Life at the 'Lik - How to get an HGS toll sticker

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Marissa Tucker
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: This article is part of a series designed to provide in-depth information to both current and future members of Team Incirlik about topics specific to Incirlik and Turkey. The goal is to assist Airmen and families in making informed decisions about their move to the area and to provide guidance about local policies, procedures and quality of life matters.

Plan to travel beyond Adana on the Autobahn? If so, an essential item for vehicle owners at Incirlik is the new Hızlı Geçiş Sistemi toll card sticker. The HGS sticker is necessary to pay for tolls while traveling on the Autobahn to locations such as Tarsus or Mersin.

Unlike the Kartlı Geçiş Sistemi (KGS) toll card that was available at Outdoor Recreation, the HGS sticker must be obtained off-base at a Post, telephone and telegraph (Ptt) facility. The 39th Air Base Wing is providing options and information to help members of Incirlik with the process and ease some concerns.

For those who want to get an HGS sticker and want to have someone fluent in Turkish accompany them, the Community Center offers a shuttle to the Ptt facility every Thursday at 1 p.m. for a small fee where an escort will walk them through the process. They also offer private trips on Fridays by appointment only.

For the more adventurous, or those who like to navigate Adana themselves, here are some tips to help make the process easier:

What do I need?

The first step to obtaining a sticker is collecting the essential documents - blue book (Turkish translation of U.S. military I.D. card), vehicle registration (black book) and I.D. card. For family members who want to obtain the sticker and do not have a blue book, they should bring the following in addition to the black book:

· NATO orders
· Residency permit

There is a small white slip in the black book labeled "Vergi Kimlik" which includes a line that says, "Vergi Kimlik No." This number will be used in place of the passport number on the application form.

Customers must bring a minimum of 35 Turkish Lira with them. The facility does not accept payment by credit or debit cards and does not have an ATM available.

Where do I go?

Stickers can be obtained from various locations in Adana to include the M1 mall, but for those associated with Incirlik, visiting the Ptt office located on the D400 is the easiest option. To get there, follow these directions:

· Exit the front gate and turn right.
· Drive until the stop light to the entrance onto the D400
· Turn right and keep to the right side for about 10 minutes
· The Ptt will be on the right side directly across from the cemetery mosque. It is marked with a bright yellow sign and has a white and green banner that says "HGS" on the gate.
· If you pass the Optimum mall, you've gone too far.

Depending on the day, the D400 Ptt facility may be out of forms or stickers, so you can either return another day or attempt to get a sticker at a different Ptt facility. Be aware there may be different requirements at the various locations, so it's best to bring everything you think you'll need including passports if you have one.

What do I say?

After greeting the attendant, say, "Ben bir HGS etiket almak istiyorum" which means "I would like to get an HGS sticker". You will then fill out the form they give you.

To make things easier, print out this helpful guide here that provides a translation of the form and take it with you.

If you are trying to transfer your balance from a KGS to an HGS sticker, say, "Bende bir KGS etiket var. Icindeki parayi HGS ye aktarmak istiyorum," which means "I have a KGS card. I want to transfer the money on an HGS sticker."

The fee for the card is 5 TL and must be loaded with a minimum of 30 TL. For those wishing to transfer their balance from a KGS card, depending on your current balance, you may be required to add the entire 30 TL as well.

Where do I put it?

Once you have a sticker, immediately place it on the inside of your windshield to prevent it from being damaged. The best position to ensure it is picked up by the scanners on the toll roads is directly under the rearview mirror.

How do I know if it worked?

When approaching the toll road, make sure to slow down to the designated speed and only drive through the lane labeled "HGS." Going though any other booth or going through too fast may result in a fine. There will be a scanner on the left of the booth that will look like a camera. You should see the light turn green as you proceed.

· If the light turns green, the scanner acknowledged the sticker and subtracted the funds.
· If the light turns yellow and red, it could be a scanner error. Proceed anyway, but be sure to check your balance at a Ptt location when you can. It could mean your balance was too low to pay for the toll or that you drove through too fast and the scanner could not read your sticker.

More helpful tips:

If you are driving though a toll and your sticker has insufficient funds, you have seven days to add funds to your account before a ticket is issued.

You can stop in the toll plaza prior to passing through a toll booth and add funds to your account.

If you are out-processing from the base, you cannot deregister your vehicle if you have fines. Be sure to pay all tickets and fines as soon as you get them. They can be multiplied for nonpayment.

If you are leaving Turkey and still have a balance on your sticker, reimbursement is available. Go to a Ptt office and say, "Turkiyden gidiyorum. HGS etiketini iptal etmek istiyorum. Icindeki paroyi geri almak istiyorum," which means, "I'm leaving Turkey. I would like to get reimbursed for the remaining money on my toll card." The process can take up to 30 days, so plan ahead.

There is no need to add an excessive amount (more than 100 TL) to the sticker, as the tolls to travel to commonly visited places such as Mersin are only 3.60 TL roundtrip.

For question or concerns, call the Public Affairs office at DSN 676-6060. To sign up for the escorted trips at the Community Center, call DSN 676-6966.