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Traffic in Turkey: Legal and Practical Hints

Anyone who has ever been to Anatolia knows that the preferred style of driving in Turkey is rather chaotic. Expats who have no alternative to driving in Turkey should definitely proceed with caution until they have fully acclimated to local traffic. Our guide on driving in Turkey has useful hints.

The Necessary Paperwork for Driving in Turkey

In order to drive legally in Turkey for stays of more than 90 days, you must have a valid driver’s license, along with either an international driving permit or a notarized Turkish translation of your current driver’s license. You must also always carry your car registration certificate and proof of a valid car insurance policy with you when driving. You may drive with your native driver’s license for six months, after which you will be required to apply for a Turkish license.

What You Should Keep in Mind

  • The legal driving age in Turkey is 18 for motorcycles and passenger cars.
  • Using mobile phones while driving is illegal, and you will be fined for such behavior.
  • The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.5‰. If you are caught driving above this limit, you will face a heavy fine and your license will be immediately confiscated for at least six months.
  • All passengers are obligated to wear seatbelts while in the vehicle.
  • Children under the age of 12 are required to sit in the back seat.

Speed limits in Turkey are as follows:

  • 50 km/h in towns
  • 90 km/h on major roads
  • 120 km/h on highways

Also be sure to have both a first-aid kit and reflective warning triangles in your trunk at all times.

Taking the Final Measures

You may bring your own vehicle into Turkey for up to six months. You are required to bring the following documentation: your passport, car registration certificate, a valid driver’s license and proof of a valid car insurance policy. You also need to apply for a temporary entrance card for foreign vehicles. After six months you are required to switch your driver’s license to a Turkish one, which costs around 400 TRY, plus any necessary translation fees (such as of your current driver’s license).

To register your vehicle in Turkey, you must go to the Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey in order to apply for an international vehicle registration card. It is relatively inexpensive, only costing 100 TRY.

The internationally known “green insurance card” is required for driving in Turkey. If you plan on living in Turkey for more than six months, you need to register your car at the DMV and apply for a local Turkish car insurance policy. You can find out about Turkish car insurance at the Turkish Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Although there are Turkish car insurance companies, it is recommended to take out an additional insurance policy from an international car insurance company. Turkish ones do not necessarily cover everything in case of an accident. If the car insurance company from your native country has international coverage, it is best to contact them to find out which options are available to you. It should also be noted that insurance companies only pay if a police report has been filed.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

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