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If your driving license was issued in a member state of the EU, you can drive in the Netherlands on your foreign license for 15 years after the date of issue of the license. This applies to the categories AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE. For the categories C1, C, D1, D, C1E, CE, D1E and DE, the maximum period is 5 years as of the issue date of the driving license.
If the 15 years has elapsed or if the license expires, you must exchange your foreign license for a Dutch one. The driving license must be valid for this to apply. This is done at the municipality where you registered. Either make an appointment or go during the times when no appointment is necessary (varies per municipality) and bring the following with you to the appointment: valid EU license, passport photo, passport or country ID, and a PIN bank card so you can make the payment for the license. The form will be provided by the Municipality. The municipality will then send the entire application to the Minister of Transport for processing. It will take about one week before the new license is ready to be collected at the Municipality.
If your driving license was not issued in the European Union, you may drive for 185 days on your non-EU license after registering as a resident. If you work under the 30% tax regulation, you can exchange your license if you obtain a copy of the 30% tax statement issued by the tax office. The exchange will need to be done within the first 185 days from the date of registration in the Municipality. Your driving license must have been issued in a particular year in which you were a resident in the country of issue for at least 185 days.
If you don’t fall under this tax ruling, you will need to take and pass both a theoretical and a practical driving test. Contact a driving school, as all learning must be done with a qualified instructor. The driving school will handle all paper work for the written and practical tests. See this RDW link for more information.