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Government information for entrepreneurs

Digital tachograph

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Digital tachographs register information, including driving and rest times, speed and distance travelled in lorries and bussesExternal link (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 vehiclesExternal link (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.

Tachograph cards

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 applyExternal link (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 KiwaExternal link 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 RDWExternal link (in Dutch) about every tachograph that you install.

To be able to notify RDW about the fitting of tachographs, you will need an RDW-passExternal link (in Dutch). You will receive this pass from RDW upon passing an exam for extending your competence as autorised tachograph technicianExternal link (Examen bevoegdheidsverlenging tachograaftechnicus) (in Dutch).

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO