Find out how to exchange an American, Canadian, New Zealand or Australian driving licence and what to do if you licence isn't valid for exchange...
Exchange agreements exist with certain countries and states (Australia, the United States and Canada), whereby a valid licence may be exchanged, providing this is done within the first year of legal residency in Belgium. Enquire at the local Consulate or Embassy to find out about qualifying for an exchange.
Drivers holding licences issued by a non-EU member state without an exchange agreement with Belgium may legally drive on their licence for the first year of legal residency. After that, their licence becomes invalid and must be surrendered to the local authorities. When the licence may not be exchanged, a full Belgian theory and practical driving exam must be passed and a Belgian licence will be issued.
Non-EU citizens should check the validity of their driving licence with their embassy before departure.
Further information on exchanging a driving licence is available from:
- Ministry of Communications - Driving Licence Department
At: Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, 1040 Brussels
Tel: 02 287 44 36 / 02 287 44 34
Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and US citizens
Belgium has agreed to the mutual recognition of certain driving licences.
Australian driving licences
can now be exchanged at the local authorities without taking a driving test. The Australian licence will be held by the authorities and may be retrieved upon leaving Belgium permanently.
People under the age of 18 with a valid US driver's license
may not drive in Belgium until they are 18. After this point, the US license becomes valid. US driving licences do not need to be exchanged if staying less than 90 days in the country. Once a holder of a US-issued license becomes resident in Belgium, the licence must be exchanged at the local authorities in their place of residence.
The following will be required:
- Current driving licence with a certificate of authenticity (available from the US Embassy or Consulate)
- Two passport photographs
- Proof of residency
- Details from the US Embassy in Brussels on: Driver's licence information
The situation for holders of Canadian licences
is currently under review, with some provinces having a driver's licence recognition agreement with Belgium, while others do not.
Residents of Belgium with a New Zealand licence
may exchange the "full" photograph driving licence for a category B Belgian driving licence. Contact the local authorities in the commune of residence.