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Turkish Driving Licence - An Expats Experience

4th March 2016

Turkish Driving Licence - An Expats Experience

Having decided to exchange my UK driving licence for a Turkish ones, I checked online and found differing information as to what was required to complete the process. Now that I have finally achieved my aim, in this brief I detail the various processes I had to go through hoping it might be helpful to others wishing to do the same.

On the Police website there is a link for making appointments: I found that one could get a Randevu a few days ahead so I waited until I was ready to apply.

First I took my British licence to a Translation agency to have it translated into Turkish. That took an hour. Then to a Notary to have it Notatized. Another hour.

Next to the Doctor to get a Health Certificate and Blood Group certificate. As he knows me he kindly did not charge.
The website said (when I looked) that payments can be made to various banks but gave no information as to the amount nor which banks. So I went to Halk Bank at the top of the hill near the Police Dept. when I was going for my appointment and indeed they knew what I had to pay, so I paid and was given receipts. Only one location on the European side of Istanbul handles driving licences; Trafik Tescil Şube Müdürlüğü in Gayrettepe, Beşiktaş. (Not far from the Bosphorus Brewing Company which may be known to some Brits.)

The list of required items also includes originals and copies of your Ikamet (all pages with information on); Passport and education certificates. Plus four photos (5 x 6, Biometric). No Application Form was required – probably because you give all the information when applying for a Randevu.

One list I read online said you had to buy a “Dosya” meaning a cardboard folder. There is a little white hut opposite the entrance to the Driving Licence section of the Police in Gayrettepe. However the man there said I did not need to buy it as they had them inside.

Arriving on time for my randevu I was in the queue when I noticed on the left side of the room was a desk with the magic word “Yabancı”. That is the right one – and there was nobody waiting. The officer looked at my papers then pulled out my health certificate. He said it was not acceptable as it was in Landscape format and was needed in Portrait format. He pushed all my papers back and dealt with somebody else.

Back to the Doctor who kindly produced the certificate in Portrait format. I asked if he though my blood certificate in landscape format would be a problem but he said that was definitely the only possible format.

So, a few days later back to the Police. I did not make another randevu. The officer was happy with the health certificate; made no comment about the blood group card. Then he said I had not paid the right fees and tapped a list on the glass window. Finally he said my education certificates did not have a Turkish “Equivalency Certificate” (Denklik Belgesi) from the  Provincial Education Office. (İl Milli Eğitim Müdürlüğü.) By now I was wondering if I would ever get it right….. I found the İl Milli Eğitim Müdürlüğü for my area and off I went. Oh no. They can produce the required document from Turkish certificates; but not from foreign ones. That had to come from the head İl Milli Eğitim Müdürlüğü in Sultan Ahmet. That office is a short distance from the Tramvay station on Imram Öktem Cd., but what a breath of fresh air. Such friendly and helpful staff. Whilst I was waiting one lady even showed me photos of her daughter! I had to fill in a simple bilingual application form which they gave me. They said the Denklik Belgesi would be available a week later but in fact it was available to pick up even sooner than that. It was electronically signed without any rubber stamp but turned out to be acceptable. They close for lunch from 12 to 1. The only charge was TL 3 cash for a plastic folder which they keep.

As an aside, the only education certificate I had in Istanbul – luckily – was a 1959 O Level GCSE Certificate – but it worked!

As for the cost of my licence; I had photographed the list in the Police office and found there are three elements. 1. Tax. 2. A fee depending on what classification you require; e.g. B1, B etc. 3. Charge for the actual driving licence.

Having paid the extra charge I returned to the Police office. When I arrived he looked at his list of randevus and said I was not on it. I explained that I had a rendevu the first time I came – so in a tired manner he looked through my documents again. Seemingly he could not find any other problems and waved me to go to the opposite side of the room to have my fingerprints done as the Turkish Police had not had them previously. Prints of all fingers on both hands were made twice over. Then another queue where they printed out and gave me a “Provisional Certificate Instead of Driving Licence” valid for 15 days, to use until the full licence reached me. They retain the old licence to return to DVLC in Swansea. They said my new licence would come within two weeks but in fact it came from Ankara in five days, by PTT, proceeded the previous day by a SMS giving the the tracking number.

Along the way I heard that your old licence must have a minimum of six months validity when applying for a Turkish licence. The Turkish licence has a validity of ten years and is in the new EU format. It is valid within the UK for 12 months from arrival. The whole process took me about a month. But if you had everything necessary at the beginning, it could be accomplished in about a week.


Costs (All in TL)
Licence translation:  50
Notarization:  91.76
Photographs:  20.00
Folder for education certificates:  3.00
Tax for licence:    108.50
Licence fee (for car category B): 402.90
Payment for licence card:   20.00

TOTAL: TL 696.16

Dear YellAli, I used your wonderful site to research what I needed to do to convert my
British licence to a Turkish one.

Having now accomplished the process I have written about it in detail
Michael Asher
02 March 2016

Turkish Residence Permit


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