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Formalities

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What is a BSN? Am I required to get one?

Will my driving licence be valid?

Two different situations apply for driving licences issued in an Member State of the European Union/European Free Trade Association (EU/EFTA):

  • Issued before 19 January 2013: in this case you can normally carry on driving with the foreign driving licence for 15 years (from the date of issue of the foreign driving licence). If your driving licence is already over nine years old, you can continue to drive with your driving licence for another two years (counting from the date of registering in a Dutch municipality). However, this is on condition that your driving licence is still valid.
  • Issued after 19 January 2013: you can normally carry on driving with the foreign driving licence for up to 1 year. This is on condition that your driving licence is still valid.

If your driving licence was issued outside one of the countries of the EU/EFTA or in the Caribean part of the Netherlands, you may use an international driving licence for up to 185 days after becoming a resident in the Netherlands. Before the end of that period, you must have obtained a Dutch driving licence.

The RDW (Dutch Road Transport Directorate) provides a listing of the EU/EFTA members as well as the most up to date information related to this topic: www.rdw.nl/information-in-english/driving-licence/driving-with-a-foreign-driving-licence.In some cases, you will be able to exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch one. You may submit an application with the municipality. The procedure is explained on the RDW’s website that we have mentioned above.

Please note that when exchanging a driving licence, you will be asked to hand in your old licence. A counter clerk will collect your foreign driving licence and give you a certified copy and a receipt. You will not receive your old driving licence back after the exchange. Instead, the RDW will return your driving licence to the issuing authority in your country of origin.

Persons with diplomatic status or working at certain international organisations (privileged card holders) may drive in the Netherlands without the need to exchange their foreign licence for a Dutch one. You will, however, need a valid foreign driving licence and an identity pass for privileged persons from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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