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New lorries, buses and smaller professional vehicles should have a digital tachograph on board. Tachographs (in Dutch) register information, including driving and rest times, speed and distance travelled.
Who should carry a tachograph?
A first generation digital tachograph has been mandatory equipment in various types of vehicles in the Netherlands since 1 May 2006. This includes:
- Buses that fit more than 8 passengers (excluding the driver)
- Vehicles with trailers that have a maximum weight (meaning the weight of the vehicle itself plus the loading capacity) of over 3,500kg
- Smaller professional vehicles (in Dutch) from category N1 (delivery van) or M1 (car) that weigh over 3,500kg including trailer and cargo.
Since 15 July 2019, a second generation (smart) tachograph is required. If your vehicle has been part of traffic before 1 May 2006, an analogue tachograph is sufficient.
Downloading and storing data
You should download data from the digital tachograph to a company computer at least once every 90 days. You have to download the driver's card at least once every 28 days. It is important that you store this data for at least 1 year.
Monitoring without a tachograph
If your vehicle is not legally obliged to carry a tachograph, you still need to monitor your driver's working and resting times. This is a legal requirement.
Exemption from tachograph
In some cases you are exempt from having a tachograph. There are national exemptions (in Dutch), for example for vehicles used for driving lessons, collecting rubbish or vehicles that stay within 5km of a facility (port, airport, railway terminal).
There are also international exemptions that apply to all EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. These can be found in Article 3 of the European regulation.
You do not have to apply for the exemption, but you must be able to prove that you meet the conditions in the event of an inspection.
You need a tachograph card in order to use a digital tachograph. You can apply (in Dutch) for these cards at the Kiwa Register. If you are not a Dutch resident and do not have a Kiwa ID, you should contact Kiwa to obtain one. Only then you can apply for Kiwa products online.
There are different types of cards:
- Driver's card
- Temporary driver's card (for drivers from outside the EU)
- Company card
- Workshop card
You need a driver’s card (in Dutch) to drive a Dutch company's coach or lorry that is equipped with a digital tachograph. Drivers from non-EU/non-EEA countries working for a Dutch company need a non-EU driver’s card (in Dutch).
Are you a transport entrepreneur and do you use buses or lorries carrying a digital tachograph? You will need to apply for a company card (in Dutch).
Installers of digital tachographs require a workshop card (in Dutch) in order to install, repair or calibrate digital tachographs. To be able to obtain one, you must be certified to install digital tachographs and work at a workplace that is recognised by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW). Once you are an authorised tachograph technician, you must notify RDW (in Dutch) about every tachograph that you install.
To be able to notify RDW about the fitting of tachographs, you will need an RDW-pass (in Dutch). You will receive this pass from RDW upon passing an exam for extending your competence as autorised tachograph technician (Examen bevoegdheidsverlenging tachograaftechnicus) (in Dutch).