Procedure for driver's license
Persons with a foreign driver's license can continue to use this driver's license for a length of time that is dependent on the country where it was obtained. Please find here more information regarding foreign driver's licenses.
- Holders of a foreign driver's license issued by one of the EU or EVA countries can drive in the Netherlands for a period of 15 years (or if it is valid for a shorter period of 15 years, until the expiration date). This is for the categories AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE. If it does expire, you can exchange your foreign driver's license for a Dutch one at your local Town Hall. For the categories C1, C, D1, D, C1E, CE, D1E and DE there is a maximum of five (5) years from the date of issue. Please find here the information from the RDW:
Driving with a foreign driver's license: https://www.rdw.nl/over-rdw/information-in-english/private/driving-licence/driving-with-a-foreign-driving-licence
Exchanging a foreign driver's license: https://www.rdw.nl/over-rdw/information-in-english/private/driving-licence/can-i-exchange-a-foreign-driving-licence/how-can-i-exchange-a-foreign-driving-licence
- Holders of a foreign driver's license not issued in the Netherlands, the former Netherlands Antillen, Aruba, or one of the EU/EVA countries, can drive with their driver's license for a maximum of six (6) months after being registered to live in the Netherlands. Also, you must have lived in the issuing country for at least 185 days in the year of issue of the driving license.
- An international driver's license is only an authenticated translation of your driver's license and cannot be exchanged for a Dutch driver's license.
You can exchange your foreign driver’s license only if:
- You are registered in the municipality registration BRP.
- You have a valid residence
- Your driver’s license comes from the EU/EVA countries or one of the countries the Netherlands has a bilateral agreement with – see EU and EU free trade association countries
- Your driver’s license is valid. An European driver’s license may have expired, but then you need a statement from the issuing authority stating that they have no objection to the issue of a Dutch driving license.
- You are eligible for the 30% tax ruling, regardless your country of origin – this also applies to your family. You need to submit your 30% ruling statement issued by the Dutch tax authorities to your municipality.
- No health declaration* is needed for the EU/EVA countries unless the validity period in the driver’s license is shorter than the usual validity period in the issuing country OR the driver’s license has a limitation code that does not correspond to the codes established within the EU (with the exception of lenses, glasses or automatic).
- A health declaration* is needed for a country outside the EU/EVA plus the bilateral agreement countries and the former Netherlands Antillen of Aruba.
- During exchange of a driver’s license it is not allowed to drive on public roads.
For the application you need to have ready:
- The completed and signed form 3 E 0397.
- One colored passport photo according to the Photo matrix Model 2007.
- Your foreign driver’s license; if needed, a translation of the foreign driver’s license.
(if it is composed in script unusual for the Netherlands)
- If applicable, the 30% ruling statement as mentioned above.
- If applicable, the health declaration as mentioned above.
*Health declaration goes via DigiD – my CBR.
The rating of your health declaration can take a long time. We advise to complete the health declaration four (4) months before expiry date of your driver’s license
You need to renew your foreign driver’s license if:
- You are registered in the town hall registration BRP with a valid residence permit.
- Your non-EU/EVA and bilateral agreement countries driving license is valid at the time of the application.
- You always need a health declaration*.
- You need to undertake a new examination (theory and practical driving test)
- Also exchanging a driver’s license based on younger age is not possible. You must therefore have the minimum age for a certain driving license category as applicable in the Netherlands.
The Town Hall will send your package of items to the RDW (Rijksdienst van het Wegverkeer). You will receive a message when you can collect your Dutch driver's license at the town hall. Take your passport with you to collect your new driver's license. Your original driver's license will not be returned to you.
Lost or stolen driving license
- If your Dutch or EU/EEA driving license is lost or stolen then you must get a police declaration with the municipality where you are registered to receive a new one. For a lost EU/EEA license you will need to provide extra documentation.
- If your non-EU/EEA driving license is lost or stolen in the Netherlands then you will need to complete the Dutch driving exams to receive a new (Dutch) driving license.
Experienced instructors will guide you through the learning stages. Driving schools also offer refresher driving courses for driving license holders who want to improve their driving skills, or who would like to get experience driving in the Netherlands.
Note: Appointments for driver’s licenses are made online at the municipality where you are registered.
In case of questions, please ask the Expat Center