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Comments on driving habits in Northern Cyprus are not entirely positive but as long as you drive carefully and not overly fast you should not generally experience major problems. The roads between cities have been upgraded and are good, although small roads and those in towns still need improving. 

Ideally you should carry your driving licence with you when driving and your tax renewal proof document should be kept in your car. Other original documents, such as insurance, log book, MOT and emissions certificate should be stored in a safe place and photocopies carried in the car. If stopped by the police, and you do not have the documents in the car you may be asked to produce originals at a police station within 48 hours. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

You must also carry two emergency triangles, first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher.  All the normal regulations like wearing a seatbelt, not drinking and driving and refraining from using a mobile phone apply in the TRNC.  Any infringements are punished heavily, especially for drink-driving.  In addition, drinking (anything), eating and smoking are not permitted while driving.

“A sudden rush of new found wealth from the sale of land has led to ownership of powerful cars and 4x4s by people with little or no experience. Care has to be taken, especially near nightclubs and of drivers from mainland Turkey who are used to driving on the right.”

Driving Licences

Foreigners may use their own national driving licence throughout the 90 days of their tourist entry visa (see separate residency section). Those who wish to continue driving beyond this period are required by law to apply for a TRNC driving licence within 30 days. Failure to do this may invalidate motor insurance policies and result a court case and a monetary fine.

Please note that if those who are aged under 60 and who do not intend applying for a TRNC driving licence will not be able to drive any vehicle in the TRNC once the 90 day tourist visa has expired.

Lefkosia Driving Licencing Office

Initial TRNC driving licences are issued by the Licensing Office Department of the Finance Ministry in Lefkosa. Directions are as follows:

  • If coming from Girne take the main mountain road from Girne to Lefkoşa to the large Gonyeli roundabout.


  • Go straight over the roundabout; carry on past the State Hospital on your left.


  • Go straight over the next mini roundabout and through the next two sets of traffic lights.


  • Carry on along this road until you go past the Merit Hotel on your right. The road forks shortly afterwards –do not follow the road to the left keep to the right.


  • Carry on along this road until you reach the next roundabout which has three large silver zig zag sculptures in the middle of it. Go straight over this roundabout, you are now in the one way system.


  • Approximately 150 metres from the roundabout start looking left, you will see a small restaurant (Heybe Çorba), turn left immediately after the restaurant - adjacent to a Sun Rent a Car office. 


  • After 50 metres turn right at the T Junction and the Licencing Office, (Devlet Emlak ve Malzeme Dairesi) is the black building on your left (opposite the back of the Koop Bank).


  • Customer parking is available just past the black building on the left and on the surrounding roads.


  • The main entrance is opposite the customer car park.  Go through the revolving door, turn right, and the counter you need is on the right.  The staff speak English


Initial TRNC Driving Licence Documentation. 

The following documentation is required by the licencing office when applying for an initial TRNC driving licence:

  • Original Passport plus a photocopy of the photo page.


  • Residency requirements:

           o     If aged under 60, a photocopy of the temporary residency stamp page in passport.

            o      If aged over 60 and the passport does not have a temporary residency stamp,

                  a Muhtars residency letter is required

                  - a nominal fee of TL10.00 is usually charged for this service.


  • 2 passport size colour photos


  • Original plus a photocopy of the national driving licence   


  • Completed application form – in Turkish or English – the English version may be downloaded from our Forms list in the "Members" section.  


  • The appropriate fee depending on validity of licence chosen as detailed below. Prices are correct as at January 2019.

                     1 Year -    240.00 TL

                     o  2 Year -    350.00 TL

                     3 Year -    470.00 TL

                     5 Year -    720.00 TL

                     o 10 Year -  1195.00 TL

A receipt will be issued upon payment and this should be kept in the car and shown to the police in lieu of the licence until it is issued.  The licence will be available for collection from the same counter approximately 1 month after the application is made.

Licence Renewal

Applications for renewals for periods of up to 10 years can be made at local tax offices, where MOT fees and car tax are payable, instead of the Lefkosa licencing office. 

The documentation required is the same as for the initial application above, with the additional requirement of the current or previous TRNC licence being required instead of the national driving licence. 

Again as for the initial licence, a receipt will be issued upon payment and this should be kept in the car and shown to the police in lieu of the licence until it is issued.  The licence will be available for collection from the same counter approximately 1 month after the application is made.

UK Licence Difficulties

If you need to confirm your UK driving licence details, telephone +441792782341 to ask for a D737 form. This is a certificate confirming licence details. The certificate costs £5.00 and can be sent by mail or faxed on the day of request. The photo on a UK photo-card version of a UK Driving license must be renewed every 10 years. 

Licence holders should ensure that the DVLA has a current address because a renewal reminder will be sent when the photo is due to expire. The expiry date is shown at field 4b on the licence. 

Details of how to apply for a new UK licence can be found at www.dvla.gov.uk 

Crossing the border

If you drive across the border into South Cyprus, you can only do so with a national driving licence; foreigners may not drive in South Cyprus with a TRNC licence.  The first time you cross the border you will need to obtain a free road tax certificate, valid for one year, from the office next to the Greek Cypriot customs post at Metahan. In addition to the driving licence you will need your valid TRNC insurance certificate and your vehicle registration document. Your TRNC insurance is not valid in the South so you will need to purchase separate insurance.  Currently this is 25 Euros per month. You can purchase any number of months but there is no discount for multiple months of cover. Payment can be made in cash or by credit card at a number of insurance outlets on the right hand side after the vehicle tax office. In order to obtain your insurance, you must produce your South Cyprus road tax certificate.  

Vehicle Road Tax

Road tax for vehicles in the TRNC is due annually on the anniversary of your registering the vehicle. Tax due varies  according to which weight category the vehicle comes within and whether the fuel used is petrol or diesel.

To renew, you require the old tax disc and current MOT certificate plus the relevant fee.


MOT Testing 

A system of MOT inspections, similar to that in the UK, applies to all vehicles in North Cyprus.  The inspections are carried out at police stations and the requirements are much less stringent than that of EU countries.  Cars from new are required to be inspected every 3 years.  Motor cycles and quad bikes are to be inspected annually. 

MOT testing dates are published annually and detail a programme of dates by registration numbers when vehicles are required to be inspected. 

Please Note:

Each registration letter may be allocated as little as a one week window for vehicles to be inspected.  Failure to arrange the MOT within the specified period will result in monetary fines.

MOT dates for 2019 are shown below.

Note:- Information on private motor cars is contained in Section D

2019 MOT Dates 1


An emission test is required to be carried out within a 7 day period before the police MOT inspection.  These tests are carried out by approved garages and cost TL 30.00 .  No appointment is usually necessary.

The procedure is as follows

  • Arrange emissions test and obtain certificate


  • Visit local tax office and take vehicle log book, driving licence, insurance documents, road tax certificate, emissions test certificate plus old MOT & old emissions test certificate.


  • Pay fee:  TL 242 (Jan 19) and obtain a receipt. ( If one day late or more cost is TL 357 )


  • Arrange for engine to be cleaned if dirty.  Part of the inspection is to compare the engine number with the number in log book to ensure they are the same. Please make sure the engine block number is visible.


  • Take vehicle to the Police MOT testing centre during the allocated time period and have ready all vehicle documents detailed above and the tax office receipt.


  • If the vehicle passes, an MOT certificate valid for appropriate number of years will be issued.

Importing of Cars

These vary quite a lot. Current guidelines are available on the following link.

Updated JAN 2019