Am I allowed to drive in the Netherlands?

If you have a valid driver’s license issued in a country other than an EU / EFTA member state, you can still use it up to 185 days after registering in the Netherlands (in the BRP). After that you can only drive in the Netherlands with a Dutch driver’s license.

Can I exchange my driving licence?

You can exchange your driving licence for a Dutch one if you meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • You live in the Netherlands and are registered with your local municipality.
  • You are from the EU, the EEA, Switzerland OR are from a country with a special agreement; OR you have been granted the 30% ruling.
  • You have a valid residence permit (not required if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland).
  • Your current driving licence is valid.
  • Your current driving licence, if issued in a country outside the EU, was issued after being a resident of that country for at least 185 days.
  • If you do not meet the conditions you cannot exchange your licence for a Dutch one. This means you will need to take a standard theory and practical test at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR).

Am I allowed to drive during the exchange?

You are not allowed to drive on public roads during the exchanger. If you do this, you may be fined. You must be able to show your driver’s license at a roadside check.

I have been granted the 30% ruling. Can my family also exchange their driver license?

Yes. The conditions are that your family member has to be 18 years or older, have a drivers license and live at the same address as you (registration).

How do I apply for a dutch driving licence?

If you meet the conditions for exchanging your driving licence, you must submit your application at your local municipal city office (stadsloket) with the following:

  • Colour passport photograph.
  • Your foreign driving licence.
  • Your residence permit (unless you are a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland).
  • Statement of 30% ruling (if applicable).
  • Certificate of fitness

An application is submitted to the Government Road Transportation Agency (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW) and the appraisal process takes approximately two weeks. You are not permitted to drive while your application is being processed.