Driving with a foreign driver's license

Persons with a driver's license obtained outside of the EU / EEA / Switzerland can continue to use this driver's license for a maximum duration of 185 days. Here is some more important information regarding foreign driver's licenses: 

  • Holders of a foreign driver's license issued by one of the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries can drive in the Netherlands for a period of 15 years (or if it is valid for a shorter period of 15 years, until the expiration date). When it does expire, you can exchange your foreign driver's license for a Dutch one at your local city Hall. 

  • If you have a valid driver's license that was issued in a country that is not an EU/EFTA member state or former Netherlands Antillen/ Aruba, you can still use it for 185 days after you took up residence in the Netherlands. After this period, you may only drive in the Netherlands with a Dutch driver's license . 

  • A driver's license issued by one of EU or EFTA countries and certain Non-European countries can be exchanged for a Dutch driver's license . When you have been granted the 30% ruling your foreign valid driver's license can be exchanged for a Dutch one, without having to pass a Dutch Driving test. This also applies for the spouse of the foreign national with a 30% ruling. In order to obtain the Dutch driver's license you will need to get an approval of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (‘Belastingdienst’). 

For more information about driving with a foreign driver’s license check the website of the Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW, (Department of Road of Transport)

Exchanging your driver's license  

  • If you are a highly skilled migrant who is benefitting from the 30% Tax Ruling, then you and your family can exchange your driver's license(s) for a Dutch driver's license. This is regardless of your home country. First get a een verklaring van geschiktheid/ gezondheidsverklaring’ (state of capability) at the CBR (Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing),  through DigiD. After getting the results of the CBR, you can exchange the driver’s license at the city hall together with the proof of 30% ruling, passport, current driver’s license and passport photo. 

  • An international driver's license is only an authenticated translation of your driver's license and cannot be exchanged for a Dutch driver's license. 

  • Be aware that your current (foreign) driver’s license will not be returned back to you. You will only get the Dutch one. 

For more information about exchanging your driver’s license check the website of the municipality of Eindhoven and also of the RDW.

Official Partners: Formalities