Shimon Cohen – Insurance

Information on Foreign Driving Licenses that you Need to Know

A question that often comes up with Olim Chadashim, tourists, returning Israelis is: What is the status of a foreign driving license? So here is a quick quiz to help you learn and remember the answers.

A quick quiz

  • An Oleh can drive for 3 years on his/her foreign license – Y/ N
  • As long as you retain your tourist status, you can drive on your foreign license indefinitely – Y/ N
  • If you’re a returning Israeli and you took out a foreign license just before coming to Israel, you can transfer this to an Israeli license – Y/ N
    *See bottom of article for the answers


A quick summary

  • Oleh Chadash, Tourist, Returning Resident, Temporary Resident
    Needs an Israeli license? Not immediately
    Period of time? Up to 1 year from date of entry to Israel.
  • Tourist/Student (coming in and out of Israel during the year)
    Period of time is unclear in the law, each case to be decided separately. Usually, each new entry to Israel starts the process again.
  • Transferring a foreign license to an Israeli license

Oleh Chadash – license can be transferred within 3 years of being in Israel, on condition that the foreign license was issued before the Aliyah date.
Temporary Resident, Tourist, Returning Israeli – license can be transferred within a year of arrival in Israel, on condition that it has been valid for at least 6 months.
For all transfers, one needs to take a simplified lesson/test.  Contact a local driving school. So, all of you driving with valid New York licenses, but not valid Israeli licenses… don’t take the chance!!

A few words about accidents in which there are injuries:

  • If someone is injured, the police must be notified either immediately or within 48 hours. You have to report to the relevant police department in the city where the accident took place. (In Jerusalem, it is the station next to Binyanei Ha’Uma).

You need: the insurance company and policy number of the car, including your Bituach Chova and driver’s license.

  • If a pedestrian or cyclist has been injured, he/she must supply the insurance details of the car involved and the police will issue a “Doch Nifgaim”.
  • In cases of hit-and-run, the accident must be reported to the police and also to the government insurance office Karnit 03-7111666.
  • All medical treatment is covered in full by the Bituach Chova of the car in which the injured were traveling, or in the case of pedestrians, the car involved.

Claim of the Month

Question: Can you insure a stolen car (and then claim for it being stolen from you!)?

Mr. A.P. bought a car through a “friend of a friend.” He signed a document with the details of the sale and received the papers and transfer of ownership. A few months later his car was stolen and only then the true facts came to light. The original car had been totaled but criminal elements “borrowed” the number and transplanted it onto a “new” second-hand car. This “new” car had obviously been stolen previously and given a new identity. Mr. A.P. in all innocence claims that seeing he had paid his premium, he was entitled to the insurance benefits.

The case went to court and the judge made two points:

  1. If a person buys a car from a car-dealer and it turns out to be stolen, he is entitled to the insurance benefits, obviously providing that he is unaware of the car’s history (Section 34 of the Israeli Sales Law, 1968).
  2. However, if the sale is through a private person it becomes the buyer’s responsibility to check that he is not in fact a party to dealing in stolen property. If nevertheless, the person is unwittingly tricked, he/she is not guilty of a crime, but at the same time he/she has no “rights of possession”.

To sum up: The aim of all insurance in the case of a claim is to restore the insured to the situation he/she was before the insurance event took place. In the case of stolen property, the insured does not have an object that has real value. He is by law not entitled to possess such an object and therefore unable to insure it. The judge ordered Mr. A.P. to pay all court costs and for the insurance company to refund all premiums.

In Gemara terminology, a classic “Mekach Ta’ut”

A “hot” policy at Egert and Cohen
Basic Supplementary Medical Insurance Covers:
1. Overseas Surgery
2. Transplants
3. Medications not covered by kupat cholim (eg. For rare medical conditions)

Premium for couple + 3 (or more) kids – approx. NIS 85 per month.

Happy Summer!

*All answers to the quiz are NO!

Remember, we’re here when you need us! Call us with any questions at: 02-6232546.


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