Exchange a driving licence from outside EU/EEA or Switzerland

A driving licence that was issued outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland has limited validity in the Netherlands. When you come to live in the Netherlands, you may still use your foreign driving licence for a maximum of 185 days. In some cases you will be able to convert your foreign driving licence to a Dutch one. To do so you can submit an application to the municipality.

Needed to exchange a driving licence

  • A passport photo. Strict rules apply to the passport photo. Read the requirements for photos on the website of the Dutch government.
  • A valid form of identification.
  • The driving licence you want to exchange. You will not get it back.
  • Would you like to exchange a driving licence not written in the Roman/Latin alphabet (like Japanese)? Then you will need to bring a translation of the driving licence with you. The translation must be issued by a sworn translator, the embassy or the consulate.
  • Statement of Health, in some cases.
  • Are you eligible for the 30% ruling for highly-skilled migrants (see the website of the Belastingdienst)? Then bring a letter from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration in Heerlen.

How do you exchange your driving licence?

  • A municipal employee will take your foreign driving licence. You will get a copy and a receipt.
  • The municipal employee will forward your application and foreign driving licence to the RDW.
  • The RDW will review your application and send you a notification when you can collect the licence at the municipality.
  • You will need to pick up your driving licence in person from the city office where you applied for it. You must collect it within 3 months after you apply for it. After that the document will no longer be valid and the municipality is obliged to annul it. If you would like a driving licence after this 3-month period, then you will have to apply and pay for it again.

You will not get your old driving licence back after the exchange. The RDW will send your driving licence to the country which issued it.

    • You may exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence.
      Special conditions apply here.
    • You can apply for a Dutch driving licence.
      You will first have to pass a theory and practical driving test. You can read more about it under First-time application for a driving licence.
    Flowchart: Convert a valid foreign driving licence and how to fill in the medical statement (PDF, 1,7 MB)

    Conditions

    In the following cases you will be able to exchange your foreign driving licence in The Hague for a Dutch driving licence:

    • You are a resident of the Municipality of The Hague.
    • You have a valid residence permit and a valid driving licence which meets the conditions.
    • You have a valid driving licence from one of the following countries designated by the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management:

      • Andorra (category B)
      • Taiwan (category B)
      • Israel (category B)
      • Japan (category A and B)
      • Jersey (all categories)
      • The Isle of Man (all categories)
      • Monaco (all categories)
      • Singapore (categories A and B)
      • Republic of Korea (category B)
      • Alberta (category B)
      • Quebec (category B)
    • You have a valid driving licence from a country which is not on the list and you relinquished your Dutch driving licence for it at the time. Your Dutch driving licence was still valid after 30 June 1985.
    • You have a valid driving licence from a country not included on the list and the Minister of Finance has granted you the 30% ruling for highly-skilled migrants (see the website of the Belastingdienst).
    • Are you not permitted to exchange your driving licence? Then you will first have to pass a theory and practical driving test. Then you can Apply for a new driving licence.

    Fees

    Exchanging a driving licence costs € 40.65 (fee 2020))

    These fees must be paid upfront when you submit your application. You can pay in cash or use a bank card at City Hall Spui and the Leyweg City Office.

    How long does it take?

    The Dutch Road Transport Directorate (RDW) will notify you when you can collect your driving licence at the municipality. Your Dutch driving licence is valid for a maximum of 10 years.

    Make an appointment

    To exchange your driving licence you must visit the Department of Public Service counter at City Hall Spui or the Leyweg City Office. You can make an appointment to do this.

    Make an appointment (in Dutch)

    Please note: When you apply for a Dutch driving licence you will need to turn in your foreign driving licence. You will not be permitted to drive until your new driving licence has been issued.

    Also see: Website of the RDW (in English)