Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence

If you have a foreign driving licence and you live in the Netherlands, you can drive temporarily in the Netherlands on your foreign driving licence. Later, you have to exchange your driving licence at your municipality.

Last updated on 11 October 2021

Driving on a foreign driving licence in the Netherlands

Whether or not you are allowed to drive on your foreign driving licence depends on when you come to live in the Netherlands, and whether you have a European Union (EU) driving licence or one from outside the EU. The rules applicable to you can be found on the RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) website.

Conditions for exchanging a foreign driving licence

The exchange of your foreign driving licence is subject to certain conditions, such as: 

  • You are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP). 
  • You have a driving licence from the EU or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). You can also exchange a driving licence from a number of countries outside the EU or EFTA
  • The driving licence is valid. It is however possible to have an expired European driving licence. If you have an expired driving licence from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you have to submit a declaration. You can apply for this declaration from the organisation which issued your foreign driving licence. The declaration must state that this organisation has no objection to you obtaining a Dutch driving licence. 

You will find all the conditions on the RDW website.

Applying to exchange a foreign driving licence

You can apply to exchange your foreign driving licence at your municipality. On the RDW website you can find out the steps to take

If it is not possible to exchange your licence, you will have to take another test at the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen – CBR (central office for driver certification). On the CBR website you can find out more information about the licence classes that can be exchanged.

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Road Traffic Act 1994, Article 108(1)(g) (exchanging non-EU driving licences) 

Road Traffic Act 1994, Article 186c (UK driving licences) 

Driving Licence Regulation, Articles 26 to 49 

Regulations on exchanging non-Dutch driving licences, Articles 1 and 2 

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