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  • ACRI

Allow Asylum Seekers to take Driving Lessons and Obtain a Driver's License

On March 3, 2024, ACRI sent legal correspondence (Hebrew) to the Ministry of Transportation, together with HIAS and the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, requesting that asylum seekers be allowed to learn to drive, take the theoretical and practical test, and obtain a driver's license.


In the correspondence, Attorney Tal Hassin of ACRI and Attorney Michal Pomerantz argued that the asylum seeker population are the only population sector denied the ability to drive in Israel: The traffic regulations stipulate that anyone who is not an Israeli resident will not learn to drive and will not take the driving tests unless he has a residence permit in Israel. But the regulations exclude the class 2(a)(5) residence permit, which include asylum seekers. Thus, temporary residents, diplomats, student visa holders, migrant workers, and even tourists who come to Israel and hold a "transit residence permit" may learn to drive, take driving tests, and obtain a driver's license, but asylum seekers who have lived in the country for more than a decade and sometimes even close to 20 years, are not allowed to do so.


This policy severely violates the basic rights of tens of thousands of people and sabotages their daily lives. It impairs their freedom of movement, their ability to earn a living, makes it difficult to lead a daily life with multiple transportation needs for children, various errands and does not allow family trips. Public transportation does not provide an adequate solution, especially in light of the limitations of the hours and days in which it operates. In cases where there is a need to care for a family member suffering from a disability or serious illness, the inability to drive increases the difficulty and makes coping more difficult.

 

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