Leiden Expat Center

 

The Driving Licence

Holders of a foreign driving licence issued by an EU country may drive in the Netherlands for a period of 10 years or (if the licence expires on an earlier date) until the expiry date of the licence. When the foreign driving licence expires, it can be exchanged for a Dutch licence at the Town Hall.

If you hold a driving licence which was issued in a country outside the EU, you are required to exchange this licence for a Dutch one within six months after registering in the Netherlands. For holders of driving licences from certain countries it is compulsory to take a driving test before they receive a Dutch driving licence.
 

30% ruling

If the 30% ruling applies to you, you and your family may exchange your foreign driving licences for Dutch licences, regardless which country you are from.
 

Driving in the Netherlands

In order to drive a car in the Netherlands you must own a valid driving license and you must be aged 18 or over. It is also compulsory to have third party insurance and the vehicle you are driving must be registered. If you are a resident of the Netherlands, it is prohibited for you to drive a car which is registered in another country.
 

Exchanging a driving license

In order to exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch licence, you must belong to one of the categories mentioned below. If you do not belong to one of the aforementioned categories, you will be able to use your foreign driving licence for 185 days after the date of your arrival, after which you are required to pass the regular Dutch CBR theory and driving tests. You may take the theory exam in the Dutch, English or Turkish language.
 
Dutch licences are generally issued for 10 years. If you have a licence which was issued in an EU country, it will also be valid for 10 years from the date of issue. However, you may wish to exchange a foreign driving licence for a Dutch one since the Dutch driving licence is accepted as valid proof of identity in many cases.