Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence

Do you have a foreign driving licence and do 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 14 September 2022

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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 which country you were granted your licence. The rules applicable to you can be found on the Rijksdienst voor het wegverkeer – RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) website.

Conditions for exchanging a foreign driving licence

The exchange of your foreign driving licence is subject to certain conditions. For example you must be registered in the Basisregistratie Personen – BRP (Personal Records Database) at your municipality. You can find all the conditions on the RDW website.

You can also check with the RDW chatbot (in Dutch) whether you can exchange your driving licence. Choose Rijbewijs omwisselen and by answering a few questions the chatbot can provide your answer.

Applying to exchange a foreign driving licence

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

If it is not possible to exchange your licence, you will have to take a theory and practical driving test at the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen – CBR (central office for driving licences). You can find out more information about the licence classes that can be exchanged on the CBR website.

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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