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Q71: Turkish Driving Licence

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Q71: I am buying a car here in Turkey, and want to know if I must have a Turkish driving licence, or can I use my European driving licence? If I indeed need a Turkish driving licence, what is the procedure to get one, and how much does it cost?

A71.1: No you don't need a turkish licence. --James Rawson

A71.2: Sorry to disagree, but you are wrong, legally after 1 year of being here you must get a Turkish licence. You have to go to the traffic police at the deed office complete forms have photos have your European licence translated and take a medical. I have double-checked with a lawyer and a friend at police station and found the same; if you do not get a Turkish licence within 1 year any insurance is invalid - god forbid you have an accident. --Dawn

A71.3: If you drive for more than 12 months you do need a Turkish licence --Anon

A71.4: No you don't need a Turkish driving license if you have a European license. Some European driving licences can be converted into Turkish Driving licenses. I would recommend you to get a takipci to handle all the paperwork for you. --Fevzi

A71.5: Tricky question…. In my five years of consultancy/translating business I have urged many foreign people to get Turkish driving licences because I was told by the British consulate and other authorities that you have to provided you have been a resident for longer than one year. But apparently this is only the case if you are a Turkish citizen. Police officer Ayşe who is handling the driving licence section at the traffic police, confirmed last month that they would not bother foreigners without Turkish driving licence if they encounter any. But I have witnessed that Turks who got their driving licence abroad or foreigners who became Turks got serious problems because of their foreign driving licences (arrested motorbikes, insurances refusing to pay). If you decide to go ahead with applying for a Turkish driving licence be aware that this costs around 500 TL and you are well advised to get assistance from a consultant/translator or trafik takipçisi (traffic agent) who speaks English. --Annette Ertan, Bodrum Consulting & Translation

NEW: A71.6: Anyone wishing for more evidence of the requirement for a Turkish driving license should read the following posts, HERE (from the American Citizen Services in Izmir), and HERE (from the mymerhaba forum). Note that although you may be able to evade a brush with the Jandarma, you may be at risk if you have an accident - i.e. it's a requirement to validate your insurance. --Alan

A71: Have any advice to add?

Turkish word of the day

Tesekkür ederim

(teh shek uer eh der eem)

Thank you