Is my foreign driving licence valid in the Netherlands? 

As an international resident in the Netherlands, you can use your current (foreign) driving licence for a certain period of time, after which you will be required to obtain a Dutch driving licence (rijbewijs).

  • For EU and EFTA countries, licences are valid for 10 or 15 years from the date of issue. You can continue to drive in the Netherlands using this licence for up to 15 years, as long as it is still valid. If this driving licence is about to expire while you are living in the Netherlands, you will need to exchange it for a Dutch driving licence.

  • For all other countries (including the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba), foreign driving licences are valid for six months (185 days) from the date you register at your local municipality.

Learn more about the conditions for using your foreign driving licence in the Netherlands.

How can I exchanging my foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence?

You can exchange your driving licence for a Dutch driving licence if you meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • You live in the Netherlands and are registered with your local municipality

  • You are from the EU, the EEA, Switzerland OR are from a country with a special agreement OR you have been awarded the 30% ruling

  • You have a valid residence permit (not required if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland)

  • Your current driving licence is valid

  • Your current driving licence, if issued in a country outside the EU, was issued after being a resident of that country for at least 185 days

You can apply to exchange your driving licence at your local municipality. They submit your application to the Government Road Transportation Agency (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW) and the appraisal process takes approximately two weeks. You are not permitted to drive while your application is being processed.

If you live in Amsterdam, learn more about exchanging your driving licence with the City of Amsterdam.

If you do not meet these conditions you cannot exchange your driving icence for a Dutch one. This means you will need to take a standard theory and practical test at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR). Please note: some parts of the CBR website are also available in English, and theory and practical tests can take place in English.

Certificate of Fitness

As part of your application to exchange your driving licence, you may be asked to provide a certificate of fitness (verklaring van geschiktheid), proving you are physically and psychologically fit to drive a vehicle. The certificate can be obtained by applying online via the CBR website or from IN Amsterdam.

International driving licence

When you are in possession of a Dutch or EU driving licence, you are also able to purchase an international driving licence. You can buy an international driving licence booklet from the ANWB (website in Dutch). They make an official booklet with your personal information and a stamp. It is valid for one or three years (subject to a fee). Please note that for specific countries the international driving licence is not enough and additional documents may be required. Before travelling outside of the EU, it is good to check if you need an international driving licence or other paperwork in order to legally drive.

IN Amsterdam Partners

See a full list of IN Amsterdam partners, including driving schools in Amsterdam.