Driving license

If you are living in The Netherlands and are intending to drive, you must hold a valid driving license a Dutch resident is considered as someone who has an address in The Netherlands and spends at least 185 days a year residing in the Netherlands. You are allowed to drive a car in The Netherlands if you are 18 or older, to drive a moped you must be at least 16 years old. 

There are different regulations for EU citizens and non-EU citizens when it comes to the driving license that you hold.


EU citizens
If you have a valid driving license issued by a EU country or Switzerland, it remains valid for up to 10 years when you move to The Netherlands. You are of course, allowed to change your license for a Dutch one during this period. If there is a gap of more than 10 years between the date of issue of your driving license of your ‘home country’ and the registration date when you moved to the Netherlands and the license happens to still be valid, then you are allowed to continue driving with your foreign driving license for the first year (of entering the Netherlands). After this year has passed, you will be required to apply for a Dutch driving license.


Non-EU citizens
A driving license that was issued outside the EU or Switzerland has limited validity of the first 185 days in the Netherlands. After this time you are required to exchange this foreign license for a Dutch license, this can achieved by submitting your application at the municipality (gemeente). You can also obtain a Dutch driving license, for which you will have to pass a theory and practical driving test.


RDW is the ministerial body that looks after driving licenses, car registration and importation of cars, you are advised to visit www.rdw.nl for up to date information and further points of reference.



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