Getting a driving license for knowledge migrants

For expats, getting a driving license in the Netherlands (car) may be a very difficult and at the same time expensive proposition.

There are lots to be done, right from attending theory classes, to taking driving lessons, to giving practical tests etc. and yet there is no guarantee that one will surely pass the difficult Dutch license test.

Driving license for knowledge migrants in the Netherlands

But if one falls under the knowledge migrant category of expats, getting a driving license becomes both easy and inexpensive. Want to know how..? Read on.

It can be done by a simple process called Exchanging Driver's License. This means exchanging your old driving license with a new Dutch one.

Exchanging Driver's License Guide 

Here is the step by step guide for exchanging your old driving license:

The first and the foremost thing is to have your 30% tax ruling document in place. This can be collected from your office HR department.

Go to Gemeente (town hall) with this document and residence permit. There you need to purchase a form called Eigen Verklaring which is a health form. It costs around 20 euros. Fill in this form (it asks some basic health questions) and then post it by simple mail to CBR. The address is mentioned on the envelope.

In case you answer "yes" to any of the health questions, attach a doctor's certificate with it.

Within three weeks you will receive a confirmation from CBR stating that you are qualified to drive in Netherlands and do not have any health issues. This is good news!

On receiving this letter, go to the town hall one last time. Take along all your documents (valid proof of identity, 30% ruling document, CBR letter, original old driving license, two passport photos and 50 euros for the fees).

In case you want the old driving license back again, this needs to be explicitly mentioned in writing to the Gemeente. This letter should be addressed to the RDW.

If all goes positive, you will get a letter from the RDW within three weeks stating that the driving license application has been approved and that the license can be collected from the Gemeente.

It will also state from where you can get the old driving license back. Usually you can collect it back from the Embassy of your country.

Collect your Dutch driving license from the town hall.

Important notes

› Follow the passport photo specifications. The face must be in the center and with a mid grey background. Dimensions: length (crown to chin) 26 to 30mm, width 16 to 20mm. Must not exceed these dimensions.

› Keep a copy of your old license until the process is completed.

› All in all, it is not such a tough process. It takes a little while but its surely much better than taking numerous tests to get the Dutch license.

Arwa Lokhndwala


Arwa Lokhndwala

Arwa is a travel and expat writer. Her articles have been published on a number of travel and expat websites including the Lonely Planet. An Indian expat in the...

Read more



Leave a comment