Driving In Israel With a Foreign Driver’s License

Driving in Israel with a foreign driver’s license – under what conditions is it allowed? This is a question that concerns many people visiting the country and those who’ve just moved their center of life to Israel.

The following article summarizes the laws and regulations that apply to people who wish to drive in Israel using their foreign driver’s license. There are slight differences between foreign residents and Israelis, and between different vehicle types.

This article only covers the regulations regarding private cars (B category driving license) and motorcycles (A2 category, A1 category, and A category).

Foreign residents

When are foreign residents eligible to drive in Israel with a foreign driver’s license?

Foreign residents (including tourists, B-class visa holders, etc.) driving in Israel with their foreign driver’s license must meet all of the following conditions:

  1. A minimum age –
    • For B category – 16 years and 9 months old;
    • For A2 category (motorbike up to 125 cc, including electric) – 16 years old;
    • For A1 category – 18 years old;
    • For A category – 21 years old.
  2. Not disqualified from obtaining a driver’s license in Israel.
  3. It’s been up to one year since the last entry into Israel. “Last entry” – last entry into Israel, before which they had been outside Israel for at least three consecutive months.
  4. Entered Israel legally and was granted a visa (this includes regular touristic entry).
  5. The category on your foreign driver’s license matches the vehicle you are driving in Israel.

Pay attention! As of May 2022, it is illegal in Israel to drive a small motorbike without a specific license (unlike some European countries that allow driving a small motorbike when having a B-category driver’s license).

If it’s been over a year since you last spent 3 consecutive months outside of Israel, you cannot drive using your foreign driver’s license anymore. Before the one-year period comes to an end, it’s best to convert your license and get an Israeli one.

Please visit our step-by-step guide on how to convert your foreign driver’s license to an Israeli driver’s license.

Israeli Residents

When are Israeli residents eligible to drive in Israel with a foreign driver’s license?

In order to drive in Israel using a foreign license, an Israeli resident must meet all of the following conditions:

  1. Minimum age as specified above.
  2. Not disqualified from obtaining a driver’s license in Israel.
  3. Stayed outside of Israel for at least one consecutive year, in the two years before the last entry to Israel. “Last entry” – last entry into Israel before which they stayed outside Israel for a period of 14 consecutive days.

If all of those conditions are met, an Israeli resident can drive in Israel with their foreign license for up to one year since their last entry to Israel.

Pay attention! Because of the 3rd condition, the rules applied to “Israeli residents” are practically only valid for Israeli citizens who have been living abroad and are now classified as returning residents.

If your last one-year consecutive stay outside of Israel was not in the last two years, you are not allowed to drive in Israel using your foreign driver’s license. It’s time to convert your license to an Israeli one!

Conclusion

In most cases, foreigners living in Israel can drive with their foreign driver’s license for up to a year after their move to Israel. Make sure you don’t drive with a foreign license after the allowed period has elapsed.

In addition, don’t forget to arrange compulsory insurance before driving, as this is another legal requirement for driving in Israel.

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Adv. Lior Beres
Articles: 70

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