Importing a car from a EU/EFTA country

Did you buy a car in another EU or EFTA country and do you want to drive it in the Netherlands? Import your car with us and apply for a Dutch registration number.
  • If you apply for a Dutch registration number, the following applies:

    • You are at least 18 years old.
    • You live in the Netherlands (you are registered in the BRP). Do you want the registration number registered to your company? Then the company must be located in the Netherlands. A registration number cannot be registered to a sole proprietorship.
    • You bring the car  to the RDW inspection station yourself. The application cannot be filed by somebody else.

    Trailer must be unladen

    Your trailer must be unladen at the time of inspection. We may weigh your trailer to determine its ‘unladen weight’.

    Conversion of foreign vehicle approval
    Does your car still have a valid foreign vehicle approval (APK/PTI)? Then we can take over the expiration date if:

    • You show proof at the inspection. Proof can be: an original vehicle inspection (APK) report, an indication on the submitted registration certificate or a sticker on the foreign number plate.
    • The foreign vehicle inspection (APK) was done in an EU or EFTA country (in the same country as where the vehicle was registered).

    Please note: You will not receive a Dutch APK report. We only record the expiry date in the vehicle register. In the Netherlands, you do not need to have the inspection report with you when you are on the road.   

    Left-hand drive vehicle

    Do you have a car from a country using right-hand traffic? Then the car must have mirrors and lighting for left-hand traffic. You pay extra for checking this. 

    Year of construction prior to 1978
    Are you importing a car manufactured before 1-1-1978? Then we need more time to check the registration. It often happens that we cannot simply copy the foreign data from these vehicles. You pay a higher fee for this. 

    1. Make an appointment at an RDW inspection station via the 'Make an inspection appointment' button (only available in Dutch). You log in with DigiD or eHerkenning.
    2. Bring your vehicle. Are you driving to us? Then apply for a one-day registration number after making your inspection appointment. Read more information under 'One-day registration plate'.
    3. Also bring the following:
      •  the complete original foreign registration certificate (you will not get this back, make a copy for your vehicle tax return (BPM)
      • your ID
      • Certificate of Conformity (CoC). You are not obliged to bring this document with you.
    4. Does your vehicle still have a valid foreign approval certificate (APK) and do you want us to convert it? Please let us know when you report to our desk. For the conditions, see 'What you need to know first'.
    5. We identify the vehicle and assess the documents. Is everything OK? Then we enter the data in the Dutch vehicle register.
    6. You pay the costs.
    7. You file a return for vehicle tax (BPM). How and where you can do this, is explained on the website of the Tax Administration.
    8. After approval by us and the tax authorities, we will send you a new registration certificate within 5 working days. One working day later we will send you a letter with a complete registration code. Has the foreign APK been taken over? Then your foreign report remains valid. In that case, you will not receive a Dutch report. We record the expiry date in the vehicle register. The APK inspection was done by us? You will then receive a Dutch report.
    9. Insure your vehicle for Civil Liability (WA). You will automatically receive an invoice for motor vehicle tax from the Tax Authorities. For more information, see Vehicle obligations.
    10. Have registration number plates made by a recognised number plate manufacturer. Take the registration certificate with you. You can find a recognised number plate manufacturer with the RDW location guide (only available in Dutch).
  • You don't have a valid foreign APK certificate and have you not had an APK inspection done by us? Immediately after receipt of the registration certificate, have the APK inspection done by a garage in your area. If you do this later, you will be fined. You can find the amount of the fine here (only available in Dutch).
    • We do not look at the technical condition of the car during the inspection. Are you importing a damaged car and/or do we see that the car poses a risk to road safety or the environment? In that case, we will issue a registration number plate, which we will immediately declare invalid. We also take a photo of the car and register the condition in which the car was imported into the Netherlands. You are no longer allowed to drive the car on public roads. After repair, have the car inspected again.
    • Are you moving to the Netherlands and are you taking your car with you as 'relocated goods'? Apply for a permit for exemption from the BPM from the Tax Authorities. For more information, go to 'Moving to the Netherlands and taking your vehicle with you'.
    • Has your car already had a Dutch registration number in the past? Then the car will have the same registration number back after it has been imported into the Netherlands. You do have to have new registration number plates made. These show the registration number with a number above the first bar (duplicate code). This is necessary because registration number plates have been issued previously and the registration number has been invalid. This helps to prevent fraud with registration number plates.
  • Description Cost
    Identification of a light vehicle €51,00
    Registration certificate €40,80
    Registration in a person's name via the RDW €10,75
    Recycling fee €25,00

    Please note: Has your vehicle been modified? Then you will be charged the cost for 'Approval of modified vehicles' (only available in Dutch).

    From May 1, 2021, you will pay a recycling fee when importing a car/light commercial vehicle (up to 3500 kg). This will apply also for vehicles that had a Dutch license plate in the past. We will transfer this amount to Autorecycling Netherlands.

     
  • If you have a car, commercial car or camper registered to your (company) name, you must meet a number of obligations.

    1. Insurance
    2. APK (Periodic Technical Inspection)
    3. Motor vehicle tax
    4. Correct registration number plates

    Insurance

    A car, commercial car or camper must be insured from the moment it is registered in your name (in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Act (WAM)).

    You can take out liability insurance with an insurance company. This must be an insurance company authorised to make entries in the RDW's insurance register. This usually means that it has to be a Dutch company.

    When you take out the insurance, the insurance company asks you for the reporting code. This reporting code consists of the last 4 digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find the reporting code on the vehicle log book that you received when you bought the vehicle and on the registration card.

    APK (Periodic Technical Inspection)

    A car, commercial car or camper must be APK inspected (APK meaning Periodic Technical Inspection).

