Registering an Imported Vehicle
Once a car is imported to the Netherlands, it must be registered with the Dutch authorities...
Before a foreign vehicle can be used on Dutch roads it must:
- Have a registration number, the associated registration certificate (kentekenbewijs) and number plates (kentekenplaaten)
- Appropriate road tax must be paid
- Be covered by third-party liability insurance
In order to be issued with a Dutch vehicle registration certificate a vehicle requires a technical inspection to ascertain that it complies to Dutch safety and emissions standards. The inspection is made at an RDW authorised test centre (RDW-keuringsstation).
The vehicle may not be driven - not even to the test centre - unless the driver has a 'one day registration certificate' (ééndagskentekenbewijs) which can be applied for online (in Dutch). When the certificate is issued, an appointment for a test can be made.
The following are required:
- The vehicle
- Proof of identity (passport or driver's licence) (Identiteitsdocument, paspoort or rijbewijs)
- Proof of residence (an extract from the local council, property title deeds, rental contract, utility bill, insurance certificate) (bewijs van het verblijf)
- A copy of the foreign registration certificate (inschrijvingsbewijzen van motorrijtuigen)
- Conformiteitsverklaring if European type-approval has not been issued
- A Certificate of Conformity (certificaat van overeenstemming, CVO)
if European type-approval has been issued
- A customs clearance certificate (certificaat van inklaring)
- A copy of the certificate of purchase
If the vehicle is three years old or older, APK-testing for roadworthiness is required, however in the case of vehicles imported for private use, the RDW performs both tests simultaneously.
BPM submission when relevant
After approval, the RDW will issue a declaration form (BPM-aangifteformulier) for motor vehicle tax (BPM). This declaration must be given to the BPM customs authorities at the RDW test centre.
- The Dutch Customs website gives the addresses of the BPM-declaration points.
Once documentation is completed, the vehicle registration certificate is sent to the owner's residence. Drivers are responsible for obtaining their own registration plates. This can be done at a recognised garage.
The vehicle must have at least third party insurance before it may go on the roads.
Road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting) must be paid as soon as a car or motorcycle is registered in the Netherlands. The Tax Office will send a bill for this to the owner's mailing address. Various payment methods and terms are allowed. Pricing varies depending on the vehicle, its fuel and district of registration.
- More information in English on Dutch Road Tax is available on the Tax Office website
Dutch Registration Plates
Two number plates are issued for a car and one for a motorcycle. The number plate manufacturer will register the owner's information and stamp the Vehicle Certificate.
Provide the following:
- Proof of identity (Identiteitsdocument)
- Vehicle Certificate
- Certificate of Ownership
- For a list of authorised licence plate manufacturers see the RDW website