Driver's Licences and International Driving Permits
Driving in the Netherlands
Using an Australian Driver's Licence
The rules and regulations governing the use of foreign licences in the Netherlands are the responsibility of the Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer. Please always consult their website (available in English) for the latest information.
Holders of Australian State or Territory Driving Licences should be aware that Dutch legislation means they may only use their licence for a maximum of 185 days from arrival in the Netherlands. After that time has elpased, holders are required to obtain a Dutch driving licence should they wish to continue driving in the Netherlands.
Exchanging an Australian Driver's Licence
It is not currently possible to directly exchange an Australian driving licence for the Dutch equivalent. Exchange may be possible in certain cases for those who satisfy the Belastingdienst's 30% Tax Ruling. Holders of Australian licences must therefore undergo theory and practical examinations prior to being issued with Dutch licence. More information about these examinations can be obtained from the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheid.
Please note that obtaining a Dutch driving licence can be time consuming and it is therefore advisable to begin the process as soon as possible after your arrival in the Netherlands if you intend to remain for longer than 185 days.
Return of Driving Licences
Australian driving licences are routinely withheld by the Dutch authorities when issuing a Dutch licence. These licences are forwarded to the Australian Embassy, where they are retained until their expiry date. Should you wish to have your licence returned to you at an address in the Netherlands, please submit a request in writing, giving your name, address and date of birth. The Embassy will return the licence to you by post in due course.
International Driving Permits
Holders of Australian State and Territory Driving Licences may be required, during a driving-licence check, to produce an International Driving Permit in addition to their licence.
To obtain an International Driving Permit please contact the relevant IDP authority in your state. Please note that an International Driver\'s Permit is not a licence - you must also have a current Australian licence.
Renewing your Australian Driver's Licence while overseas
Australian drivers' licences are issued at State and Territory level and therefore the Australian Embassy in the Netherlands cannot extend, renew or replace any Australian driving licence. Instead, if you wish to renew or replace your Australian driver\'s licence, you should direct your enquiry to the Road Traffic Authority of the State or Territory which issued you the licence.
The contact details for the relevant Authorities, can be found on the driver's licence renewal pages at australia.gov.au, along with other information on renewing your licence in each State or Territory.