Information

North Cyprus – Expats and TRNC Driving Licences and importing vehicles into TRNC

 

By Trevor Hughes……

In publishing my Trevor’s Tips for January 2016, (click here to read) I received a request for information from a reader about TRNC driving licences which I show below and my reply and as we are often asked about car imports I am also providing information about that as well for the benefit of our many readers.

TRNC Driving Licenses

Question:

Do you know the rules regarding driving licences in respect of people who are in and out of the country all the time? I have a vehicle here in my name but am on a constant 90 day tourist visa.

Do I need a Cypriot licence or is my UK licence sufficient?”

Reply:

The TRNC ruling on non-TRNC driving licences is as follows:-

The Law here states that you must hold a current and active full driving licence to enable you to drive legally on the TRNC. roads. It is not mandatory for you to hold a TRNC licence here if you are not in the Country for more than 90 days collectıvely in any one year. The origin of the licence is important, but it must be current and valid for the type of vehicle you wish to drive. The category of the vehicle allowıng you to drive here is the same as on a UK driving licence.

The Law states that you must make an application for a driving licence after you have notched up a collective TRNC Driving Licence specimenperiod of 90 days in the TRNC in any one year. However, there are several people here who use their UK driving licence irrespective of the number of days spent in the TRNC. This is frowned upon by the Police and could cause problems if you are involved in a road traffic accident at some time in the future (jail, heavy fines and even deportation could be imposed if the accident is serious enough).

Insurance companies however, only need a valid driving licence for insurance policies to remain legal.

My advice is, do not leave anything to chance, it could cause problems in the future.

All you need to apply for a TRNC. driving licence is firstly, you must hold at least one Temporary Residence stamp in your passport, you then need to make a trip to the licencing office in Lefkoşa, taking with you your current driving licence and a copy, the completed application form, the appropriate fee, your passport and a copy of the photo page, and two recent passport sized photographs of yourself. You can only make your application for one year, thereafter renewals can be made at your local Tax Office.The number of years for renewals thereafter are from 1 – 10 years in duration.

You can visit the TRNC and drive as many times as you wish as long  as you have a current and valid driving licence and ensure you follow the above requirements.

Importing cars into the TRNC

Rules on the importation of cars here are quite complex, the rules are perhaps in place to deter you from importing a car and to encourage you to make a purchase here.

If the car is under five years old you can import a car here and you must have been the registered owner for the last five years, any less and you will not be given permission.

Cars over 24 years old and you can import the car here, in fact you will be Classic Carsgiven all the help you need, as it is classed as a classic car.

The car for import must have a valid MOT and Road Fund Licence from the country which you are intending to import the car from.

The maximum period you can drive the car is twelve months, after that period you must either permanently import the car, or take it out of the Country. The car will not be allowed into the TRNC again! Import tax is between 40-60% of mid “Glasses Guide”. Quite how they come to a figure is far and beyond most people, but you have no choice in the matter.

You can only get insurance here on a third party basis until the car is either officially registered here, or you have made an application and then and only then can you drive with fully comprehensive insurance.

Once the car has been imported and officially registered with TRNC number plates, you are not permitted to sell the car for a period of two years.

You may be given the “run around” by the officials perhaps they love giving you a hard time.

Give the importation some considerable thought. Although you can get parts for the car back home, you may have considerable difficulty here. If the car is involved in a road traffic accident here, your car maybe off the road for months on end.

Another consideration is road tax, as it is based on the weight of the car, the heavier the car the more you will pay. A 4×4  car can be anything up to 3500TL per year and whether you can get mechanics here to service it correctly is another consideration

MOT’s here are every three years on the dates set by the Government and the latest dates are shown under.

Finally if you want help with car insurance then do please contact me by email at Dagli Sigorta on  tphdagli@gmail.com.

