What is the change? Turkey has adopted a regulation requiring expatriates to obtain driver’s licenses issued by Turkish authorities within six months of entering the country.

What does the change mean? Expatriates will only be permitted to drive with a license issued outside of Turkey for their first six months in country. After that, they must use a license issued by Turkish authorities.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. The regulation took effect Jan. 1. 
  • Visas/permits affected: Turkish driver’s licenses.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals wishing to drive in Turkey after they have been in the country for six months.  
  • Business impact: Employers should take note of the change and make sure expatriate employees obtain new driver’s licenses if necessary.   

Background: While it is clear that expatriates must obtain a Turkish-issued driver’s license if they intend to drive after six months, other parts of the new regulation are less clear. For instance, nationals of 84 countries may obtain a Turkish-issued license without sitting for an exam, but it is not clear what the process is for other foreign nationals. Also, for foreign nationals who arrived in Turkey before Jan. 1, it is not clear whether the six-month time period began at the time they entered the country or on Jan. 1, when the law took effect. The regulation also seems to indicate that once expatriates obtain new, Turkish-issued licenses, their licenses will be confiscated and returned to the issuing authority. BAL is seeking clarification on all of these points as well as other issues that have arisen from the new regulation.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals wishing to drive in Turkey must obtain a driver’s license issued by Turkish authorities within their first six months in the country in order to drive in Turkey. Those in need of obtaining new driver’s licenses under this policy should contact their BAL professional for help in securing the proper license.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Turkey. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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