I’ve successfully converted my (non E.U) driving license to a Dutch one recently and would like to share the application process through this post. I have also spent the summer holiday reading the road regulations, interesting for me to get to know the rules again after having a driving license for quite some time now. Of course things are different now because there are so many road users at the same time, car drivers, trams, trains, bikers, mopeds, cyclist, and pedestrians. Having respect for one another and be an obedient road user.
1) Finding out whether your foreign driving license is entitled for an exchange to a Dutch one. Driving licences issued in some countries outside EU or EFTA can be exchanged if they are valid for the the respective specific categories. For instance, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Israel at their specific respective categories.
More information, click here to the RDW(Official Road Transport Department Netherlands) page
2) If your driving license is not issued from the countries mentioned in website of Item 1 above but you have 30% tax ruling from the tax office of The Netherlands, then your current (Non E.U) foreign driving license is entitled for an exchange.
The procedures is explained in this page of RDW.
- A valid ID (passport or residence permit);
- Passport photo that meet local requirements (passport photographs taken in the country of application);
- Original valid driving license;
- Before the application for conversion does CBR needs to have a certificate of adequacy/fitness registered in your name (personal statement) placed in the registry of driving licenses; Certificate of Fitness about EUR30+ (login with DigiD)**process time may take maximum 4 months**
- Documents (passports, old driving license, tax documents) showing that you, at the time of issue of the foreign driver’s license, a minimum of 185 days within a period of one year, have been resident in the country of issue;
- If applicable, a declaration/letter or statement to prove that you have 30% tax ruling from the Tax Office of Heerlen.
To request for a declaration/letter or statement to prove that you have 30% tax ruling.
You may need to call this number of the Tax Office : 0800 – 0543 ** process time may take 10 working days**
Application : The application starts when you submit ALL required documents at your local municipality hall. As an example, this is a website link to the local municipality hall of Enschede, Gemeente Enschede. You may first need to make an appointment at the same website.**process time may take up to 2-3 weeks**
IMPORTANT NOTE!!! You need to turn in your original foreign driving license for the application process. The authorities will only return your ORIGINAL foreign driving license after the application process is completed. You’re not allowed to drive during this time without a license. You’re advised to make copies of your original driving license with the application forms for your own reference. In most cases, they will either return your original driving license to the embassies in The Netherlands or home address (if you decide to stop the application with RDW).
Good luck with your application, expats!