Exchange a foreign driving licence

In certain cases you’ll be able to exchange a driving licence you obtained outside of the Netherlands for a Dutch driving licence. The condition is that the driving licence is valid at the time of your application. You can request the exchange in person at Burgerzaken in the town hall. This is done by appointment.

Using a foreign driving licence in the Netherlands

Do you have a valid driving licence which was issued in one of the European Union countries, or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey or Norway? Then you’ll still be able to use this driving licence after settling in the Netherlands.

The foreign driving licence is valid in the Netherlands for a period of up to 15 years after the date of issue. For more information, please visit the RDW website.

Do you have a valid driving licence which was issued in a country other than those mentioned above (including the Dutch Antilles or Aruba)? Then you can use this driving licence for up to 185 days after you have settled in the Netherlands. You can exchange the valid foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence, or take an accelerated exam via B.N.O.R, during this half year period.

Exchanging your foreign driving licence

Do you want to exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence? Then you’ll need to submit the application for the exchange to the municipality where you’re registered. The RDW will then further process the exchange of your foreign driving licence. The driving licence will still need to be sent to the municipality once you’ve received a letter from the RDW stating that the application has been completed. You can collect your driving licence from the municipality five days after you’ve received the letter from the RDW. Please make sure you bring this letter along with you. 

Different regulations apply per country where these exchanges are concerned. So for more information, please consult the RDW’s website, or contact RDW by telephone via 088 0087 447. It’s not possible to request an urgency procedure for an exchange.

Driving for longer with a driving licence from outside the EU

You can drive in the Netherlands for a maximum of 185 days with a driving licence from outside the EU. The foreign driving licence must then be exchanged for a Dutch driving licence. More information about the conditions can be found on the RDW website.

What to bring along

Please bring the following along with you when applying for a driving licence exchange: 

  • a valid proof of identity;
  • your valid foreign driving licence;
  • a passport photograph which bears a clear resemblance and which meets the legal requirements;
  • possibly a letter from the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen (Driving Standards Agency) [CBR], stating you’re fit to drive;
  • if applicable, the letter with the 30% ruling;
  • For other conditions, please consult the RDW website.