Exchanging your current driving license in the Netherlands or applying for a new one doesn’t have to be complicated. If you want to get a Dutch driving license, this resource will answer all the frequently asked questions to begin the process.
International Driver’s Licenses in the Netherlands
Are you moving to the Netherlands with your international driver’s license? Here are answers to the most common questions about using a foreign license in the Netherlands, exchanging your license, and applying for a new one.
Can I Use my Driving License in the Netherlands?
If your driving license was issued in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, you can use it in the Netherlands for 15 years (from the date of its issue). The only exception to this is if you acquired your license in another EU country when you were already registered in the Netherlands. In this case, the license will not be valid in the Netherlands and you will need to exchange it (see below).
If your driving license was issued in a non-EU country, you have a maximum of 185 days from your arrival in the Netherlands to use it. Afterwards, you will need to exchange it or get a Dutch license.
Am I Eligible to Exchange My Licence?
Some driving licenses can be exchanged for a Dutch licence, but certain conditions must be met. You need to be registered as a resident of the Netherlands and have a valid residence permit. The driving license must be from an EU/EEA country or from Switzerland, or fulfill other conditions that are different per country. Exemptions also apply for those that are subject to the 30% ruling.
Furthermore, if it was issued in a non-EU country, the license must still be valid. And it must have been issued after you were a resident of that country for at least 185 days.
For more information and a list of eligible countries, see the website of the Dutch Vehicle Authority (RDW).
How Do I Exchange My Driving License?
You need to apply for an exchange of your license at your local municipality (i.e., the one where you are registered). They will forward your application to the RDW. Note that applications sent directly to the RDW will not be processed.
What Do I Need for My Application?
You will need the following documents:
- Valid identity papers
- Your foreign driving licence
- A photo
- In some cases, you also need a verklaring van geschiktheid (certificate of fitness)
How Much Does It Cost?
- The cost is €41.60 (as of 2022) and must be paid up front when submitting your application.
How Long Does It Take?
- The Dutch Road Transport Directorate will let you know when your license can be collected. The license is valid for 10 years.
Find out more about exchanging your license in your municipality:
What If I Can’t Exchange My License?
- If you don’t meet the conditions for exchanging your license, you will need to apply for a Dutch driving license. There are two exams you must pass to get your license. The first is a theory exam and the second is a driving test on the road. There are many driving schools in The Hague region, where you can take lessons to prepare for these exams.
To apply for a license in your municipality, you must be registered in the Municipal Personal Records database (BRP).
Find out more for applying for a new license in your municipality:
Statement of Health and Certificate of Fitness
To get your driving license in the Netherlands, you need to provide a statement of health. Purchase your health declaration at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR), or with DigiD on the website of CBR. Many driving schools will also provide this declaration. After you purchase your Statement of Health, you then need to send it to the CBR.
The CBR assesses whether you are medically fit or if you need an additional examination. If you are medically fit, a Certificate of Fitness is registered in the driving licence register by CBR. You will receive confirmation of this in a letter from the CBR.