other times a validity the exceeds the visa). The fee changes accordingly. Short validity (of 6 months) should cost under 50 nis. While longer validities, can reach over 150 nis. A full validity license of an Israeli citizen (valid until the driver reaches the age of 70) costs 524 NIS.

  1. How it works if In the future I want to add a category in my drives licence? For example I only drive car but want to drive motorcycles…

    • Hi Roberta, in this case once you have converted your license to an Israeli license, you would need to follow the procedure of obtaining a new license to learn and be tested for the new category.
      You can find information in the menu > How to Get an Israeli Driver’s License

  2. Hey Lior,
    We saw in the official MoT website, that you are able to go through the license converting process up to 5 years for your first arrival (and just the driving with a foreign driver’s license is limited for one year from entry to Israel).
    Do you know if that’s true, or we should try and do the converting during the first year ?
    Thanks a lot for the information here

    • Yes, this is true and we will add it to the article.
      License conversion can be preformed 5 years from entry to Israel.
      *The article has been updated with further context*

  3. Hey, I went this morning to Misrad Harishui in Petach Tikva and I got the converted drivers license without any problem! 🥳 I brought my TZ, German driving license, the paper from the optician, and an entry exit document. I asked at MH to issue a reduced version of it that only contained the entries and exits since I was actually living in israel (4 years), leaving out all the previous visits as a tourist. The clerk was very friendly, she checked the entries and exits but she didn’t ask what about previous entries that didn’t show on the document. So I think this might help some of you that had the same issue as I had with the 5 years regulation. I had to pay 51 NIS online and I am supposed to receive the real license by mail within a month.

  4. Hello everyone! I have good news for those who are new drivers.

    I moved to Israel with only 3 months of driving experience (I got my license right before moving). I have been driving every day since I got my license and rented a car for the allowed first year in Israel.

    So, technically, I have a driver’s license and I know how to drive. However, my driving experience is less than 5 years, which is the requirement for a simple license conversion, and less than 2 years for just taking a practical driving test. According to the rules, I need to take the theoretical test, visit a minimum of 28 driving lessons, and take the practical test as a new driver.

    I am okay to take all the tests and prove my skills. However, I am against attending all 28 driving lessons because it’s time-consuming, expensive, and I don’t understand why I need them if I already know how to drive. I am willing to take 3, 5, or even 10 lessons if I feel that I need them. But 28 lessons for someone who knows how to drive is too much, don’t you think?

    Thanks to my driving instructor, I found out that I could go to the Ministry of Transportation and explain that I know how to drive, I am willing to take all the tests, but I don’t want to visit 28 lessons like a beginner. And then ask them to mark the test as מבחן המרה (mivchan hamara).

    I was in the Ministry yesterday. They checked my driver’s license, my passport with the A5 visa, my teudat zeut and said, “Okay, we’ll mark everything in the system. You don’t need 28 lessons anymore. Go take the test.”

    I searched the internet and couldn’t find anything about this option. Only through my instructor did I find out that this was possible. This status allows you to attend as many driving lessons as you need to feel confident for the test and takes a more short test.

    I hope this will help many people save time and money!

  5. Hi Lior,
    Great article thanks! I just want to update that there’s no need anymore to set an appointment in advance (there’s also no such option): When you go to MyVisit app, on the Misrad Hatchbura option, a prompt comes out saying that in order to shcedule an appointment you have to visit the Govisit.gov.il service, but, once you’re in this address, the page says there’s no need to set an appointment and that you can go directly to the desired office with all the required docs.

    As for the translation- on the same website there’s a link to another page with all the relevant info, it does state that any non-English driving license should be translated and notarized.

    Thanks again for all the hard work!

  6. Hi Lior,
    Thank you for the article. I think the above comment was relevant for ‘non-residents’, i.e. people without an ID number. I see that for foreign residents who have a TZ do still need to make an appointment through the system. As stated here at the very bottom of the page: https://www.gov.il/he/service/convert_driving_license Could you please clarify that I understand correctly?
    Thank you
    Pınar

    • Hello Pinar, thank you for the comment. The issue is unfortunately a bit unclear as there is contradicting information on the Ministry of Transportation page and the GoVisit appointment summoning page. We would assume that A5 visa holders are treated similarly to new Olim and therefore, having an Israeli ID, do need to schedule a meeting. Thanks for pointing it out, we will update the article.

  7. Hi everyone,
    I was asked to bring an apsotilled approval that the driving license is real. I was told I can do it in the German consulate. But the German consulate says that it can be only done in Germany.

    Was anyone else asked for this paper?
    And if so where did you get it?

    • Hi all,
      it seems it is a new law. Everyone will be required to bring this paper. Though so far at least the German consulate doesnt issue such papers. I didnt find a solution for this problem yet.

      • Dear Lior,
        it was in the Haifa Licensing Office- Kiryat Eliezer. They had a paper printed out and posted to the wall saying: “Converting a driver’s license requires an original apostille certificate from the consulate of the origin stating that the license is original and recognized by the state authorities.” They said its a new law and refused to do anything without this paper. When I told them that it is not possible to acquire this paper, they gave me an appointment with “the manager” in the Haifa Licensing Office (District). There they didnt ask for the paper anymore, but took copies of my documents and told me they will run a security test and inform me about it in two weeks.

        • We will look into this new development, we couldn’t find any official information of the subject online. If you can get more information directly from the clerks regarding the supposed “law”, or if you have a picture of the printed paper you’re referring to, please send it to support@aic.org.il.

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