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Using your foreign driving licence in the Netherlands

On July 11, 2017 by Dutch Umbrella Company

You already found a challenging job and a nice place to live. But can you still use your driving license to move from A to B? Expats can continue to use their foreign driving license if they live in the Netherlands, but how long can vary from country to country.

Using a foreign driving licence in The Netherlands issued to citizens of the EU/EEA

Is your foreign driving licence issued by a country of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland before 19 January 2013? In this case, you will be able to use it for as long as it remains valid. This with a maximum of 10 years after issuing. Is your driving licence issued over 9 years ago by the time you became a resident in the Netherlands? In this case, you may continue driving with it for up to 2 years. If your driving licence was issued after 19 January 2013, you may use it to drive in the Netherlands until it expires. This with a maximum of 15 years.

Using a foreign driving licence in The Netherlands issued to citizens of the EU/EEA

Is your foreign driving licence issued by a country outside the EU/EAA, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland? In this case, you will be able to use it for six months from the date you becoming a resident in the Netherlands. In other words, you will have to exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch licence within six months of settling in the Netherlands.
It is important to know that these six months are very strict. If you apply for a Dutch driving license after these six months, you need to pass the Dutch driving exam.

Exchanging your foreign driving licence for a Dutch licence

Regardless of the country that issued your driving licence, you will have to exchange it for a Dutch driving licence following a transition period. This procedure is subject to a number of conditions:

  • You are officially registered in the Netherlands;
  • You are a Dutch citizen or hold a valid permanent resident visa;
  • Your foreign driving licence was issued in the EU (European Union), the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) or one of the following non-EU countries (see link);
  • Or you have the 30% ruling;
  • You hold a valid driving licence.

How to exchange your foreign driving licence

If you meet the above conditions, you can apply for your Dutch driving license. To do this, go to the municipality where you got your registration. The application will take about 2 weeks, so be aware of that. For the application, you must have a valid ID, your foreign driver’s license, bsn number and a photo.

30 percent ruling and exchanging your driving licence

If you are a highly skilled migrant who benefits from the 30 percent ruling you can exchange your driving licence for a Dutch equivalent. In this case it doesn’t matter from which country you are. The same applies for your family, they can also exchange their foreign driving license for the Dutch equivalent if you use the 30 percent ruling.

Questions?

If you have any questions after reading this blog, please do not hesitate to email [email protected].

Would you like to know more about exchanging your foreign driving licence? Don’t hesitate to contact us, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll answer any questions you might have. Do you want to know more about travel expenses in the Netherlands? We have written a blog about ‘travel expenses with private transport and parking expenses‘ and a second blog about ‘travel by electric vehicle, company car and public transport‘.