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 vehicle yourself to the RDW inspection station. The application cannot be filed by somebody else.

    Conversion of foreign vehicle approval

    Does your vehicle still have a valid foreign vehicle approval (APK)? 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 vehicle from a country using right-hand traffic? Then the vehicle 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 vehicle 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.
    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. 8.     
    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 ascription 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 (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 (in Dutch).
    • We do not look at the technical condition of the vehicle during the inspection. Are you importing a damaged vehicle and/or do we see that the vehicle 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 vehicle and register the condition in which the vehicle was imported into the Netherlands. You are no longer allowed to drive the vehicle on public roads. After repair, have the vehicle inspected again.
    • Are you moving to the Netherlands and are you taking your vehicle 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 vehicle already had a Dutch registration number in the past? Then the vehicle 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.
  • Registration in a person's name via the RDW €10,75
    Registration certificate €40,80
    Identification of a light vehicle €51,00
    Approval assessment for fewer than 5 aspects of a light vehicle €28,50
    Approval assessment for 5-9 aspects of a light vehicle €57,00
    Recycling fee €25,00
  • If you have a car, company car or camper registered to your (company) name, you must meet a number of obligations.

    1. Insurance
    2. General periodic inspection (APK)
    3. Vehicle tax Correct
    4. registration number plates  

    Insurance

    A car, company car or camper must be insured from the moment it is registered to 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 that can make entries in the insurance register of the RDW. This usually means that it has to be a Dutch company. The insurance company asks you for the so-called reporting code. This code consists of the last 4 digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). You can find the reporting code on the registration report that you received when you bought the vehicle and also on the registration card. 

    APK

    A car, company car or camper must be APK inspected (APK meaning General Periodic Inspection).           

    Vehicle tax

    You have to pay vehicle tax. When you have a registration certificate registered to your name, you file a motor vehicle tax return at the same time. The Tax Authorities will send you automatically an invoice for motor vehicle tax. For more information on the vehicle tax,  go to the site of the Tax Administration (in Dutch).   Do you have an old-timer? Then you may qualify for the old-timer programme. This is a programme of the Tax Authorities whereby you do not pay road tax for the vehicle. However, you do have to comply with the insurance obligation and the APK obligation. For more information about the old-timer @ scheme, go to the site of the Tax Administration (in Dutch).             

    Registration number plates

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

    Cancel vehicle obligations

    You can cancel the obligations associated with owning a (camping/company) car by taking the vehicle "off the road". This is called suspension.         

    Fines after data check

    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 carry out this investigation on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Security.   If your car is not insured, the Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB) in Leeuwarden will send you a fine. The CJIB will also send you a fine if your car is not APK approved. The Tax Administration checks via the vehicle register whether you have to pay tax for your vehicle. If you do not pay (on time), the Tax Administration will send you a fine.            

    Amount of the fine

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

  • We do not issue a registration number for driving 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 with your DigiD. You do not have a DigiD? Apply for it at www.digid.nl.               

    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 by clicking the button 'Apply for a one-day registration certificate'.
    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. 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 (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.

  • Individuals

    If you apply for the registration number as a private individual, you identify yourself with one of these valid documents:

    • Dutch driving licence with your date of birth on it
    • Dutch passport with your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Dutch identity card with your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Identity card or driving licence from a EU or EFTA country with your date of birth on it
    • Diplomatic passport
    • Dutch travel document for foreign nationals
    • Dutch travel document for refugees
    • Service passport Foreign passport

    Please note: you cannot register a vehicle with a residence permit.                

    No Dutch citizen service number (BSN) on your ID?

    If your Dutch citizen service number is not on your identification document, you must also bring an extract from the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen / BRP). You can obtain the extract from your municipality. The extract must not be older than 3 months. Do ask specifically for an extract with BSN number. Municipalities do not issue this automatically. Do you have a diplomatic passport? Then you may also submit a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (not older than 3 months) stating your citizen service number (BSN).

    Company

    If you apply for the registration number as a company, you (the authorised signatory) identify yourself with one of these valid documents:

    • Dutch driving licence
    • Dutch passport with your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Dutch identity card of you (the authorised signatory) with your citizen service number (BSN)
    • Identity card or driving licence from a EU or EVA country with your date of birth on it
    • Diplomatic passport
    • Dutch travel document for foreign nationals
    • Dutch travel document for refugees
    • Service passport
    • Foreign passport

    Please note: you cannot register a vehicle with a residence permit.               

    Extract of the Chamber of Commerce

    In addition to your identity document, you must submit (a copy of) an extract from the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). The extract may not be older than 1 year and may not be an extract downloaded from the internet. The extract has the name of the authorised signatory.            

    Sole proprietorship, partnership or shipping company

    Is your company a sole proprietorship, partnership or shipping company? Then you cannot register the vehicle to the name of the company. You can only register the vehicle to your own name. In this case, you identify yourself as a private individual. 

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