Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence in the Netherlands
Do you have a foreign driving licence and do you live in the Netherlands? You can drive temporarily in the Netherlands on your foreign driving licence. Later, you have to exchange your driving licence at your municipality.
Whether or not you are allowed to drive on your foreign driving licence depends on when you come to live in the Netherlands, and which country you were granted your licence. The rules applicable to you can be found on the Rijksdienst voor het wegverkeer – RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) website.
The exchange of your foreign driving licence is subject to certain conditions. For example you must be registered in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP) at your municipality. You can find all the conditions for exchanging your foreign driving licence on the RDW website.
You can also check with the RDW chatbot (in Dutch) whether you can exchange your driving licence. Choose "Rijbewijs omwisselen" and by answering a few questions the chatbot can provide your answer.
You can apply to exchange your foreign driving licence at your municipality. On the RDW website you can find out the steps to take.
If it is not possible to exchange your licence, you will have to take a theory and practical driving test at the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen – CBR (central office for driving licences). On the CBR website you can find out more information about the licence classes that can be exchanged.
This is how it works for you
Here is some information from your municipality.
Municipality of Voorschoten: Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence
Please note: you must live in the Netherlands and be registered with a municipality to exchange a foreign driving licence. You must hand in your foreign driving licence when you apply. You are not allowed to drive until you have received your new driving licence.
You will always need the following:
- your foreign driving licence;
- 1 colour passport photo that meets the passport photo requirements;
- a valid identity document or a valid residence permit for the Netherlands.
You will need the following in some cases:
- A translation of your driving licence. This is required only if your foreign driving licence is drawn up in characters that are not used in the Netherlands (for example Japanese or Greek). The translation must be produced by an embassy, consulate or a sworn translator. .
- A copy of the letter from the Belastingdienst (Tax and Customs Administration) showing that you, as an expat, fall under the 30%-regeling (30% rule).
- A gezondheidsverklaring (declaration of good health) from the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheid – CBR (Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing) if you have a category C, D, CE or DE driving licence. You must undergo a medical examination to obtain the declaration. You can find information about the statement and the examination on the CBR website.
- If your driving licence has expired: a statement of no-objection from the authority that issued the driving licence.
You pay a fee for this service. For more information, contact the municipality.
It takes 2 to 4 weeks for the licences to be exchanged. You will receive a letter from the Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer – RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) when you can collect your driving licence. You must collect your driving licence in person. You have 3 months to do this after you have received the letter from the RDW. After that time, the driving licence will be destroyed.
Questions about this topic?
Contact the Municipality of Voorschoten