Drivers license

As an international resident in the Netherlands, you can use your own drivers licence for a certain period of time, at the end of which you will be required to obtain a Dutch licence (rijbewijs). For most EU/EEA countries licences are valid for up to 10 years, for many countries outside of EU/EEA for six months (185 days) from the date you register at your local municipality. Please note, you must exchange a foreign driving licence/ obtain Dutch licence before your current licence expires. Depending on your nationality you can either exchange your foreign licence or need to take some lessons and do a theory and practical test.

Depending on your nationality (EU/EEA or non-EU/EAA) you can either exchange your licence with the municipality or you have to take driving lessons and pass a theory and practical exam.


To exchang your foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence, you will need to apply at the municipality where you are registered. You have to make an appointment with the municipality, buy a document which states your physical health and they will forward your exchange application to the proper authorities. The appraisal process takes approximately two weeks and applicants are not permitted to drive while their application is being processed. For the application you will need valid identity documents such as a passport, your foreign driving licence, your BSN and a photo.

30% tax benefit

If you are eligible for the 30% tax benefit, you can exchange your drivers license as stated above. Your nationality plays no role, but when applying for the exchange at the municipality you have to proof you are eligible for the 30% tax benefit.

Take lessons

In case you have to take driving lessons to be able to obtain the Dutch drivers license, you need to approach a driving school in the area.
Make sure your teacher speaks sufficient English (or other language you understand) to get the most out of the lessons. Usually you’ll have to take 5-10 lessons, take a trial exam (both theory and practical) and can then take the exams.

For more information about the conditions, go to the website of your local municipality or the English section of the RDW (National Vehicle Administration Agency).