Procedure for Exchanging a Licence

Driving licences issued in other countries may be valid for use in the Netherlands for a limited period, after which they may be exchanged for a Dutch one...

The following process applies to licences of categories A, B and BE. Exchanging heavy duty and commercial licences require a more complex process.

In order to exchange (omwissel) a foreign driving licence against a Dutch one, go to the local municipal office(gemeentehuis) and apply. The application will be forwarded to the Road Transport Authority. Applications sent directly to the Road Transport Authority will not be processed.

The following documents must be submitted to the municipal office:

  • The original, valid foreign driving licence
  • In some cases, a certificate of fitness (Verklaring van geschiktheid). The local council will be able to advise if this is needed
  • Two identical, recent passport photographs
  • The exchange form, which has been partly filled in by the licence holder and partly by a civil servant from the municipal office (Aanvraag omwisseling voor Nederlands rijbewijs)
  • If benefiting from the 30 percent-ruling (see below) a copy of a statement issued by the Tax Office, providing proof of this

As soon as the municipal fees have been paid, the municipal office will send the entire application to the RDW for evaluation. If the application is granted, the Dutch driving licence will be sent by normal mail within two to three weeks.

Since the original foreign driving licence will be sent to the RDW the person applying is advised to take a photocopy of their original driving licence, together with the request for a Dutch one, otherwise they will be left without any documents.

Return of the original driving licence

EU citizens will forfeit their original licence when exchanging it for a Dutch one, unless they covered by the 30 percent rule. Non-European Union nationals benefiting from the 30 percent ruling will have their original licence sent to their address in the Netherlands.

Non-EU citizens who do not receive the 30 percent ruling cannot apply to exchange their driving licence for a Dutch one and are advised to obtain a Dutch driving licence. Their old licence will be sent to their embassy in most cases. Anyone wishing to keep their old licence will need to contact their embassy after the forfeit process has finished.

Further Information