Move to Netherlands

Valid Driving License

Generally, if you want to obtain a Dutch driving license in the Netherlands, you must follow and pass a practical/theory exam at the Motor Vehicle Driving Testing. The Netherlands recognizes EU/EEC driving license for a period of 10 years calculated from the date of issue.

A driving licence issued in any other countries than EU/EEC, has a validity period of six months (185 days) after registering as a Dutch resident after which you are required to take a driving test in The Netherlands or exchange it to a Dutch one.

Exchanging driver’s license

The application to exchange your EU/EEC driving license has to be done through the local authority where you are registered. After you have paid the legal dues your local authority will send on your application to the RDW. The license will be sent to your home address within two or three weeks. This means that you will leave the municipal office without a licence, without which you are not allowed to drive. It is strongly recommended not to do as you will not be insured.

When exchanging a driving license issued outside the Netherlands some conditions might apply; the driving licence must be valid at the time of the application and must have been issued within a period of one year during which the applicant has been resident at least 185 days in the country of issue.

License exchange and the 30% ruling

In case you have recently become entitled to benefit from the 30% ruling, you and the other member(s) of your family can exchange your licence at your local municipal office, no matter where you come from.

First of all you need a copy of a statement issued by the Tax Office in Heerlen proving that you or the other member(s) of your family are entitled to benefit from the 30 percent tax ruling.

Once you have it, you need to buy and fill out a form called “Eigen Verklaring” (own declaration) in which you indicate whether you suffer from any sickness or other disabilities. You can purchase the form which costs €19,55 from the municipality.

After completion the form has to be sent to the CBR office in Eindhoven. The CBR will process it and send you a Certificate of fitness “verklaring van geschiktheid”. Please note that the CBR (Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheid) can take up to 6 weeks to take the decision regarding the personal declaration. With the Certificate of fitness “verklaring van geschiktheid” you can now go again to the municipal office and apply for the driver’s licence exchange.

For more information about the 30% ruling, please follow this link»

At this point you need to bring with you:

  • A copy of a statement issued by the Tax Office in Heerlen proving that you or the other member(s) of your family are entitled to benefit from the 30 percent tax ruling
  • Valid passport
  • Certificate of fitness “verklaring van geschiktheid”
  • Your original valid driving license

A license exchange costs €43,50. As soon as the municipal fees have been paid, the municipal office will send the entire application to the RDW for evaluation. If the application is granted, you will receive a letter stating that you can pick up your Dutch driver’s licence from your local municipal office. You will leave the municipal office without a licence, without which you are not officially allowed to drive. Make sure to ask for a photocopy of your original driving license together with the request for a Dutch licence as a proof. The original driving licence will be sent back to the place of issue. Be sure to start the procedures in time because the whole process may take several weeks!

Road traffic signs and regulations in the Netherlands (PDF)

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