Moving Your Vehicle from an EU Country to the Netherlands: A How To

Are you planning to move to the Netherlands in your car? Check out this guideline on how to import your car from an EU member state to the Netherlands right here. 

Did your job require you to transfer to the Netherlands? Or perhaps, you’re continuing your education in the country? If you’re moving to the Netherlands from abroad with your vehicle, remember that the country implements vehicle and traffic regulations that you should follow. One of these regulations is to register foreign vehicles when imported.

A foreign vehicle can’t be transported to the Netherlands without a Dutch registration and certification. Moreover, driving a foreign vehicle in the country without registration or a Dutch license for more than six months since the time of transfer implies a violation of the country’s law.

Moving from an EU member state has different requirements compared to foreign vehicles coming from a non-EU country. Thus, before importing a foreign vehicle, it is important to check whether your country is an EU member or not to guarantee that you have the correct documents.

If you have purchased a vehicle from an EU or EFTA country or planning to move from there to the Netherlands, here are the things you need to do to transfer the vehicle.

#1 Apply for a Dutch Registration Number

Take note that the RDW does not issue a registration number for driving a foreign vehicle to the Netherlands. Thus, before doing so, make sure to contact the foreign authorities if you’re planning to move the car either by a vehicle transporter or driving. You must obtain a foreign registration certificate to drive the vehicle.

When you scheduled an appointment at the RDW to apply for a foreign registration number, you will no longer have a valid vehicle registration certificate. Therefore, you could not drive the vehicle on public roads. However, you can apply for a one-day registration number from the RDW for free, which is valid only on the day of inspection.

#2 Request a Transfer for Vehicle with Valid Foreign APK

You can request a transfer of APK if the vehicle has a valid foreign APK. Then, submit the original copy of the proof of approval after obtaining the request. You can look for more information about transferring a foreign APK at the RDW official website.

#3 Complete the Foreign Registration

After securing an appointment for inspection with the RDW, make sure to complete the documents necessary for the application of the Dutch registration number. When applying for a Dutch registration number, the RDW will ask for basic documents and information about your car. For example, you’ll have to prepare the VIN of the vehicle. You can also check the car’s VIN by using You should also bring valid proof of identity, a COC, a foreign APK report, and other documents enlisted on the RDW website.

Once you completed the documents and submitted them to the RDW, you need to pay the fee. You also have to declare the vehicle for BPM. The RDW will send you a letter with a registration code after completing the registration process.

If the vehicle already has a Dutch registration number, you can apply for a Dutch License plate and driving license.