EXCHANGING YOUR DRIVING LICENSE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Do you have a foreign driving license issued in one of the countries of the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and do you live in the Netherlands? You can use it for another 5 or 15 years after it was issued, if it is still valid, depending on the category of the license. If you want you can change it to a Dutch driving license.
DRIVING LICENSE CATEGORIES
The 15-year term applies to the categories below, provided the permit is still valid:
The 5-year term applies to the categories below, provided the permit is still valid:
If the driving license was issued more than 15 years ago, but has not yet expired, then you can drive with it for another 2 years from the date you came to live in the Netherlands.
CONDITIONS FOR EXCHANGING YOUR OF DRIVING LICENSE IN THE NETHERLANDS
To be able to change your driver license in the Netherlands you must meet the following conditions:
- You are registered in the Dutch register of persons (BRP in Dutch)
- You have a valid identity document
- The driving license is issued by a country from the European Union (EU), EEA or Switzerland and it is still valid
Depending on the city hall where you are registered and therefore where you will have to go to change your driving license, you may need an appointment. You can look at the respective city hall’s website to get this information and a phone number. You will need the following:
- A color passport photo not older than 6 months: this has to meet certain conditions so it is advisable to go to a licensed photographer
- Your foreign driving license
- your old Dutch license if you have one
- Sometimes you need a health certificate from the CBR. For example, if you have a truck driver’s license or if you are of a certain age. For more information, visit the CBR website.
The employee of the city hall will give you a form to fill in and he/she will send your application for changing the driving license (together with the documents listed above) to the basic vehicle register (RDW in Dutch). If everything is in order, you will receive a letter from the RDW within 10 working days. In this letter it is mentioned when you will be able to pick up your new driving license from the city hall. The foreign driving licence is kept by the RDW.
During the exchange you are not allowed to drive because you don’t have a driving license and you can get a fine for this.
EXCHANGING AN EXPIRED DRIVING LICENSE
If your driving license is expired but still in your possession, you need the following:
- A color passport photo not older than 6 months: this must meet certain conditions so it is advisable to go to an authorized photographer
- Your foreign driving license
- A valid ID
If your driving license is expired and you no longer have it, you need the following:
- A color passport photo not older than 6 months: this must meet certain conditions so it is advisable to go to a licensed photographer
- A statement from the foreign authority (not older than 6 months) certifying that they have no objection to the issuance of a Dutch driving license
- A valid identity document
You must also you ask the municipal clerk to draw up a declaration of loss.
If you want to live in the Netherlands, you can use your foreign driving license if it is issued in one of the countries of the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), but you can also exchange it for a Dutch driving licence at the town hall where you are registered.
You will need to bring certain documents such as your foreign driving license, your ID and a color passport photo. Do you want to get a job before exchanging your driving license?