You have to be 18 years old and in possession of a valid driving licence to drive in Belgium). The Belgian driving licence is issued by the municipality where you live or (in the case of diplomats) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Driving licences from most other European countries are valid in Belgium. They do not have to be exchanged for a Belgian licence except:
If the European driving licence is made for an unlimited period
If you live (carrying a Belgian residence card) since at least 2 years in Belgium.
Only holders of an EU driving licence mentioning a limited period of validity (very often 10 or 15 years) are not obliged to exchange it, during the time of the validity.
It is advisable to register your national licence with the driving licence department in your local town hall in case of loss or theft.
Non-European driving licence
Belgium has signed an agreement with most non-EU countries which allows foreign residents to exchange their national driving licence for a Belgian licence, as long as they are registered in a municipality. The formalities are carried out by the driving licence service in their local town hall. If your country does not have reciprocal agreements with Belgium you will be required to pass the Belgian driving test. This involves both theoretical and practical tests. But there may be granted an exemption from mandatory driving lessons if the police declare that the driving licence is authentic.
Car Registration - Formalities
1. Before taking any steps, one must be registered in the National Register and hold a Belgian ID card.
2. Take all of the vehicle's original documents: European certificate of conformity, foreign registration and vehicle's invoice (if necessary).
3. Go to the customs office in order to request the registration application form (pink) with a "705 label" (green), which includes the vehicle's properties. This form will be stamped and is to be duly completed in situ.
Customs office address: 11 Rue de L’Entrepôt - 1020 Brussels From Monday to Friday - 08:00 to 11:30 T +32 (0)2 575 62 05 T +32 (0)2 576 92 21 T +32 (0)2 577 37 38
4. Go to the vehicle inspection.
If the vehicle changes owners, a used car inspection must be carried out. Take your vehicle to the office.
If the vehicle does not change owners, proceed to a simple administrative inspection. Only take the documents described under points 2 and 3. In this case, you are not obliged to show the vehicle.
Vehicle inspection offices:
3 -9 Rue du Labeur - B 1070 Anderlecht - T +32 (0)2 529 07 84
25 Rue de la Grenouillette - B 1130 Haren - T +32 (0)2 240 73 50
118 Rue Colonel Bourg - B 1140 Evere - T +32 (0)2 726 91 52
5. Go to your insurance broker or insurance company to take out a Belgian "civil liability" insurance policy.
6. Submit your registration application to the DIV (Vehicle Registration Department). This application can be submitted by your insurer or by yourself.
You can either go to the main office (60 rue du Progrès - 1210 Brussels) or send your file by post to 56 rue du Progrès - 1210 Brussels).
If you go to the office on behalf of a third party, the registration application must be accompanied by a power of attorney signed by the applicant (box "X10"), and must quote your national register number.
Within 24 hours, you will receive your registration certificate and your number plate through the Bpost service in exchange for a payment of € 30.
DIV - SPF Mobilité et Transport. Direction Circulation routière Main Office: City Atrium, 56 Rue du Progrès – B 1210 Brussels INFOKIOSK: T +32 (0)2 277 30 50 — to speak to a representative, press 8 and then 1. firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: City Atrium, 60rue du Progrès – B 1210 Brussels From Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
7. Once the car is registered and once it is 4 years old, you will have to take it to regular inspection.
Car Registration - Taxes
Warning! Some taxes are obligatory, such as the tax on entry into service and the annual road tax. Other taxes such as VAT or import duties, are due in specific cases depending on the country in which the vehicle was purchased and the latter's condition.
The tax on entry into service is payable once the Belgian plate is acquired. It is calculated with the help of an official fixed rate scale per type of vehicle.
The road tax is to be paid annually. Its amount is assessed in function of the vehicle's power and is required from any registration number holder.
Import tax (import duties) will be due in the event that a vehicle was purchased (new or used) outside of the European Union. This amount is calculated on the customs value of the vehicle and is 10% for passenger cars.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) is 21% on the sales price of the vehicle and on any import duties. It is due in both cases:
1.You purchase a new car in a country on the customs territory of the European Union to register it in Belgium.
