Moving to the Netherlands and bringing your vehicle

If you are moving to the Netherlands from abroad and are taking your vehicle with you, you are only allowed to drive with your foreign registration number for a limited period of time. You can ask the tax administration exactly how long that period is. However, you must ensure that you obtain a Dutch registration number for your vehicle as quick as possible. You can apply for one from the RDW.

Wat kunt u doen?

If you are moving from an  EU  or EFTA  member State, the procedure for applying for a registration number from the RDW is different from that if you are coming to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU or EFTA.

You are moving from an EU or EFTA country

If your vehicle has a registration number from an EU or EFTA country, go to Importing a vehicle from an EU/EFTA country for more information about applying for a Dutch registration number.

You are moving from a country outside the EU or EFTA

If you are moving from a country outside the EU or EFTA, the RDW will have to subject your vehicle to a technical examination for the purposes of applying for a Dutch registration number. The vehicle must comply with road safety requirements: noise, lighting, environment and glazing light transmittance (if applicable). These are the ‘permanent requirements’ that form part of the  Regeling voertuigen (Regulation on vehicles).

Importing a vehicle from a non-EU or non-EFTA country

This is what you need to do to import a vehicle and apply for a Dutch registration number:

  1. Drive the vehicle into the Netherlands. If your foreign registration certificate or number plates are no longer valid, you can apply to the RDW for a one-day registration number free of charge. This allows you to drive from your home to the inspection station and back on the day of the examination. You can apply for the one-day registration number when making an inspection appointment.
  2. To apply for a Dutch registration number, make an inspection appointment with the RDW.
  3. On the agreed day, take your vehicle to the inspection station for the examination.
  4. Bring the complete original foreign registration certificate and your proof of identity plus the import document on which the status of removal item is noted (not older than 12 months). This document must not be older than 12 months (as from the date of issue of the document). If your foreign registration certificate does not contain sufficient data, you may have to provide factory data.
  5. After the inspection, you must declare the vehicle for Taxation of Passenger Cars and Motorcycles (BPM) (does not apply to trailers/caravans). Find out how and where you can do this on the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration’s website.
  6. Pay the fee.
  7. After the RDW and the tax administration have given their approval, the RDW will send you a new registration certificate in credit card format (registration card) within 5 working days. In addition, the RDW will send you a letter with a full registration code one working day later. You will need this code when you sell the vehicle, for example, so keep it safe. From that moment onwards, you are liable for the obligations associated with owning a vehicle.
  8. If your vehicle is subject to APK, you will also receive an APK report. The RDW sends this report and the registration certificate separately.
  9. If you have received the registration certificate from the RDW, you must have registration plates made by an approved registration plate manufacturer and take out third-party liability insurance (Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid, WA) for the vehicle. You will automatically receive an invoice for the motor vehicle tax from the tax administration.


If you need to have the vehicle registered in your name, the following conditions apply to you:

  • You are at least 18 years old (16 years old in the case of mopeds) and are registered with the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP);
  • The tax administration must classify the vehicle as removal goods;
  • You must appear in person.

Removal goods

For the investigation at the RDW, you must bring the import document with you, which includes a note from the tax administration stating that the vehicle is a removal item. This document must not be older than 12 months (as from the date of issue of the document). Please contact the  tax administration for information about this.  


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 10-14 aspects of a light vehicle €85,50
Recycling fee €25,00

As of 1 May 2021, you will have to pay a recycling fee when you import a car/commercial vehicle. We will transfer the amount paid to Autorecycling Netherlands.

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