Getting a Dutch driving license

You don’t have a Dutch driver’s licence yet

If you want to learn how to drive a car for the first time, you can take driving lessons and take your exams in the Netherlands. Internationals who are unable to exchange their foreign driving licence for a Dutch one, will have to take a driving exam at the CBR.

Conditions for getting a Dutch driving licence:

  • You need to be registered at the Municipal Authority as a proof of residence or have a residence permit
  • If you are an EU citizen, you don’t need a visa and/or residence permit and you can sign up for driving lessons right away

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or doubts. Driving school SafeLes has great experience with internationals obtaining their driver’s licence in the Netherlands and English driving lessons, providing one-on-one lessons. Read more about taking driving lessons with SafeLes.

You have a foreign driver’s licence

In some cases you can exchange your foreign driving licence for a Dutch driving licence. This is possible if you are registered as a resident of the Netherlands and have a valid residence permit. Most Europeans can continue to use their licence from their home country until it expires. However, most non-European expats who plan to stay for longer than six months, will need to exchange their licence within that first six month period. In this case, the driving licence must be valid at the time of application.

If you have a foreign driving licence and wish to exchange it for a Dutch driving licence, you can apply for an exchange at the municipality where you are registered. They will then forward your application to the RDW. In addition to your driving license, you will need valid identity papers and a photo to apply for an exchange.

Read more about exchanging a foreign driver’s licence at the RDW website.