Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Aydoğan Aknar
OBTAINING A DRIVER’S LICENCE IN TURKEY FOR FOREIGNERS
Are you a visitor exploring the captivating landscapes of Turkey from behind the wheel? Before embarking on your Turkish road trip, let’s delve into crucial details regarding driver’s licence in Turkey for non-residents.
As a foreigner, you are allowed to drive with your foreign licence in Turkey for six months. However, it’s essential to be aware that beyond this period, changing your licence is mandatory to avoid potential fines.
Applying for a replacement driver’s licence is a vital step. If you possess a valid international driver’s licence, transitioning to a Turkish driver’s licence not only ensures smoother travel but is also a legal requirement. This process goes beyond convenience, serving as a safeguard against fines and penalties.
When should non-residents apply for a Turkish driver’s licence? If you currently hold a valid International Driver’s Licence and plan to reside in Turkey or undertake an extended journey around the country for more than 6 months using a foreign or local vehicle.
Since 2018, Nufus has been the authority responsible for issuing and replacing driving licences, with online appointments being a requirement.
The required documents for obtaining a driver’s licence may vary in different cities. For non-residents, the following documents are necessary to replace your licence:
- Translated and notarized driver’s license.
- The original licence and a copy.
- Residence permit or work permit.
- Certificate of medical examination.
- Receipt for the fee paid.
- 2 biometric photos.
- Card with blood group.
- Education diploma or certificate.
- Additional documents may be requested, depending on the city.
- There is no need to retake exams.
Once all documents are submitted (after verifying the authenticity of your license), you’ll receive a temporary license for immediate use. Your original license will be sent back to your home country, which you can claim from your traffic police upon return. Your new Turkish license will be delivered to your address in Turkey.
Licence Exchange and Renewal: A Seamless Process
Even if your licence is expired, you can exchange it for a new Turkish license, valid for 10 years. Leaving Turkey resets the term, so if you exit the country every six months, there’s no need to change your license.
Before you hit the road, here are some crucial things to know about driving in Turkey.
Local Driving Norms: Familiarise yourself with local road signs, rules, and cultural driving norms for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
Language Barrier: While many signs are in both Turkish and English, some rural areas may only have Turkish signage. A basic understanding of Turkish road signs is beneficial.
Road Conditions: Be prepared for diverse road conditions, from bustling city streets to scenic coastal highways. Stay vigilant and adapt to various terrains.
Driving Etiquette: Turkish drivers are generally courteous, and signalling is a common practice. Be polite on the road, and don’t hesitate to use your indicators to communicate
Rural Roads: Turkey boasts picturesque rural landscapes, and exploring the countryside by car is a rewarding experience. However, rural roads may be narrower, and encounters with agricultural vehicles or herds of animals are not uncommon. Drive with care and be prepared for unexpected obstacles.
Mountainous Terrain: If your journey takes you through mountainous regions, be ready for winding roads and elevation changes. Drive cautiously, especially in adverse weather conditions.
Emergency Services: Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and the location of hospitals along your route. Turkey has a well-developed network of emergency services, but being prepared is key.
GPS Navigation: Use GPS navigation to your advantage. Ensure your navigation system is up-to-date, and consider using local apps for real-time traffic updates.
Drive confidently, respect local driving practices, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Turkey’s diverse landscapes.