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A special tribute for the lone soldiers and national service men and women

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About 1000 lone servicemen and women converted their foreign driver's license into an Israeli driver's license within a few hours in a special move by the Ministry of Transportation.

About 1000 single servicemen and women who came from all over the world to voluntarily serve the State of Israel and who possess a foreign driver’s license, today (Thursday) won a golden opportunity to receive an Israeli driver’s license, as part of the “License Exchange Day for Lone Soldiers” operation, which took place at the licensing office in Holon. The program was a project Nefesh B’Nefesh, the Friends of the IDF organization in the USA, and the IDF Personnel Division.

For the process, a special complex was set up at the licensing office in Holon for hundreds of lone soldiers. It should be noted that many of the soldiers are combat soldiers who went out for a short break from the front, and they were able to convert their foreign driver’s license into an Israeli license, within a few hours.

Everyone who came in, performed all the licensing procedures required to obtain an Israeli driver’s license and, of course, a driving test (although abbreviated).

Out of the 1000 applicants, about half of them managed to successfully pass the test on the same day and received an Israeli driver’s license for the first time in their lives on the spot.

Anyone who successfully passed the practical test received an Israeli driver’s license immediately from the Ministry of Transportation. If the soldier did not pass the first test, he or she was given the opportunity to perform another test. It was also possible for the soldiers to take a driving lesson before the test with one of the volunteer driving instructors. It is common in Israel for students to need to take multiple driving tests before succeeding.

About 40 driving instructors came from all over the country to help these heroes and heroines in this tremendous move; they made their private vehicles available free of charge for the practical driving tests.

The tests were conducted by certified examiners of the Licensing Division (testers) and the set of examiners was joined by military vehicle examiners, who assisted in the performance of the tests.

The Licensing Division of the Ministry of Transportation established a special licensing station at the District Licensing Office in Holon, where one could perform all the operations required to convert the license, including a photo for the new driver’s license, vision tests by qualified optometrists and medical tests by doctors of the Licensing Division, which are required as a condition for taking the exam.

The Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, Brigadier General (Res.) Miri Regev: “This special day allows individual regular and reserve soldiers, who left their families and homeland to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and many of them are serving in combat, to convert their foreign driver’s license into an Israeli driver’s license quickly and efficiently. This is our duty towards those soldiers to facilitate the driver’s license conversion procedure and to improve the service as much as possible. This initiative is an expression of appreciation and recognition for the individual soldiers and their important contribution to the security of the State of Israel. We are committed to continuing to help them in every possible way.”

The Director General of the Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety, Moshe Ben Zaken: “This is a welcome initiative designed to help the lone soldier community and simplify for them the process of converting their driver’s license. Converting their driver’s license is a significant improvement in their freedom of movement and allows them greater mobility and flexibility in Israel. The Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety is committed to helping the lone soldiers – in particular during this period – as much as it can and facilitating their integration into Israeli society. We will continue to act and initiate for the sake of improving the service for all Israeli citizens.”

Rabbi Yehoshua Pess, co-founder and CEO of Nefesh B’Nefesh: “A driver’s license for the lone soldiers is a critical tool, since independent mobility is essential for them to save time, to make arrangements, shopping and also for relaxation which is very important, especially in this period. The prolonged war only increased the need for this service. We thank the Licensing Division of the Ministry of Transportation and the IDF for the amazing cooperation that will save them a lot of time and taking action for the benefit of these young men and women who immigrated to Israel without family, out of love for the homeland and chose to tie their fate with the State of Israel, by enlisting in the IDF. This is the least we can give them back.”

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