My Dutch driving licence has been confiscated abroad. What should I do?

Has your Dutch driving licence been confiscated outside the Netherlands? Then you can only drive again after you get it back.


Never report your driving licence as lost, or apply for a new one, if it has been confiscated abroad. If you do and your confiscated driving licence is returned to the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW), the RDW will cancel your new driving licence. You will then need to retake a driving test to get it back.

Difference between confiscation of a driving licence and temporary driving ban

If you violate traffic regulations while abroad a police officer may confiscate your Dutch driving licence. This may also be referred to as your licence being seized or claimed. You can also receive a temporary driving ban. 

You will not be allowed to drive in the country that imposed the driving ban for the duration of the ban, but you may still drive in the Netherlands. However, if your licence is taken away or seized, you cannot drive anywhere anymore. You must always be able to show a valid driving licence, wherever you are driving. 

Continuing your journey without a driving licence

If you want to continue your journey by car after your licence has been confiscated, someone else will have to drive. If your partner or another member of your household has a valid driving licence and regularly drives your car, you may be able to arrange car insurance as an owner without a driving licence. You will have to state who the regular driver is. Ask your insurer what the options are.

Getting your driving licence back

It sometimes takes a long time to get your driving licence back. After confiscating your driving licence, the local authorities will return it to the RDW in the Netherlands. They may do this immediately, or not until your driving ban has ended.

  • Do you live in the Netherlands? Then RDW will send your driving licence back to your address in the Netherlands. This is the address with which you are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP).
  • Do you live outside the Netherlands? Then contact RDW to ask how you can get your driving licence back.

Check your insurance

Your car insurer will automatically be informed that your driving licence has been confiscated. Some insurers will no longer want to insure you, and will cancel your car insurance. This means you will no longer be insured.

If your driving licence is returned after a driving ban, the cost of your car insurance will likely increase. If your car insurer has cancelled your cover, you will have to arrange new insurance.  


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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