Moving to the Netherlands and bringing your vehicle

If you are moving to the Netherlands from abroad and bringing your vehicle, you can continue driving your vehicle using the foreign license number for a certain period. You can inquire about the details of this period at the Dutch tax authorities (Belastingdienst). In the end, you need to make sure your vehicle has a Dutch license number. You can apply for it at RDW. You can read more about this in this article.

If you are moving from a European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member state, the RDW application procedure for a license number is different from when you are moving to the Netherlands from a non-EU or non-EFTA country.

Wat kunt u doen?

You are moving from an EU or EFTA country

If your vehicle has a license number of an EU or EFTA country, you can read how to apply for a Dutch license number in the article ‘Apply for Dutch license number for vehicle from EU/EFTA'.

Information is different for mopeds. Please contact RDW.

You are moving from a non-EU or non-EFTA country

If you are moving from a non-EU or non-EFTA country, your vehicle needs to be checked by RDW when applying for a Dutch license number. The vehicle needs to meet road safety, noise, environmental, and window illuminating feature requirements (if applicable). These are the so-called permanent requirements that are part of the Regeling voertuigen Decree.

What do you have to do

If the license number needs to be registered to your name, you and your vehicle need to go to RDW. You can take the following steps in order to get a Dutch license number certificate and registration plates with your vehicle:

  1. Make an appointment by phone to get an inspection at a RDW inspection station. 
  2. Take your car and go to the inspection station to have the inspection done.
  3. Hand in the documents mentioned further on in this article.
  4. (If applicable) File for motor vehicle and motorcycle tax (BPM). How and where to do this can be found on the tax authorities (Belastingdienst) website.
  5. Pay inspection and license number costs at the inspection station in cash or by debit card. Costs can be found at the bottom of this page.
  6. After approval by Belastingdienst and RDW, you receive a license number certificate in a credit card format (also called license number card) from RDW within 4 working days. Besides, you receive a letter including a registration code. This is a 9-digit code, which you need to sell the vehicle, for instance. It is important to keep the registration code safe and separate from the license number certificate.
    If your vehicle needs to have periodic inspection, you also receive a periodic vehicle inspection report. This report and the license number certificate are sent separately by RDW.
  7. After receiving the license number certificate by RDW, you need to have registration plates manufactured Documentat a recognized registration plate manufacturer (pdf, 668kb) and to get third party insurance (WA) for your vehicle at a Dutch insurance company. As from that moment you need to pay motor vehicle and motorcycle tax to the tax authorities. Automatically, they send you a bill to pay these taxes (this does not apply to mopeds and caravans/trailers weighing no more than 750 kg).

    If you are no longer allowed to drive your vehicle in the Netherlands carrying your foreign license number, you can apply for a one-day license number at RDW (free of charge). Please contact RDW. You can use this license to drive to and from the inspection station on the day of the inspection. You need to apply for it in time, however.

Conditions

If you want the license number registered to your name, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • You are 18 years of age or older (16 years old in case of a moped) and you are registered in the municipal personal records database (BRP);
  • The tax authorities need to qualify the vehicle as a removable article imported on transfer of residence;
  • You appear in person.

Documents needed for the inspection

You need to provide the following documents in order to get an inspection at RDW:

  • the full foreign license number certificate;
  • a note on the import document (or a copy thereof). It has been indicated on the import document, by the tax authorities, that it involves a removable article. Please contact the tax authorities for details;
  • a valid identity card.