Life at the 'Lik: Fuel devices and Toll stickers

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.
  • 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.

Members stationed in Turkey participate in many activities, to include traveling. People who like to travel using their personal vehicles should be aware of two things: The Electronic Fuel Device and the Hızlı Geçiş Sistemi toll card sticker.

The HGS stickers are required to travel on some roads in Turkey without being fined. Though the EFD is not mandatory, it may still save you just as much money.

Electronic fuel device

Some people may wonder 'why get a gas card?' Here's one reason to consider: The cost of a gallon of gas with the device is approximately $4.78, while the cost without the device is the current market price of approximately $17.39 per gallon.

The EFD is used to purchase fuel in the Turkish economy at on-base prices. The device can be used at Petrol Ofisi gas stations only.

To get the EFD, base members must have a Military Star card and complete an EFD application. Applications must be submitted to AAFES through its customer service counter in the Base Exchange.

The device is a small chip attached by a metal ring to the nozzle of a vehicle's gas tank. It electronically sends a signal to the PO fuel tanks authorizing tax free fuel and records the amount of fuel purchased. That information is fed to the owner's Military Star card and billed. Once the device is installed, cash or credit cards won't be necessary to fuel vehicles off base. The EFD will be automatically disabled it's removed from the vehicle for any reason.

HGS sticker

The HGS sticker can be obtained off-base at various Post, Telephone and Telegraph facilities located in Adana to include the M1 mall and on the D400 across from the cemetery.

To obtain a sticker, Incirlik members will need to bring their blue book, vehicle registration and I.D. card. Family members who want to obtain the sticker and do not have a blue book should their bring black book, NATO orders and residency permit.

There is a small white slip with the vehicle registration 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. The fee for the card is 5 TL and must be loaded with a minimum of 30 TL.

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.

The sticker works by approaching the toll booth at the designated speed and only driving through the lane labeled "HGS." 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.

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. 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 round trip.