2.You purchase a new or used car outside of the customs territory of the European Union to register it in Belgium.
Warning! A vehicle is considered to be new if the delivery is made within a time limit of six months counting from the date on which the car first entered into service or if the odometer reads less than 6,000 km. More information.
What to do if you do not have a European certificate of conformity?
Apply for one from the seller or from the sales rep for your vehicle's brand OR
File the application in Belgium with your technical inspection department. This is what is referred to as the conformity process. After you have gone to customs (with your pink registration application form with the "705 label"), make an appointment with the technical inspection department to proceed to the vehicle's full inspection.
A record will be then created by the technical inspection department and forwarded to FPS Mobility. As soon as a positive response is received, the inspection department will contact you in order for you to collect the conformity document on site with your vehicle on which a sticker will be affixed close to the engine. What to do when you leave Belgium?
You must request that your number plate be deleted from the system:
Either return your plate to the DIV (Service Radiations, 56 Rue du Progrès, 1210 Brussels). The date the plate will be deleted from the system is the date of receipt of your number plate.
Alternatively, drop off your plate in a box provided for this purpose at the DIV main office or branches.
Warning! Road tax remains due as long as the plate has not been deleted from the system!
International Number Plates
Members of the diplomatic corps or consular staff and individuals working for an international organisation established in Belgium under public law are entitled to international number plates on the basis of a document issued by their institution. International EUR and EUROCONTROL plates
The international plates "EUR" and "EUROCONTROL" now correspond to a single uniform plate introduced for various international institutions under public international law. The period of validity of these plates corresponds to the term of employment with the international organisation under public law. The maximum period depends on the category of the number plate holder and can potentially be extended. A notice will be sent to the owner one month before the expiry of the validity period. A report will be written four months after the expiry of the validity period, but there will be no cessation of the circulation tax.
International plates have 7 characters in European format, with the inscription in ruby red on white background beginning with the prefix 8 followed by 3 letters and 3 numbers.
CD plates are converted into European format plates, with the letters "CD" followed by the inscription in ruby red on white background. The inscription is made up of 2 letters followed by 3 numbers.
Applications are to be submitted to the Protocol Department, which will forward them to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DIV).
For further information, please call 02/277.30.50
In Brussels the municipalities are in charge of the parking policy on their territory. With 19 different municipalities, there are also 19 different parking regulations. Whenever you park a car in Brussels, there are three options: a) pay and display (buy a ticket form a terminal and display it behind the windscreen) b) residents’ parking permit and you don’t have to pay c) place a blue parking disc behind the windscreen.
If you are a resident of a Brussels municipality, you can request a resident’s card (or 'municipal parking permit’). This card allows you to park free of charge in your own street and also for the most part in your entire neighbourhood (or several neighbourhoods within the municipality). Each family can request one resident’s card free of charge. You will have to pay for a second card (for a second vehicle). Submit an application for a resident’s card to your municipal administration. Bring your ID card, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. In a few municipalities, the card can be renewed on the Internet.
Nearly everywhere in the Brussels-Capital Region you will have to pay to park your car on public roads. This discourages people to travel by car within the city. You can find parking terminals in many locations. Hours and amounts for these parking terminals vary from one municipality to another and sometimes even from street to street.
Most municipalities also have blue zones (mostly in and around shopping streets) for short-term parking (maximum 2 hours) where you are to place a blue parking disc behind the windscreen. These discs are sold in supermarkets for less than 5 euros.
Would you like to know more about the parking policy in your municipality? Go take a look at your municipality’s website. It is nonetheless not easy to know in which municipality you are located. Various long roads in the Brussels-Capital Region run through various municipalities and drivers often have to be both municipal geography and parking regulations experts.
There are, in addition, various public paid car parks in the capital. Motorists are electronically guided from the circular road (road around the historic centre of Brussels) to these car parks. With an electronic arrow system you can see how many spaces are still available. These car parks are managed by private companies. Further information about these car parks, with addresses, rates and number of spaces can be found on Brussels Mobility.