    Motor vehicle tax (MRB)

    You have to pay motor vehicle tax (MRB). When you register a vehicle registration certificate in your name, you automatically file a motor vehicle tax return at the same time. The Tax and Customs Administration will send you automatically an invoice for motor vehicle tax.

    For more information on motor vehicle tax, go to the site of the Tax and Customs Administration.

    Do you have a classic vehicle? You may be eligible for the tax arrangement for classic vehicles. Under this arrangement of the Tax and Customs Administration, you do not pay vehicle tax for your classic vehicle. However, you do have to comply with the insurance obligation and the APK obligation. 

    For more information about the classic vehicle arrangement, ("oldtimerregeling") go to the site of the Tax and Customs Administration.

    Registration number plates

    You must have the correct registration number plates on your (camping/commercial) car.

    Suspend vehicle obligations

    You can suspend the obligations that come with owning a (camping/commercial) car by taking the vehicle "off the road". This is called suspension.

    Fines after routine checks of registered particulars

    We check the insurance register and the inspection register daily. This way we can immediately see whether a vehicle is insured and APK-approved. Each vehicle is checked in both registers at least once a year (100 percent check). We perform these checks on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Security.
     
    If your car is not insured, you will be fined by the Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB) in Leeuwarden. If your car is not APK approved, you will also be fined by the CJIB. The Tax and Customs Administration checks via the vehicle register whether you have to pay motor vehicle tax (MRB) for your vehicle. If you do not pay (on time), you will be fined by the Tax and Customs Administration.

    Amount of the fine

    You can find the amount of the fine here (only available in Dutch). 

  • We do not issue a registration number for a car you drive from abroad to the Netherlands. Ask abroad about the possibilities there.
    You can also transport the vehicle on a trailer or car ambulance. Are you driving the vehicle with the foreign registration number plates and the valid foreign registration certificate to us? Keep in mind that you will not get back the foreign registration certificate. After you have been with us, you are no longer permitted to drive the vehicle on public roads. So apply for a free one-day registration plate from us.
    For more information, see 'One-day registration plate'. After you received the Dutch registration certificate, you may use the vehicle (again).
  • If you have a vehicle without a Dutch registration number inspected by us, you can transport it by car ambulance to the inspection station. Would you rather drive the vehicle to us yourself? Then you need a one-day registration certificate. You can apply for this registration certificate (free of charge) using DigiD or eHerkenning.

    Conditions for a one-day registration plate

    • You can only apply for a one-day registration plate if you make an inspection appointment at the same time.
    • Only valid on the day of inspection.
    • Only valid in the Netherlands.             

    It works like this

    1. You made an inspection appointment. 
    2. You log in with your DigiD or eHerkenning by clicking the button 'Apply for a one-day registration certificate'. (only available in Dutch)
    3. After you entered the requested information, you will receive a confirmation of the application by e-mail. This e-mail has a link to your one-day registration certificate and provides additional information.
    4. The registration number must be put on registration number plates on your vehicle. You are allowed to make these white registration number plates yourself (from cardboard, for example). You put the registration number on these plates with a black marker that cannot be erased. The registration number plates must be legible in bad weather.
    5. On the day of the inspection, you are allowed to drive with the one-day registration number from the Dutch address where the vehicle is located to the inspection station and back.
    6. Your vehicle must be insured in the Netherlands on the day of the inspection and must be safe to drive.
    7. You must have a printout of the one-day registration certificate with you when you drive on a public road.
    8. You can use the RDW vehicle app as an extra. Go to ‘Eendagskentekenbewijs (One-day registration certificate) on the  RDW vehicle app’ how this works (only available in Dutch).                       

    Not online

    Are you unable to apply for the one-day registration certificate online? You can also apply for it by contacting our Customer service.

  • England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are no longer part of the EU. Are you buying a vehicle from one of these countries? For more information, go to ‘importing a car from a country outside the EU or EFTA'.  
  • Private individual

    As a private individual, you must use one of the following valid documents to provide proof of your identity:

    • Dutch driving licence showing your date of birth
    • Dutch passport showing your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Dutch identity card showing your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Identity card or driving licence issued by an EU or EFTA country showing your date of birth
    • Diplomatic passport
    • Dutch travel document for foreign nationals
    • Dutch travel document for refugees
    • Service passport
    • Foreign passport

    Please note: you cannot use a residence permit or residence document to have a vehicle registered in your name.

    No Dutch citizen service number (BSN) on your identity document?

    If your Dutch citizen service number (BSN) is not shown on your identity document, you should also bring an extract from the municipal Personal Records Database (BRP). The extract can be obtained from your municipality and must be no more than 3 months old. Do request an extract that shows your citizen service number (BSN), as municipalities do not issue these automatically.
    If you have a diplomatic passport,  you may also submit a declaration from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (no more than 3 months old) showing your citizen service number (BSN).

    Company

    As the authorised signatory of a company, you must use one of following valid documents to prove your identity:

    • Dutch driving licence or Dutch passport showing your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Dutch identity card of the authorised signatory showing your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Identity card or driving licence issued by an EU or EFTA country showing your date of birth
    • Diplomatic passport
    • Dutch travel document for foreign nationals
    • Dutch travel document for refugees
    • Service passport Foreign passport

    Please note: you cannot use a residence permit or residence document to have a vehicle registered in your name.

    Extract from the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce

    In addition to your proof of identity, you must also provide an extract from the  Netherlands Chamber of Commerce register (or a copy). The extract may not be older than 1 year and is not allowed to be obtained from the internet. The extract must show the name of the authorised signatory.

    Sole tradership, partnership or shipping company

    If your company is a sole proprietership, partnership or shipping company, you cannot have the vehicle registered in the name of the company itself.  You can only have it registered in your own name. In this case, you should identify yourself as a private individual.

This webpage is part of an EU quality network