Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting a Dutch Driver's License

For Americans who are Kennis Migrants (Knowledge Migrants) on the 30% ruling, a valid state driver’s license can normally be exchanged for a Dutch license. Of course, the process is bureaucratic, so, just like in the USA, it is rarely a smooth one. The place to begin is the gemeente (city hall) in which you are registered. Be prepared for confusion and/or misinformation from the staff, especially in the smaller villages. You will need your passport, your current license from the US and your official 30% documentation.

I recently received my Rijbewijs through the city of Haarlem. The process took about eight weeks. The following is the current procedure:

  1. Request an application form, the cost is a little over 20 Euro
  2. Fill out the form. This requires a sign-off from your doctor (huisarts)
  3. Send it to the proper authority,CBR. There are several bureaus involved in the process
  4. Receive a letter of approval in the mail to present to the gemeente
  5. Present the letter to the gemeente and pay a little over 40 Euro, receive green paper receipt. Keep this receipt to retrieve your license when it arrives at the gemeente. You will be asked to surrender your old license.
  6. Wait for another letter, from the RDW, stating that you can pick up your license at the gemeente in 5 business days.
  7. Go pick up your license, bring your green paper along

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