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Driver’s license

EU License

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 licence.

If the 15 years has elapsed or if the license expires, you must exchange your foreign license for a Dutch one. The driving licence 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.

Non-EU license

If your driving license was not issued in the European Union, you may drive legally for 185 days on your non-EU license after registering as a resident. Thereafter, you must have a Dutch license to drive legally. If you don’t fall under the 30% tax ruling or have a driving license issued from one of the other countries listed below, then 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. It is worthwhile to shop around as estimates of how many lessons you may need can differ between driving schools. The driving school will handle all paper work for the written and practical tests.

Exchanging your non-EU license via 30% tax ruling

If you work under the 30% tax regulation, you can exchange your non-EU license under a number of conditions:
1. You will need to obtain a copy of the 30% tax statement issued by the tax office.
2. You will also need to purchase an application for a “Certificate of Fitness” before you can exchange your license. The processing time to obtain the Certificate of Fitness is maximally 4 months.
3. The exchange will need to be done within the first 185 days from the date of registration in the Municipality.
4. 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.

Exchanging your non-EU license via exchange agreement

If you have a driving license issued in one of the following countries, you can exchange your license under a number of conditions:
1. The license must be valid for the stated categories below.

Land

Driving license

Vehicle

Category

Andorra

Passenger vehicle

Dutch driving license category B

Canadian province
Alberta

Class 5

Dutch driving license category B

Canadian province  Québec

Class 5

Dutch driving license category B

Israël

B

Passenger vehicle

Dutch driving license category B

Japan

1B

Passenger vehicle and motorcycle in excess of 400 cm3

Dutch driving license category A and B

Jersey

All categories

Man

All categories

Monaco

All categories

Singapore

Class 2 Class 3

Passenger vehicle and motorcycle in excess of 400 cm3

Dutch driving license category A and B

Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)

B

Passenger vehicle

Dutch driving license category B

(former) Netherlands Antilles

All categories

South Korea

Second class ordinary license

Dutch driving license category B

2. You will also need to purchase an application for a “Certificate of Fitness” before you can exchange your license. The processing time to obtain the Certificate of Fitness is maximally 4 months.
3. The exchange will need to be done within the first 185 days from the date of registration in the Municipality.
4. 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.

See this RDW link for more information.