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Getting a Driver’s License in Belgium

Here's a primer on how to get your driver's license in Belgium.
Getting a Driver’s License in Belgium

Sometimes when you’re new to a country a task like getting your driver’s license can make you feel like you’re 16 years old again trying to pass your driver’s test. Here’s an overview of the process of getting your driver’s license in Belgium.

In Belgium, foreigners are allowed to drive if they hold a valid international driving permit (IDP) or a national driving license from their home country, provided it is written in one of the official languages of Belgium (Dutch, French, or German) or English. If the license is not in one of these languages, it must be accompanied by an official translation or an International Driving Permit. The license must also be valid for the category of vehicle being driven.

For non-European Union residents, the international driving permit or national driving license can be used for a maximum of 185 days from their date of entry into Belgium. After this period, they must obtain a Belgian driving license. EU residents, on the other hand, can use their national driving license until it expires.

It’s important to note that the minimum driving age in Belgium is 18 years for cars and 16 years for mopeds. Also, all drivers are required to have third-party liability insurance for their vehicle.

As for regional differences, the rules for driving are generally the same across all regions of Belgium (Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels-Capital Region). However, there may be slight variations in traffic regulations and parking rules. For instance, in Brussels, there are strict low-emission zone rules that prohibit certain vehicles from entering the city center. Therefore, it’s advisable for foreigners to familiarize themselves with the specific traffic rules of the region they are in.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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