Drivers license

As an international resident in the Netherlands, you can use your own drivers license for a certain period of time, at the end of which you will be required to obtain a Dutch license (rijbewijs).

The general rule is that

  • most EU/EEA countries licenses are valid for up to 10 years,
  • licenses from many countries outside of EU/EEA are valid for six months (185 days) from the date you register at your local municipality.

Please note, you must exchange a foreign driving license/ obtain Dutch license before your current license expires. Depending on your nationality you can either exchange your foreign license or need to take some lessons and do a theory and practical test.

Please find detailed information and conditions here:


You can apply for the exchange of your foreign driving license into a Dutch license at the municipality where you are registered. You will have to make an appointment, pay for a document which states your physical health and together with the application form this will be forwarded to the proper authorities. The appraisal process takes at least two weeks and applicants are not permitted to drive while their application is being processed.


If you are eligible for the 30% tax benefit, you can exchange your drivers license as stated above. In this case your nationality plays no role. When applying for the exchange you have to proof you are eligible for the 30% tax benefit. This means that you first have to apply for the tax benefit (together with your employer) and after receiving the confirmation of the tax authorities you can apply for the exchange of your drivers license.

Take lessons

In case you have to take driving lessons to be able to obtain the Dutch drivers license, you need to approach a driving school in the area. Most driving schools have instructors who can teach in English, but make sure to request this specifically when signing up for lessons.

For more information about the conditions, go to the website of your local municipality or RDW (National Vehicle Administration Agency).