roads in Belgium
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Updated 2 months ago

If you are moving to Belgium, you might be interested in learning about getting a driver’s licence. Read on for more details.

Belgium has three different types of driving license: Belgian, EU (driving license obtained in one of the EU member states), and third country driving license (obtained in countries outside the EU).

Exchange a European driving license for a Belgian one

First of all, you need to register on the Aliens Register in your city in Belgium. Once this is done, any expat with a European driving license can exchange it with a Belgian one. It is to be made at the services for driving license in the city of residence. This is not mandatory anymore. However, it can be very useful if you lose your foreign driving license.

Documents for the exchange:

  • ID paper obtained in Belgium
  • Passport
  • Recent identity photograph
  • 20€ (cash or bancontact)
  • Double-sided copy of the foreign driving license

Exchange a foreign driving license (outside Europe) for a Belgian one

Any foreigner coming from outside Europe has to exchange their driving license for a Belgian one. The request has to be made at the National Service for False and Falsified Identity Documents (SNDIFF in French.) It then takes usually two months to obtain the Belgian license.

Documents needed:

  • 26€
  • Identity photograph
  • Foreign driving license
  • A translation of the foreign driving license, made by a sworn translator if the license is (even partially) in another language than Dutch or French

Getting a driving license in Belgium

If you don’t have a driving license yet, you can get one in Belgium. New conditions apply:

  • After failing twice the theory examination, category B, candidates need 12 hours of theory lessons (exceptions apply)
  • Instructors’ names have to be mentioned on any temporary license (valid 36 months)
  • Candidates can change their teaching method only once during the validity of their temporary license
  • After expiration of the temporary license, candidates need to take 6 hours of practice
  • Once a temporary license is expired, candidates can obtain a new one only after 3 years
  • Candidates can take a practise examination only whilst holding a valid theory exam (valid 3 years)

Candidates for category B driving license have to be 18 . They have to succeed the theory exam on traffic regulations and be aware of laws related to the police and road circulation. To obtain the theoretical examination, candidates need 41 answers right on 50.

Obviously, a practise exam is added to the theoretical one.

Where to take a driving test in Belgium?

Candidates can take a driving test in the private sector. They obtain a temporary driving license, valid 36 months. The teaching period is of minimum 3 months with an instructor. The latest must hold a driving license for more than 8 years.

Candidates can also choose traditional schools. They obtain a temporary driving license valid for 18 months. The teaching period includes 20 hours of practice. The examination can be taken after a minimum 3 months.

Be aware that candidates failing the examination twice have to take 6 more hours of practice.

Costs

  • Theoretical exam: from 15 to 87€ depending on the type of driving license
  • Temporary driving license: 27€ (sometimes an additional communal tax)
  • For car or motorcycle license, the entire practise examination costs 36€
  • Delivery of driving license: between 20 and 35€ depending on the city
  • The average cost for 10 lessons in a driving school is of approximately 500€

If you wish to undertake a driving test for trucks or you need another driving license for your job, costs vary. You can find additional information on the Group for certified companies in automobile control and driving tests (GOCA in French.)

Roads in Belgium

As in many European countries, roads in Belgium are pretty well maintained. However, despite its density and the fact that the country is a trading crossroad in Europe, lots of reports stipulate that Belgium is the worst member state in investing in its roads. There are no motorway fees in Belgium.

Mandatory equipment for a car

A reflective vest, an extinguisher, a first-aid kit and a box of new bulbs are mandatory in cars. Don’t forget the warning triangle.

Speed

In cities, the speed limit is of 50km/hour.

Outside towns, the speed limit is of 120km/hour:

  • On motorways
  • On public highways divided into 4 different lanes or more (2 lanes dedicated for one side of circulation.) Those lanes are not separated by road markings.

Outside towns, the speed limit is of 90km/hour:

  • On public highways with 4 and more lanes. Two lanes are dedicated to one side of the circulation. These lanes are separated by road markings.
  • On any other public highway

Cyclists and pedestrian rights

In Belgium, cyclists have their own traffic signs, giving them some freedom over traffic regulations.

Therefore, they can:

  • Cycle in the middle of a lane
  • Take a one-way street in the prohibited direction
  • Turn right when the light is red

It is illegal to park on cycling lanes with a car and to drive at a speed exceeding 30km/hour on cycling streets. You can’t undertake cyclists either.

Pedestrians have priority over drivers.

 Useful links:

FPS Mobility and Transport
FPS Mobility and Transport - List of countries whose drivers' licenses are recognized in Belgium
FPS Mobility and Transport – The Highway Code
Driver's license in Brussels

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