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Themes - Driving

Every person living in the Netherlands for 12 months or more must have a valid license. For EU members and member states, you are only allowed to use your foreign (or home country) license for a period of 10 years from the date of issue. After that time you are required to obtain a Dutch license. Dutch law states that all licenses must be renewed every 10 years.

EU citizens (coming from all EU countries and including Andorra, Aruba, Monaco, Netherlands Antilles, Isle of Man, State of Jersey and Switzerland) no longer have to register their foreign license with local municipalities after a ruling was made by the European Court as unconstitutional. Some official websites may not have updated their information on this change however. The change came into force in July 2003.

Foreign nationals from non-EU countries are not included in the above rule however, the limitation is 185 of continuous stay in the Netherlands before you are required to sit both theory and practical exam to obtain a Dutch license.

There are different methods for obtaining your license; exchange using 30% tax ruling, diplomatic or military exemption, and sitting exams. For further general driving information the ANWB is a good place to contact. This is the national organisation in the field of traffic and tourism. Or the CBR (Driving Test Organisation) are the statutory body responsible for administering driving tests.

Speed Limits
30 km in a residential area
50 km in built-up areas
80 km on provincial roads
100 km on urban motorway, unless signposted otherwise
120 km on open motorway/autoweg, unless signposted or indicated otherwise.
Be sure to check the small circular signs on the side of some roads, on the top half will indicate what the speed limit is.

Legal requirements
The legal driving age is 18 years.
You are required to wear seatbelts front and back, at all times.
Children must be restrained in suitable seats until 12 years of age, 36 kg or 1.35 metres. (see Cars and children).
Stop for funeral processions. More often than not however, men in black suits with top-hats will be walking ahead of the motorcade and indicate to you to stop to let the motorcade pass. The speed limit of this procession is 30 km. Be respectful and patient in these circumstances.
You must stop for pedestrians on (zebra) or pedestrian crossings.