Process for Converting a Foreign Driver’s License to a Local Libyan License
September 2012 (Updated June 2013)
1. If possible, it’s good to have an International Driver’s license as well as a license from your country of citizenship, although it’s not a “must.”
2. An eye check-up is required…both to test for colorblindness AND vision! This may be done at an eye place near the roundabout in Fornaj (which is open for appointments only on Mondays), or by an eye doctor in Zawiya Dahamani (located on the same street as the eye hospital but on the opposite side of the road…next to an eye glass shop…on one street over from the bakery Kusha Fuanis). But…I think the place in Fornaj is preferred by the driver’s license office, since they are more familiar with it. The cost of this is 25 LYD.
3. Take your driver’s license (and Int’l license, if you have one) to YOUR Embassy (i.e. Americans must go to the US Embassy…note that an appointment is a MUST there!) and get them to write you a letter validating that your driver’s license is genuine. It must be signed and stamped by the consul. You will need your passport as well as a color copy of each of the driver’s licenses that you have. The cost at the US Embassy is about 70 LYD.
4. This letter from the Embassy needs to be translated in to Arabic…there are several offices that do that on the street going up from the main post office in downtown Tripoli…one that’s recommended is the “Magarief Bureau For Legal Translation” (phone: 021-333-6811). They may translate more than one copy, but really only one is needed. They staple the translated version on top of a copy of the version from your Embassy and sign and stamp it. The cost is 11 LYD.
5. This translated copy then needs to be stamped at an office located right next to the Al Waddan Hotel…as you face the door of the Al Waddan, this building is to your right (it is between the Al Waddan Hotel and the Italian Embassy). You walk up a set of stairs into a stately looking building. The name may be something like “Judicial Expats” in English, but that is not 100% for sure. As you enter, you need to go down the long hall to the left, and take another left at the end of that hall. The 2nd office on the right can help you. This office opens at 9 am, but you may need to leave the paper and come back in an hour or so. The cost of this stamp is FREE!
6. You then need another stamp on this translated copy from the LEGALIZATION OFFICE (like a baladiya…located near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the upper Trek Shut Road). You must show your passport here along with your business visa or residency for Libya. They sign it and place a number of postage stamps on it. This office is open from 9 am – 12:30 pm, but you will want to go early in order to not have to wait in line long. The cost of these stamps is 90 LYD.
7. Once you have all these stamps on the translated paper, you need to go to the actual driver’s license office, which is located in Fornaj, almost directly across from the Tripoli Medical Center (TMC Hospital)…not far from the Kamikaze Café. As you enter the location of the driver’s license offices (it’s like a parking lot almost), walk toward the building at the back and then around the RIGHT side of the building into a little entry area. There they will look at your documents and then give you a PINK application form. In June 2013, the man here said that residency was required. However, in explaining that he was in process of getting his residency, this person was allowed to get his license.
8. This pink application form needs to be taken to the police station located by the big roundabout in Fornaj. As you enter, there is a building in front of you and a window around the left side of that building. FIRST fill out the form with your name, your mother’s name, your birth date, your passport number, and signature (you may want to get someone to help you fill this out in Arabic) and then present this pink form along with your eye test form and translated document to this window with ONE picture of yourself and wait to be called inside…they may call you in right away, or you may have to wait. Once inside, you will have 5 different people sign and stamp the paper, you will have to do another quick on the spot eye test, and you will have to pay 15 LYD. In June 2013, we discovered that at this point they did a separate eye test, telling us that the first test we got over by Zawiat Dahmani was not sufficient. The eye doctor is not here everyday so you may have to go to a separate location OR come back on the day he/she is there at the Fornaj office.
9. Lastly, you need to return to the actual driver’s license office with this signed, stamped pink form, and present that along with the translated stamped letter from your embassy, a copy of your passport, a copy of your driver’s license, and 2 MORE pictures of yourself to the guy at the desk. You will then pay 20.5 LYD at the window there and they will give you a receipt and tell you when to come back to pick up the actual Libyan driver’s license. It normally takes 2-3 days.
• A signed and stamped eye test from a doctor showing that your color vision and regular vision is ok.
• 2 copies of your driver’s license…one to go along with the letter you get from the Embassy and one to turn in with your actual driver’s license application here in Libya.
• Your passport and driver’s license(s) to show along the way to various offices.
• 1 copy of your passport to turn in with your driver’s license application here in Libya.
• The stamped Arabic translated copy of the letter from your Embassy stating that your original driver’s license is genuine.
• The pink application form for the Libyan driver’s license.
• 3 small pictures…the size does not seem to be too important.