Transport a vehicle through the Netherlands

If you want to drive a vehicle through the Netherlands, from one country to the other, without carrying a Dutch license number you need a transition license number. This article describes how to apply for it, and what the conditions and costs are.

About the transition license number

A transition license number is used when transporting a vehicle that has never had a (Dutch) license number. You can arrange transition of vehicles throughout Europe, and beyond, by using a transition license number certificate. The license number is not only valid in the Netherlands, but anywhere in the world.
A transition license number:

  • Is valid for 14 days.
  • Can also be used at a later stage, to reregister abroad.
  • Can be registered in the name of a foreign person.
  • From 1 April 2015, a new transit vehicle license registration certificate is issued in the Netherlands.The document has high-quality safety features that should make it hard to duplicate the document.

You can apply for a transition license number in the following way:

  1. Make an appointment by phone to have a technical inspection of your vehicle at a RDW inspection station.
  2. In order to drive from your home to the inspection station, and back, you can use a one-day license number (free of charge). You can apply for it when making an appointment.
  3. RDW does an identity check and if the vehicle does not have an approved periodic inspection report from another EU country, the technical status is also checked. This check involves testing several periodic inspection requirements. You can get a list of test items at an RDW inspection station.
  4. At the inspection, you need to prove identity by showing a passport, an identity card, or a Dutch driving license. If the transition license number needs to be registered to a company name (legal entity), the authorized person needs to prove identity and provide a copy of the Chamber of Commerce registration (which is no older than 1 year). Transition license numbers cannot be registered to foreign legal entities. The transition license number is registered to the person (private person) offering the vehicle for inspection on behalf of the company.
  5. If the vehicle is inspected before 1 PM, the license number certificate is sent in the afternoon using 24 hour mail. RDW always sends the transition license number to a Dutch address. Foreign applicants need to provide a Dutch correspondence address.
  6. Have registration plates (white background and black letters) manufactured at a recognized registration plate manufacturer based on your transition license number certificate.

Documents needed for your application

In order to prove where the vehicle comes from, you need to take several documents to the inspection station. Which documents are involved depends on whether the vehicle has been registered within or outside of the EU at an earlier stage. Please contact RDW for this.

Vehicle conditions

In order to be eligible to receive a transition license number, the vehicle needs to be in the Netherlands. The license number is not intended for transport of vehicles from abroad to the Netherlands. All transition vehicles always need to meet so-called permanent requirements when being on the Dutch roads (like any other vehicle).
There can be no application for a transition license number for the vehicle in the last 3 months.


The costs of applying for a transition license number depend on the type of vehicle and the presence of foreign periodic vehicle inspection documents.

Transition license number costs involve the costs of the following aspects:

  • inspection
  • license number certificate
  • registration plates. The price of registration plates is determined by the registration plate manufacturer. Therefore, it can vary from one supplier to the other.
  • possible additional periodic vehicle inspection costs.
  • Rates are determined on a yearly basis. Inspection costs and the costs related to the license number certificate are settled at the inspection station.

    If you want to export a vehicle with a Dutch registration number, please read the article ‘Exporting a vehicle with a Dutch registration number’