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Anyone who drives a car, truck, bus, moped, speed-pedelec (high-speed electric bicycle) or other motor vehicle in the Netherlands needs a driving licence. It depends on the vehicle which type of driving licence is required. The various types of driving licences are divided into categories.
Foreign driving licence
You can use your foreign driving licence in the Netherlands. Once you are a Dutch resident, however, you must obtain a Dutch driving licence within a certain period of time (transition period). This depends on the country where you originally obtained your driving licence.
Passing your driving test
To obtain your driving licence you will need to pass a driving theory test and driving practical test at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR). You must meet the medical standards of fitness to drive. The maximum fee for a new driving licence is €38,83.
You can be banned from driving. A system of penalty points applies to young (professional) drivers: 2 or more penalty points means they must have their driving abilities assessed once more. Professional lorry or bus drivers must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years.
Health conditions and driving
If you, because of a health condition, have to show you are medically fit to drive a vehicle, a medical examination is not always necessary. CBR may request your doctor for information regarding your health condition.
Tractor driving licence
You need a T-driving licence (Tractor driving licence) for driving with low-speed agricultural tractors and forestry vehicles on a public road. If you currently have a tractor driving certificate for youths or a regular driving licence category B, you do not need a separate T-driving licence. It will be added automatically to your driving licence upon renewal. For driving with low-speed vehicles such as small street sweepers and mowing machines, you will not need a T-driving licence.
Anyone driving a forklift truck that is more than 1.3 meter wide or is pulling a trailer, needs a T-driving licence. With regard to all other forklift trucks employers must be able to demonstrate that the driver has sufficient abilities to operate it. They can do this with a CBR safety certificate or certificate of professional competence for forklift or reach truck drivers.
Bus driving licence
The minimum age for a bus driving licence is 18 years.
Drivers with a UK driving licence who live in the Netherlands will be affected by Brexit:
- If you are a driver with a Northern Ireland, Gibraltar or British driving licence, you have 15 months to exchange your British driving licence for a Dutch one.
- If you are a professional (lorry, bus or coach) driver with a code 95 qualification, you may need to apply for a Dutch licence before Brexit takes place.