Today in Israel it is not possible to engage in a private taxi. To become a taxi driver or a personal driver in a transport company, you need to complete driving courses, get a license after passing 6 exams. Driving courses teach law, car structure, country geography, and English.
Individuals, companies, and corporations can apply for a taxi license, transfer ownership of a taxi, change the purpose of a vehicle, or make changes to a vehicle.
An individual takes the queue to apply for a license through the official website of the Israeli Ministry of Transport www.gov.il. What do you need?
- Your ID or power of attorney from a lawyer
- Valid driving license
- “Green” number
- Valid passenger carriage license
- You must be over 18 years old
- Pay the registration fee at the licensing office or by mail.
The car can be of any brand no older than 10 years in excellent technical condition. Popular brands are Skoda and Mercedes. The presence of an air conditioner is mandatory – this is a requirement of the Ministry of Transport, without which you will not be issued a license, or if the air conditioning of the car fails, you will be fined and deprived of the right to drive for a period of at least 6 months.
9 steps to getting a private vehicle driving license
Step 1 – Receive Tofes Yarok (Green Form). Eyesight examination is performed by an ocul approved by the Ministry of Transport.
You will need:
- Teudat Zehut or Teudat Zakout
- 50 shekels
- Your glasses or contact lenses, if necessary
Step 2 – Declaration of health.
- Sign the health declaration (which is part of the Tofes Yarok)
- Ask your family doctor to sign
- Save a copy of the document for yourself
Step 3 – Visit the licensing authority (Misrad HaRishui). Before driving lessons with an instructor, you need to visit one of the Misrad HaRishui branches. They will be stamped “Tofes Yarok” and confirm that you are fit for driving lessons. If you have any chronic medical conditions, Misrad HaRishui may require a medical opinion, so obtaining the required confirmation may be delayed. You will need the following documents: Tofes Yarok, foreign driver’s license + copy, your Teudat Zehut, Teudat Zakout, or your Teudat Oleh.
Step 4 – Driving lessons. There is no statutory minimum number of lessons that must be completed before taking an exam. However, most driving instructors insist that you take at least one or two lessons. The budget is approximately 125 shekels for one driving lesson.
Step 5 – Paying for the driving test. The cost of the driving test is currently 68 shekels. Paid by mail. The amount of the commission is not fixed and may change.
Step 6 – Taking the test. Make sure you have the following documents at hand:
- Teudat Zehut or Teudat Zakout
- Your foreign driving license
- Receipt and confirmation of payment of the fee of 65 NIS
Your driving instructor may charge over 200 NIS for using their vehicle during the test. It is not possible to use your own vehicle for the test.
If you take the test in an automatic vehicle, your license will be validated and you will be able to drive an automatic vehicle. If you have got a license for a manual transmission, you can drive the car in both manual and automatic mode.
You have 2 opportunities to take the test within 3 years. If you fail the exam, you may be required to take a complete driving test (including theory).
Step 7 – Results. You should receive results within one or two days. If you pass the exam, you need to go to Misrad HaRishui to get a temporary license.
Step 8 – Payment for a permanent license. The cost of a permanent license for a period of two years is 92 shekels. A license for 5 years costs 225 shekels, a license for ten years costs 433 shekels. You can pay at the post office, online on the website of the Ministry of Transport, or by phone.
Step 9 – Extending your driving license. Anyone over the age of 40 must have an ophthalmologic examination (by an MOT-recognized optometrist) prior to your renewal license. The cost is 50 shekels.
After receiving a permanent license, you can safely submit your candidacy for the vacancy of a personal driver, taxi, or transfer driver. Good luck!