2016 MOT DATES

Registration letters   Date from Date to
U, V, Y, AA, AB, AC, AD, AE,BA, BB, BC, BD, BP,  BR, BS, BT,BU, BV, 01.09.2016 08.09.2016
CJ, CK, CL, CM, CN, CP, DA, DB, DC, DD, DE, DF, DU, DV, DY, DZ, EA, EB, EB, EY, EZ 09.09.2016 26.09.2016
FA, FR, FS, FT, FU, FV, FY, FZ, GA, 27.09.2016 05.10.2016
GB, GC, GD, GE, GF, GG, GH, GJ, GK, 06.10.2016 19.10.2016
GL, JL,JM, JN, JP, JR, JS, JT, JU, 20.10.2016 02.11.2016
JV, JY, JZ, KA, KB, KC ,LB, LC, LD, 03.11.2016 16.11.2016
LE, LF, LG, LH, LJ, LK, MJ, MK, ML, 17.11.2016 30.11.2016
MM, MN, MP, MR, 01.12.2016 07.12.2016

12 replies »

  1. Hi Chris / Trevor, That’s great, thanks. But I’m still confused, Trevor says 90 days collectively in one year not consecutively. If it is collectively that would mean almost all expats would need to have a TRNC driving licence and I bet most haven’t.

    I have also heard that it’s different if your driving a hire car to a standard TRNC registered car. Again, its hard to find out the truth. Do you guys know?

    Best regards
    Grant

    • Hi Grant,
      you are correct. The 90 days in total in any one year is accurate. If you do not comply, the ramifications can be excessive.
      For car hire, companies only wish to see a driving licence that is full and current. They are there to earn money from car hire and not bothered about how many days you have been here.

  2. Hi Trevor. Slight error I think on the age of a car that can be imported. Or sack the typist! It must be under FIVE years old (not 3) or have been owned for more than five years. After arrival the car is a ‘visitor’. You must go to the tax office within 30 days. At that point, you may pay the whole amount of the import tax if your blood pressure will stand it, or ask for an extension. That could be granted for either a further 3 months or 11 months, or not at all – depends on the colour of your eyes. If the tax is not paid within the allotted time the vehicle, as it is still a ‘visitor’ must leave the Island via a North Cyprus Port. If we have the V5C etc the tax can be calculated in advance. Small low cc car that you’ve had years, well worth it especially if it fits into your container with the household goods. Do hope that this is helpful. Jo Valentine. 01302 729696

    • Thank you Jo for spotting the typo (now corrected) and for the other information which is most helpful.

  3. Hi Trevor you state in your letter here that you can get 1-10 yrs on a licence , surely this is not true Ex pats can only have a max of 3 years.

    • Hi Wayne,

      The Law changed for driving licence renewals in December 2015.

      You can now obtain a licence renewal for a maximum of 10 years, You also do not need a Muhtar’s letter either if you don’t have an up to date Temporary residence stamp.

      It’s called progress!

  4. Just my luck. I taxed my car last week for 2017. I believe nearly £500. Any chance of a rebate? I bet not.

  5. How do I get a temporary residence stamp in my passport? I have been in TRNC for 28 days this year and plan more trips of up to 90 days throughout the year. All the other requirements for a driving licence I have. Thanks

    • Hi Karen there is a difference between a visitor who on arrival at TRNC Immigration may receive a stamp as a visitor to stay upto 90 days after which they can receive a fine if they over stay.

      Temporary Residency stamp is just that. For those people who want to live here in the TRNC and at first you need to make an application to the Police in Girne after which police checks are made, medicle tests conducted and after showing proof of residncy with a Muhtar’s letter, Bank Statements, a rental agreement of propertu Kocan to the immigration office in Lefkosa, then permission may be granted with a yearly passport stamp.

      After receiving your residency stamp you can come and go from the TRNC as many times as you wish.

  6. Hi. Just a quick question on ‘Classic imorts. In a previous post you said that over 25 years old cars did not have to pay any import tax – but then later on said you did.
    What is the actual answer, as I intended to bring a 26 year old original Mitsubishi Shogun Mk1 over and hoped it would be much cheaper? Thanks
    Sandy

    • Hello Sandy,

      We would like to share this message with you from Trevor Hughes:

      All Vehicles are subject to import tax, but the good news is the rate for calculation is based on the value of the car at time of manufacture. With a classic car the rate of tax is very low. You will need written confirmation from the dealer confirming the cost when it was first new, then the rate of import tax can be calculated.

      E.G if the vehicle is an MG and the cost at time of purchase was say £450 the rate of import tax would be based on £450, but you will need written confirmation on the price at new from a registered dealer or a classic car club in the U K..