Rules for importing cars with Ukrainian license plates to Turkey
Many Ukrainians fled the war to Turkey by their own cars. However, both with regard to the rules of stay of persons and with regard to the import of cars, Turkish rules are not as flexible as European ones. Below is a selection of the main regulations to keep in mind while in Turkey with your own car.
To cross the border with Turkey by car you need:
- driver's license
- technical passport
- insurance of international standard, which will be effective in Turkey
If the car does not belong to you, you must have a power of attorney to drive a vehicle, notarized by a notary or at the consulate or embassy of Turkey.
📍 The main condition that must be met when importing a car with foreign license plates to Turkey: within 1 year before entering the car in Turkey, the owner of the car must be outside the Republic of Turkey for 185 days. These 6 months do not have to be continuous, but are counted in total on the days you were absent from Turkey in the last year. Also, if you arrived in Turkey without your car and obtained a residence permit, but want to return home and bring the car, you still have 185 days to do so. If you stay in Turkey for 185 days and then follow the car - you will not be allowed to drive back to Turkey.
📍 The car must be registered in the driver's country of residence - that is, in Ukraine - and have Ukrainian license plates.
📍 In general, if you are in Turkey as a tourist and do not apply for a residence permit, you can use cars with foreign license plates for as long as your visa-free regime lasts. In the case of Ukraine, it is 90 days. However, due to the exceptional situation of Ukrainians, the Turkish authorities allowed the use of cars with Ukrainian license plates for another 90 days. That is, in total Ukrainian cars can be used freely in Turkey for six months. If you need to extend the first period of 90 days to six months, be sure to contact the customs service (Gümrük İdaresi) of the province where you are and declare the car.
📍 If you have obtained a residence permit in Turkey, the maximum period of stay of your car in the country is 2 years. To do this, contact the customs service at the place of residence and extend the stay of your car to 2 years. It is necessary to have documents for the car, driver's license, insurance and ikamet (residence permit card). You have no more than a day to declare the car.
By the way, how to get a residence permit, we wrote in the article.
📍 Important: is it possible to enter Turkey with foreign plates, leave the country and then re-enter without hindrance? Unfortunately, no. If you leave Turkey by car, all your previous permits are revoked and you will be able to enter again only provided you were absent from Turkey for 185 days for the last year at the moment of entry according to the standard rule. Therefore, you are allowed to leave Turkey without hindrance only without a car. Moreover, during your absence in Turkey, no one can use your car. You will also be obliged to leave the car under the supervision of the customs service: at least one day before departure you must inform the customs service about the address of the car park during your absence. Ignoring this rule can lead to serious fines.
In general, violating any of these rules is punishable by fines, so we advise you to comply with them - the Turkish authorities are closely monitoring the offenses, and the easing, as it is now in the EU, for Ukrainians will not work.
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