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Digital tachographs register information, including driving and rest times, speed and distance travelled in lorries and busses (in Dutch). A first generation digital tachograph has been mandatory equipment in all new lorries and busses in the Netherlands since 1 May 2006. 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.
Digital tachographs are also compulsory in lighter vehicles (in Dutch), namely vans (category N1) and passenger cars (category M1) when they exceed a maximum authorised mass, MAM (toegestane maximum massa, TMM) of 3,500 kg with a trailer.
Exemption from tachograph
In some cases you are exempt from having a tachograph. 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.
There are different types of digital tachograph smart cards: a driver’s card and non-EU driver’s card, a company card and a workshop card. You apply (in Dutch) for these smart cards to 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.
Driver’s smart card
You need a driver’s smart card 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.
Company smart card
You need a company smart card to run a transport business with busses or lorries that are equipped with a digital tachograph.
Workshop smart card
Installers of digital tachographs require a workshop smart card in order to install, repair or calibrate digital tachographs. To be able to obtain one, you must, among other things, 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).