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Driving in the Netherlands

Find important information regarding driving in the Netherlands here.


Are you planning on driving in the Netherlands? The unique rules, regulations and signs in the Netherlands might be unfamiliar. Most importantly: we drive on the right side of the road. Secondly: if you intend to drive a motor vehicle in the Netherlands, you should check carefully whether or not your driving license is valid in the Netherlands. This depends on the country where the license was issued.

Arriving in the Netherlands one quickly recognises that the road environment is different than in other countries. To participate safely in Dutch traffic, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management listed which rules are in play, what signs are unique and how to comply, especially as a driver of a motorised vehicle: Participating in Dutch Traffic | Report |

Your license was issued in EU/EFTA 

If you have a driving licence that was issued  in one of the countries of the EU or the EFTA, then you can carry on driving with your foreign driving licence for up to 15 years after the issue date. However, this is on the condition that your driving licence is still valid when registering in The Netherlands. If the validity of the driving licence expires before 15 years after its issue date, you must exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving license.

Driving licence issued outside EU/ EFTA 

If you have a valid driving license that was issued outside the EU or the EFTA, or in the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, you can use your license for another 185 days after becoming a resident in the Netherlands. During that period, you must obtain a Dutch driving license.
Find out more about the validity of your foreign license at the RDW website. Under certain conditions, you can exchange your license for a Dutch license. Read here how to meet these conditions and how to apply for a Dutch driving license.

Want to get a Dutch license? 

If you (or your dependents) want to get a Dutch license, you have to arrange a practical and theoretical test at the CBR. The tests are available in English as well. There are many different driving schools that can teach you to drive, or freshen up your experience a bit if needed.

Riding on a moped 

If you prefer to drive a moped, please note that a driving license for a car (B) or a motor bike (A) is needed. If you don’t have either of these licenses, you need to get a special moped license, “the AM category” on your driving license. Driving a moped is allowed from 16 years and up.

Car sharing

If you don’t want to own a car, but you want to have access to a car now and then, Greenwheels might be a good alternative for a car for you. Greenwheels has a fleet of shared cars parked in 1,700 easily accessible locations throughout the Netherlands. You can pick up and return a car whenever it suits you, paying per hour and kilometre. You don’t pay for gas or maintenance of the car. Find out more on the Greenwheels website.