Exchanging a foreign driving licence
You can only exchange the foreign driving licence in the following cases:
- You are registered in the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP/Personal records database).
- You have a valid ID or residence permit.
- Your driving licence is issued in a member country of the European Union (EU), or in a country that is member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) or in a country with which the Netherlands signed an agreement. You can find an overview of these countries under "Countries suitable for exchange". Do you have a driving licence from a country we do not have an agreement with, but in the past you have had a Dutch driving licence that was valid after June 30, 1985? Then it is possible to exchange your driving licence. You will then get back the same categories you had on your Dutch driving licence.
- Are you in the Netherlands for work (highly skilled migrant)? Then you also may be eligible to exchange your driving licence. See "You are in the Netherlands for work".
- Has your driving licence been issued in a country that is not a member of the EU/EFTA? In that case, you can only exchange your driving licence if you have lived in the issuing country for at least 185 days in the year in which the driving licence was issued.
- The driving licence must be valid. An EU driving licence may be expired. Do you have an expired driving licence from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland? Then you must send an additional statement.
- Have you lost your driving licence? See the "Driving licence lost or stolen" page to find out what to do.
This is what you need
Take these documents with you to the municipality:
- A colour passport photo. See the photo matrix for the requirements.
- Your foreign driving licence. Do you have a driving licence that has characters that are not used in the Netherlands, such as in Japanese or Greek? You must have the driving licence translated by a certified translator, the Embassy or the Consulate.
- Do you still have an old Dutch driving licence? Take this with you.
- Are you in the Netherlands for work? In that case, take the 30% Evidence decision of the Tax and Customs Administration with you. For more information, see "You are in the Netherlands for work".
- Sometimes you need a health certificate from CBR. For example, if you have a truck driving licence or if you are over a certain age. For more information, go to the website of CBR.
Additional documents if driving licence is from a country outside EU/EFTA
You can only exchange a driving licence from a country outside the EU/EFTA if you have lived in the country where the licence was issued for at least 185 days in the year the licence was issued. You can demonstrate this to the municipality by showing, for example, a copy of your passport (including the blank pages) or an employer's statement with payslips or tax papers.
Additional documents if driving licence is expired and issued in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland
Do you have an expired driving licence from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland? Bring an original certificate of the issuing authority stating that they do not object to the issue of a Dutch driving licence.
Go to the municipality
To exchange your driving licence, go to the municipality where you are registered.
- See 'What you need to know first' to see which documents you need. Take these documents to the municipality where you are registered.
- Tell the officer of the municipality that you want to exchange your foreign driving licence and fill in the application form.
- Your municipality will forward your application and all the documents to us. Only the municipality can file the application with us.
- Is everything OK? Then we will send you a letter within 10 working days. The letter informs you when you can collect your Dutch driving licence at the town hall.
- We always send the foreign driving licence back to the country that issued the driving licence. This is required by law. So you will not get it back.
Is your driving licence issued in a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)? Then you may be able to exchange your foreign driving licence.
Other countries suitable for exchange
The Netherlands has signed an agreement with a number of countries that are not a member of the EU or EFTA. These countries comply with the Directive on European driving licences (2006/126/EC). These are the only countries that are not a member of the EU/EFTA from which a foreign driving licence can be exchanged for a Dutch driving licence. The only exception to this is when you come to the Netherlands for work. See 'You are in the Netherlands for work'.
You can only exchange your driving licence if it is valid for the categories listed in the table under 'Category' for that country.
Country Driving licence Vehicle Category Andorra Passengers car Dutch driving licence category B Canadian province of Alberta Class 5 Dutch driving licence category B Canadian province of Québec Class 5 Dutch driving licence category B Gibraltar All categories United Kingdom All categories Guernsey All categories Israel B Passengers car Dutch driving licence category B Japan 1B Passenger car and motorcycle with more than 400 cm3 Dutch driving licence category A and B Jersey All categories Man All categories Monaco All categories North Ireland All categories Singapore Class 2 Class 3
Motor cycle with more than 400 cm3 Passenger car
Dutch driving licence category A and B Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) B Passengers car Dutch driving licence category B Former Netherlands Antilles
(Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten)
All categories South Korea Second class ordinary licence Dutch driving licence category B
Are you in the Netherlands for work (highly skilled migrant)? The 30% facility of the Tax and Customs Administration may apply to you. If that is the case, you can exchange your foreign driving licence (from any country) for a Dutch driving licence. This is only possible if the foreign driving licence is still valid.
If that is the case, you can apply for a Dutch driving licence if you have a valid ‘30% Evidence Decision’ (certificate) of the Tax and Customs Administration. You apply for this certificate together with your employer.
You do not need one or more of the category entitlements listed on your driving licence anymore? You can waive entitlement to these categories. To do so, you fill in a waiver form.
Get category entitlements back
The category entitlements you waived are not lost forever. You can get the entitlement to these categories back when you renew your driving licence. You will need a valid Medical Fitness Certificate for that.
During the time it takes to exchange your driving licence, you are not allowed to drive on the public road. If you do this anyway, you can be fined. You must be able to show your driving licence during a roadside check.
You cannot exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence? Then you have to take a theory and practical test with CBR to get a Dutch driving licence.