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Palestinians Holding Family Reunification Permits will be Allowed to Drive in Israel

After years of requests and petitions on this issue, the Civil Administration elected to amend its directives and established that all Palestinians holding family reunification permits in Israel by virtue of their Israeli spouse for three years or longer may apply for an Israeli driver's license.

This marks a significant and important improvement, seeing as until such time Palestinians living in Israel with their Israeli families were not allowed to drive on an Israeli vehicle. This placed a burden on their entire family, and severely curtailed employment opportunities for Palestinians residing in Israel. Up until June 2021, such drivers' licenses were approved only under extremely exceptional and individual cases, when one of the Israeli family members was seriously ill and required frequent visits to the hospital.

At present, as mentioned above, the entitlement has been extended to anyone who holds a family unification permit for over three years, irrespective of any special medical or humanitarian situation. According to the newly published directive, a request for a driver's license is to be submitted via email to the information center of the Civil Administration. Palestinians who hold a valid Palestinian driver's license are required to submit it and state the registration details of the Israeli vehicle with which s/he wish to drive. Those who do not hold a valid Palestinian driver's license must submit a preliminary application for a permit to study driving within Israel. After such a permit is received and the applicant successfully completes the study period, s/he will be able to apply for an Israeli driver's license.

The procedure does not establish a timeframe for the Civil Administration to process and approve the request. Based on our experience, processing and approval is unusually long and may require as much as four months. Accordingly, it is recommended to take action immediately, contact the Civil Administration and examine whether or not you meet the criteria.

Our office will be happy to assist you or your partner in submitting the application as well as following up with the Civil Administration until a decision is issued.


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