Under certain conditions, you can exchange your foreign license for a Dutch driving license, without taking a driving test in the Netherlands.
You can exchange your driving license for a Dutch license if you meet the following five conditions:
- You live in the Netherlands and you are registered with your local municipality.
- You are from the EU, the EEA, Switzerland OR from a country with a special agreement* OR you qualify for the 30% ruling.
- You have a valid residence permit OR you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
- Your current driving license is valid.
- Your current driving license is issued in the EU OR issued after being a resident of that country for at least 185 days.
You have to meet all of the conditions written above (including living in the Netherlands and being registered with the city) to exchange your driving license. If you don’t meet these conditions, your license cannot be exchanged for a Dutch driving licence. That means you will need to take a theory exam and practical driving test at the Dutch national driver testing centre, the ‘CBR’.
How to exchange your driving license
Exchanging your driving license is a process that requires several steps. In order to exchange your foreign driving licence call your local municipal office to make an appointment: +31 (0)10 267 1625.
As soon as you receive this certificate of fitness, you can return to the municipal office, where you will submit:
- Your original, valid foreign driving licence (if applicable: with translation, if not already in English/French or German). If you lost this document, please read here how to continue the procedure.
- The certificate of fitness (verklaring van geschiktheid) from the CBR.
- One recent passport photograph of yourself.
- The exchange form, which has been partially filled in by you and partially by a civil servant from the municipal office.
- If you have a driving licence which is printed in a non-Latin alphabet (for example Japanese or Greek): a translation of the driving licence concerned, notarised by a sworn interpreter, the embassy or the consulate.
As soon as the municipal fees for exchanging your foreign driving license (€ 38.90 in 2016) have been paid, the municipal office will send the entire application to the RDW for evaluation. If the application is granted, the RDW will send a letter to your home address within two to three weeks that you can collect your driving license at the Rotterdam city hall. You are not permitted to drive while your application is being processed.
Note that the RDW sends your foreign licence back to the country where it was issued; that means you won’t be able to keep your foreign licence if you apply for a Dutch one.
Certificate of Aptitude
In some cases, the CBR may ask for a “Certificate of Aptitude” in addition to the health form before processing an application. This may be the case when:
- Issuing a Dutch licence for the first time
- Exchanging a licence issued by certain countries
- Processing an application submitted by diplomatic or consular staff or their families
- The applicant is older than 65 years of age and certain medical implications are involved
More information on the Certificate of Aptitude can be obtained from the CBR, your local city hall, or the RDW. For more information on driving tests or to apply for the test, please contact CBR, telephone +31 (0)70 413 01 00.
*Driving licences issued in the following countries can be exchanged, but only if they are valid for the stated categories:
- Taiwan – B (passenger vehicle)
- Israel – B (passenger vehicle)
- Japan – AB (passenger vehicle and motorcycle in excess of 400 cc)
- Singapore – AB (passenger vehicle and motorcycle in excess of 400 cc)
- Andorra – B (passenger vehicle)
- South Korea – B driving license
- Canadian province Quebec (Class 5) – B (passenger vehicle)
- Aruba – all categories
- Netherlands Antilles – all categories
- Jersey – all categories
- Isle of Man – all categories
- Monaco – all categories