Exchanging a Foreign Driving License for a Dutch One: Your Comprehensive Guide

If you’re an expat in the Netherlands with a foreign driving license, understanding the process of exchanging it for a Dutch one is crucial. This blog will walk you through the steps, conditions, and exceptions for a smooth transition. You can see more on the RDW website

Living in the Netherlands with a foreign driving license? Initially, you can drive with it, but eventually, exchanging it becomes a must. Learn how, when, and why in this informative guide.

To swap your foreign license, ensure you’re registered in the BRP, possess a valid ID or residence document, and your license is from the EU/EVA or a country with a mutual agreement. Even an expired EU/EVA license is exchangeable.

Got a 30% ruling? Good news – it facilitates exchanging licenses from any country. Unpack the details and simplify your transition process.

Digging deeper, certain non-EU/EVA countries offer exchange possibilities, contingent on your residency duration. Uncover the specific categories available for each qualifying country.

Previously held a Dutch license post-June 30, 1985? Even without an agreement, your foreign license is exchangeable, restoring your original Dutch categories.

Ready to make the switch? Prepare with a color photo, your foreign license (translated if necessary), and any prior Dutch licenses. Understand the documentation nuances, payment variations, and let your municipality handle the submission.

If your license from Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland is expired, accompany your request with an official statement from the issuing authority, easing the exchange process.

Unable to exchange? Plan for theory and practical exams with the CBR, the Dutch driving authority, to secure your Dutch license.

Working as a knowledge migrant? Discover the perks of exchanging your foreign license under the 30% tax ruling, but ensure it’s still valid.

Choosing to drive during your application? Understand the risks, potential police encounters, and ensure you carry adequate identification.

If you opt to drive during the process, keep your passport or ID handy to verify your identity if needed.

Driving with a valid license and insurance? Even without the physical license, your coverage stays intact. Connect with your insurer for reassurance.

Thinking of driving abroad during the exchange? It’s advisable to refrain due to potential information gaps and varying consequences.

Need to relinquish certain categories? File an ‘afstandsverklaring’ (declaration of surrender) to streamline your license.

Temporary surrender doesn’t mean permanent loss. Regain surrendered categories during license renewal with a health statement.

This guide empowers expats in the Netherlands, simplifying the foreign-to-Dutch license exchange journey. Stay informed, follow the process, and drive confidently on Dutch roads.