You are in the right place! As a Turkish lawyer, I will outline the general processes for obtaining a Turkish driving license.
There is a very easy way to get a Turkish Driving License and a normal way to get a Turkish Driving License.
A foreigner can get a Turkish Driving License in two ways.
If they have a foreign driving license, they can easily convert a foreign driving license to a Turkish Driving License with some paperwork.
Alternatively, foreigners can enter exams to get a Turkish License.
In this post, I am going to explain these processes. Let’s start.
1. Easy Way- Converting Your Driving License
Converting your driving license is a lesser-known but effortless way to get a Turkish License for foreigners.
84 countries’ driving licenses have convertible status according to international agreements signed by Turkey.
This means if you hold a valid driving license from the countries listed in the table below, you can get Turkish driving with very simple paperwork without a driving exam.
The list of countries that issue convertible driving licenses
|Czech Republic||Chile||Central African Republic||Cuba|
|Costa Rica||Denmark||DR Congo||Ecuador|
|San Mario||Spain||Senegal||South Africa|
|Uzbekistan||United Arab Emirates||United Kingdom (UK)||Uruguay|
If you hold one of the driving licenses of the countries mentioned in the table, you are exempt from the driving exams.
The biggest drawback of this method is that the Turkish authorities will take your original driving license and deliver it back to your country’s issuing authority.
You would not be able to use your country driving license in Turkey anymore.
However, you must still fulfill age, education, and health requirements.
Where do you need to apply to replace/convert your foreign driving license with a Turkish driving license?
You can apply to any population registry (Nüfus Müdürlüğü) to convert your home country’s driving license to a Turkish driving license.
Which documents are required to get a Turkish Driving License?
Here is the method to convert your driving license to a Turkish one. The process is very straightforward and painless.
Be sure to make an online appointment (especially in metropolitan areas) when you are ready to submit the documents.
The documents required are:
- Your Driving License (original and color photocopy)
- Translation of your Driving License (obtained from a Turkish Public Notary or Turkish Consulate)
- Health Report checking health requirements.
- One biometric photograph
- Declaration of blood type
- Education documents (Proving that you have at least completed elementary school level)
- Criminal record
Source: Turkish Population Registry website.
You can contact the nearest Turkish Population Registry located in every city or municipality for more detailed inquiries.
You do not need to have a Turkish License to drive in Turkey. You can drive with your foreign driver’s license for up to 6 months. You can see more details here, Driving in Turkey as a Tourist: A Turkish Lawyer’s Guide.
2. Normal Way – Obtaining A Turkish Driving License with Exams
The course length is around 3 three weeks. Then you have to take the written exam, and you will be required to pass the driving exam.
If you have an unconvertible driving license (like a US or Australian Driving License) or do not have any driving license, you should first enroll in a driving course for theoretical studies.
Steps for Getting A Turkish Driver’s License.
1. Find a school for driving courses.
You need to take 30 hours of theoretical classes before you can take the written exam. The courses are about traffic rules, first aid, mechanics and related subjects.
In these courses, you are taught common-sense rules and information every driver should know.
2. Pass the online exam
You will be given a book when you enroll in the course. Also, a quick search on the internet will reveal other books and supplementary study sources in foreign languages.
Additionally, do not worry about the exam language.
The exam is an online exam, and foreigners can take the exam in Arabic, Chinese, English, German, French, Persian, and Russian. The exam has 50 questions with multiple options.
You need to answer 35 questions correctly to pass the exam.
3. Take the Driving Lessons
After passing the written exam, you will be taking 12 hours of driving lessons. After these courses, you are eligible for the driving test. If you fail the test, you can take the test three more times.
If you pass the test, you will be given your temporary driving license, and your permanent driving license will arrive by mail.
What are the advantages of having a Turkish Driving License?
After six months of your entry to Turkey, your foreign driving license is invalid. The monetary fine for driving with an invalid license may be deemed a small penalty.
Yet, there are other consequences of not driving with a valid driving license in Turkey.
The first one is insurance coverage.
If you are not driving with a valid license in case of an accident, insurance will not cover the damages and compensation. Especially the compensation for third parties can be a huge blow to your finances.
Secondly, not having a valid license and damaging a person’s health and well-being can be considered a serious criminal offense.
The other advantages of having a Turkish Driving License are listed below.
- A Turkish driving license lowers your insurance premium for car rentals as well as your own car.
- Turkish driving license is EU compatible, and you can use it in EU countries as a valid driving license.
- You will have a valid ID and will not need to carry your passport while driving.
- You can indefinitely have the right to drive in Turkey without any time limit.
Also, if you wish to learn my tips on renting a car in Turkey or driving in Turkey, please check my article on “Essentials of Renting A Car in Turkey and Driving Tips”
Friday 26th of August 2022
When I become a Turkish citizen do I have to take driving course and tests to get a drivers license. I currently have a US license.
Wednesday 21st of September 2022
No, you do not need to change your driving license when you become a Turkish citizen. Turkish citizens can also use foreign driving subject to time limitation that I outlined above.
Friday 24th of June 2022
First, thank you for the already noted advices.
For people from the 83~ countries signed to the license conversion agreement, do they HAVE to convert their license, or can they opt to take the full driving course/exams in Turkiye like people from Canada/USA and then get to keep both licenses?
Saturday 25th of June 2022
If you convert you have to your Turkish license in Turkey. You can keep both your licenses but if you get a driving license in Turkey, you have to use that one.
Friday 17th of June 2022
Hi,I’m 17 years old and living in Canada I do not have a drivers license and since I am going to Istanbul this summer I was wondering if I could get my license there and then take the test in Canada again so that I can have my canadien license as well is that possible?
Saturday 18th of June 2022
In Turkey, the driving age is 18 for this reason you cannot get a driving license in Turkey. Converting Turkish license to Canadian is a matter of Canadian Law, for this reason a Canadian lawyer can tell you the process.
Thursday 21st of April 2022
I've read online that the Turkish driving lessons are in cars with stick shift--not manual transmission. I have been driving for over 40 years, but can only drive an automatic car. Is it possible to pass the driving test on a car with automatic transmission? Also, is there a maximum age for driving in Turkey (I am over age 60).
Tuesday 26th of April 2022
Manual transmission is the norm in Turkey. Additionally, there is no limit on the age of driving. My father is over 70 and still driving very nicely without a problem.
Friday 15th of April 2022
In regards to the driver's license you mentioned that the biggest drawback is that as a foreigner. your original drivers license will be sent back to the country's issuing authority. What does this mean exactly and what will happen to that license?
Will I be able to get it back if I go to my home country? If so, where should I collect it or will it be cancelled in my home country?
Monday 18th of April 2022
I think it is a precaution to prevent you to use your home country's license when you have a Turkish one. You can ask your country's consulate about what happens to your existing driving license.