Whether your driving licence needs to be exchanged for a Dutch licence totaly depends on the issuing country and the validity of your foreign licence. Please check RDW’s English website for more information.

Unfortunately, some forms you may have to fill out are in Dutch. The helpdesk at the Expat Centre can assist you with this.

Driving in the Netherlands

In order to drive a car in the Netherlands you must own a valid driving licence 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. Holders of a foreign driving licence issued by an EU country may drive in the Netherlands for a period of 10 years or (in the case that the licence expires, at 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.

Exchanging a driving licence

If you are not allowed to drive a car in the Netherlands, you will have to exchange your driving licence. 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 Dutch, English or Turkish.

More information on what you can expect: