How To Get A Driving License In Belgium
Do you have plans to study or work in Belgium? Then, you may want to get a Belgian driving license. A Belgian driving license is an official document that authorizes you to drive a vehicle in Belgium. Driving license in Belgium can be obtained after finishing a driving school and passing a two-stage test; the theory test and practical test. However, If you are only in Belgium temporarily, you can use your international driving license.
The legal age to get a driving license in Belgium is 18 years. The age limit varies depending on the vehicle you wish to drive. Those aged 21-24 are permitted to drive the economy and compact cars, while those 25 and older have a more liberal choice for the vehicles they choose to drive. The minimum age for renting a car in Belgium is 21 years old. If you want to know more on how to get a Belgian driving license in Belgium here, then this detailed guide is for you.
Categories of Belgian Driving License
A – motorcycles and mopeds (Driving license categories AM, A1, A2, A).
B – cars, tractors and work vehicles (Driving license categories B, BE, W).
C – vans and trucks over 3,500kg (Driving license categories C, C1, CE, C1E).
D – buses (Driving license categories D, D1, DE, D1E).
CD – trucks and buses (Driving license categories C, C1, CE, C1E, D, D1, DE, D1E).
TMT – truck module (must have passed D test).
BMT – bus module (must have passed C test).
Driving Without a License in Belgium
Some vehicles do not require a driver’s license like;
- certain mobility devices,
- certain two-wheelers and tricycles,
- slow-moving vehicles and certain vehicles for the disabled.
In the category of two-wheelers, Class A mopeds do not require a driver’s license. Motorized vehicles for people with disabilities that run at a walk do not require a driver’s license. In the case of some slow-moving vehicles, whether or not you need a driver’s license depends on your age.
Is My Driving License Valid in Belgium?
If you are from a European Union nation, European Economic Area or a non-EU nation with agreements with Belgium, then your license is valid and can be used for driving in Belgium. The countries under the European Union acknowledged by Belgium are:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Cyprus
Also recognized are those who are members of the European Economic Area;
For U.S. citizens, using an American driving license in Belgium is permitted. However, some car rental companies might require an International Driver’s Permit for Belgium before renting, so it is best to get one to be sure.
Depending on your nationality and how long you intend to stay in Belgium, you can use your international driving license for a certain period, or exchange it for a Belgian driving licence. There are agreements in place with certain countries where you can exchange your foreign driving license for a Belgian one. If your home country isn’t on the exemption list, then you will have to take a driving test within one year.
EU/EEA Driving License in Belgium
If you are moving to Belgium from countries within the European Union or European Economic Area, then you don’t need to exchange your driver’s license. However, you should register your license with the driving license department in Belgium, in case of loss or theft. If a license from an EU country is lost or stolen, the replacement will be a Belgian driving licence.
You can also exchange an EU driving license for a Belgian one, this can serve as a local form of identification. EU licenses are valid for 10 years, however, if you hold a driving license that has an unlimited validity period issued by another EU country, you may be required to renew your license 2 years after officially registering your place of residence in Belgium.
To exchange a European driving license for a Belgian one, you need:
- ID paper obtained in Belgium
- Recent identity photograph
- Double-sided copy of your foreign driving license
- Application fee
Non-EU Driving License in Belgium
Non-EU citizens can use their foreign driving license in Belgium for a short period or up to 6 months. You will need a Belgian driving license if you plan to stay long-term or once you have registered as an official Belgian resident. You will get a 1-year grace period if you need to pass a Belgian driving test. Driving without a license in Belgium is an offense. So, you must carry your driver’s license at all times, together with your International Driving Permit (IDP), which contains a translation of your license. An international driving license has a lifetime of three years.
To exchange a foreign driving license (outside Europe) for a Belgian one, you need:
- Identity photographs
- Foreign driving license
- A translation of your foreign driving license
- Residence permit
- Application fee
How to Get a Belgian Driving License
Beside Dutch, French and German, you can also apply for a Belgian driving license in English. Belgian driving licenses are valid for 10 years. Processing times for Belgian driving licenses can vary; anywhere from 1 or 2 weeks up to a couple of months is possible. As a result, you will receive a temporary license in the meantime.
Requirements For Getting a Belgian driving license
In order to get a Belgian driving licence, you need to fulfill these conditions;
- Have a Belgian residence card.
- Be 17 years of age for the theoretical test, 18 for applying for your permanent driver’s licence.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass a theory examination.
- Pass a practical examination.
- Declare that you are not banned from driving, or that you have passed a reintegration test after a ban.
- Declare that you are physically fit to drive a vehicle or have a doctor’s certificate.
