Passing the Belgian Driving Test

Details on the theory and practical tests needed to obtain a Belgian driving licence…

The information below is a basic guide to the process, and what to expect when applying for and taking a Belgian driving test.

In order to obtain a Belgian driving licence, a driver must fulfil a number of conditions:

  • Pass a theory examination
  • Pass a practical examination
  • Declare that they have not been banned from driving or that they have passed a reintegration test
  • Declare that they have no physical disabilities or afflictions. This declaration may be replaced by a compulsory medical examination

The theory and practical examinations must be undertaken at a recognised examination centre. It is not compulsory to have lessons with a recognised school. Certain residency conditions must also be satisfied. Anyone sitting the theory examination must be registered either in their commune or on the aliens' register and must be in possession of one of a number of recognised residency documents, such as a residency permit.

Categories of Licence

Belgium has different categories of licence depending on the type of vehicle to be driven. Anyone applying for a first licence may apply for one or more of four categories only:

  • Category A3: scooters/mopeds
  • Category A: motorcycles
  • Category B: cars
  • Category G: agricultural vehicles

Training, instruction and examination for drivers applying for a category B licence underwent a radical overhaul in 2006. The emphasis is now much more on experience.

The Tests

Both the theory and the practical test must take place at an official test centre, in either French or Dutch.

  • Find contact details for official test centres in Belgium to take the driving tests in French
  • Find contact details for official test centres for driving tests in Dutch
  • New Traffic Books publishes a book in English on the theory and exercises to be learned in order to obtain a driving license in Belgium (updates to the book made available online as PDFs): Click here

The theory test: getting a provisional licence

The theory examination can be taken from age 17 onwards and there is no restriction on the number of attempts. Note that the examination is in Dutch and French only, although it is possible to have an accredited translator present during the theory test.

Candidates must bring proof of identity, and must pay a small fee.

To pass the exam, candidates must answer 41 out of 50 questions correctly and must have replied correctly to all the questions regarding serious driving offences. The theory test is valid for three years. Following the theory test the candidate has an eye test. Only on successful completion of the theory test may a candidate move on to the practical test.

Having passed the theory test, the new driver receives a certificate, which is given to their local authority. They will then be issued with a provisional driving licence (Permis de Conduire Provisoire, PCP/Voorlopig Rijbewijs, VRB), which is valid for either 18 or 36 months, depending on the type of training chosen.

Provisional licences come in four types, and are issued according to age and how the driver is being taught:

  • The 18-month PCP/VRB is for those taking lessons with a driving school
  • The 36-month PCP/VRB is for those who choose to learn accompanied by an adult (who must have held a valid category B licence for at least eight years)

The validity period of the provisional licence also depends on the type of licence, and the learner may have anything from three to eighteen months to take the practical test.

The practical test

The practical examination is open to over 18s who hold a valid provisional licence. Failure of the practical test on two occasions means a compulsory session of six hours training with a driving school before the test can be taken again.

The practical test is similar to that in all EU countries and lasts a minimum of 40 minutes.

Take the following documents to the test:

  • Proof of identity
  • Provisional driving licence
  • Proof of identity and driving licence of the accompanying person
  • Proof of payment of the fee
  • Registration documents of the vehicle
  • Proof of insurance

Note: Photocopies are not accepted.

Following successful completion of the practical test, the candidate must take the certificate, two passport photographs and proof of identity to the Town Hall (Maison Communale/Stadhuis) in their place of residence in order to be issued with a full driving licence.