Administrative formalities

For all those who would like to or have to exchange their driving license for a Belgian license, please note that you can do so as long as the date of issue on your license is PRIOR to your date of registration with the commune. This is important as in many cases if you renew your license in your country of origin while you are already registered in Belgium, the date that will appear on your driving license will be the date of the last renewal and you will not be allowed to exchange it with a Belgian license.

Belgian driving licence

You have to be 18 years old and in possession of a valid driving license to drive in Belgium). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues by the municipality where you live or (in the case of diplomats) the Belgian driving license.

Driving licenses from most other European countries are valid in Belgium. They do not have to be exchanged for a Belgian license except:

  • If the European driving license 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 of your municipality in the event of loss or theft.

Foreign driving licence

A European national driving licence is a driving licence issued by a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Do you have to exchange it ?

You can drive on Belgian roads for a period of 185 days if you hold a non-European national driving licence which is recognised and has not expired.

So, first of all, we have to distinguish between licences issued with or without an expiry date:

  • With an expiry date : member states mutually recognize each other’s driving licences. Therefore, as long as the validity period of a European driving licence does not expire, it is not necessary to exchange it for a Belgian driving licence.
  • Without an expiry date : exchange is mandatory within two years of setting up residency in Belgium. The holder of the licence must swap his national licence for a Belgian driving licence with a new official validity period. They are exchanged at the commune administration (in the commune where you are resident).

Where do you exchange it ?

European national driving licences are exchanged at the commune administration (in the commune where you are resident).

Is registration mandatory ?

No, holders of a European national driving licence are not required to show their driving licence when they register in a commune. However, it is a good idea to register your driving licence because if it is lost, stolen or damaged, the procedure for exchanging it will be much faster. A registered European licence enables the holder to easily obtain a replacement (issue of a Belgian licence) from the commune.

PLEASE NOTE : For all types of European licences, the exchange must be made before the expiry date. An expired licence cannot be exchanged, even if it has been registered beforehand during its validity period.

EXCEPTION : the procedure is different for a French driving licence. A request for licence authentication must be made to the Federal Public Service Mobility.

A non-European national driving licence is a driving licence that it not included in the list of European national driving licences compiled by the European Commission.

We should distinguish between a driving licence from a non-European country recognised in Belgium and a non-recognised licence.

  • Recognised non-European national licence : after registration in the commune, the licence holder should go to the driving-licence service of the commune where an exchange will be made if certain conditions are met (residence, nationality, length of stay, type of licence submitted, ...). The licence exchange will only take place after positive authentication by the relevant police service. If the police service has a doubt about the licence and gives its reasons for this, an exchange may be refused. You can find a list of recognised licences here.

  • Non-European national licence not recognised : nationals from countries outside the EU with which Belgium does not have an agreement are required to pass a driving test (theory and practical) to obtain a Belgian licence. However, they are exempted from the apprenticeship (a waiting period of more than three months between passing the theoretical exam and the practical driving test) if their driving licence has been authenticated by the police service. In this case, after passing the theoretical exam they can go directly to the driving test centre with their theory certificate and take the practical driving test.

Which documents do you need to make the exchange?

You need to supply proof of six months’ residence in the country that issued the licence, at the time it was delivered. Additionally, in some circumstances a French or Dutch translation of the national licence will be required, prepared by a certified translator.

PLEASE NOTE: the procedures to follow may vary slightly from one commune to another, so you are advised to check with your own particular commune. Just contact the “foreign driving licences” service of your commune or the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport +32 (0)2 277 31 11.

Car importation and registration

In progress.

Car registration taxes

In progress.

International and CD number plates

If you are not registering a car as a full regular resident in Belgium, you may receive, for your vehicle, special number plates. The protocol of the international organisation who is employing you, will provide you information on the delivery of such number plates.

CD plates

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):


In progress.

usefull links

In progress.