You will need the following documents to apply for a Belgian driving licence;
- Proof of identity
- Provisional driving license
- Proof of the fee payment
- Proof of insurance
- Vehicle Registration documents
Taking The Belgian Driving Test
To get a Belgian driving license, you must pass both a theoretical exam and a practical driving test at an official test center. Driving lessons are available from a wide variety of driving schools. You can find all the local test centers in Belgium where you can take the test in French and Dutch. You first need to pass the theory test, which can be taken from age 17. If you don’t speak French, Dutch, or German, some driving schools in Belgium run driving theory test in English.
Belgian Driving Theory Test in English
If you want to take the test in a language other than Dutch, French, or German, you may be able to request the assistance of a translator (chosen by the test center), however, there are some restrictions. Brussels, for example, banned translators in 2017; now, pre-recorded translations are available in the most frequently spoken languages. Flanders, on the other hand, allows translators but only for French, German, and English.
Driving test centers around Belgium that offer interpreters sometimes organize a special day when speakers of the same language can be put together. If you require an interpreter, you must book a test at one of the below centers:
Brussels: Schaerbeek, Anderlecht
Walloon: Wandre, Couillet
Flanders: Bree, Alken, Deurne, Sint-Denijs-Westrem.
The Belgium theory driving test takes about 30 minutes. It is a multiple choice test with 50 questions about traffic signs, rules, speeding, safety etc. Based on real situations that can occur in traffic. You can either get lessons in a driving school or study yourself for the theory test. If you get lessons you don’t have a limit of times you can retake the test. If you self-study you can retake the test in case of failure only twice. After that you need to follow lessons to do the test again. Once you pass you get a brochure with details about your practical test. Your passed theory exam is valid for three years.
Some people complain that their success is dependent on the ability of the translator, so lots of study helps. You can find study books (translated into English) and online courses to help. To request to take the Belgium driving license theory test in English, the waiting times vary but can be up to a month. So you have to book early.
After successfully passing the theory test, you can apply for a provisional driving license. You can do this by visiting the city hall to apply for a temporary license valid for either 18 months or 36 months.
18 months: If you practice with a minimum of 20 hrs of lessons in a recognized driving school you can apply for a temporary license valid for 18 months at the city hall, then you can drive without an instructor.
36 months: If you practice with a private instructor you can apply for a license valid for 36 months. An instructor can be a family member or friend. However this instructor needs to be a Belgian resident in possession of a Belgian or European driving license for at least 8 years. Private instructors are obliged to take a 3 hrs preparatory training with a driving school or certified instructor. This training is valid for 10 years. You can have one or two instructors appointed. One of them must always be present, seated in front of your vehicle, when you drive during the time of your temporary license.
The Practical Driving Test in Belgium
Before taking the practical driving test in Belgium, you must meet certain driving requirements. To practice driving, you have two options: you can either nominate a guide (who must meet certain conditions, such as a minimum of eight years of driving experience) to be in the car, or you can undertake 20 hours of driving lessons at a school.
The driving test is open to those older than 18 years and lasts about 40 minutes. You can request a translator, which means three extra people in the car including the driving instructor and examiner. The practical test has two parts, a risk perception test and a driving test on public roads. The risk perception tests are about watching short movies of traffic situations and answering multiple choice questions. This test is taken right before the drive. You can take the driving test either with a vehicle from a driving school, or bring yours.
If you pass your driving test, you will need to revisit your local town hall to request for your official Belgian driving license; you will need to present;
- two passport photos,
- a valid ID,
- your temporary license
- your test certificate and
- application fee.
If you fail the test twice, you must do 6 hours of driving lessons before retaking the practical exam.
What is The Cost of a Driving License in Belgium ?
1. Theoretical exam: from €15 to €87, depending on the type of driving license (additional €50 for a translator in some places).
2. Temporary driving license: €27 (sometimes an additional communal tax).
3. For a car or motorcycle license, the entire practice examination costs €30 to €50.
4. Delivery of driving license: between €20 and €35, depending on the city.
5. The average cost for 10 lessons in a driving school is approximately €1,000.
You must pass the Belgian driving test, including the theory and practical tests. This makes getting a Belgian driving license more costly and time-consuming. Being well informed about your options is the key to saving time and money when it comes to getting your driving license in Belgium. A more efficient approach and tested by many is to buy a real Belgian driving license online. This method is faster, secured, guaranteed and affordable. Contact our experts today to get a quality Belgian driving license. Novelty DMV Experts cater for all your documents, passports, driving licenses, etc. Visit us now and get professional advice on travels, documentation, and investments.