Getting a local driving license in Brussels
To drive in Belgium it is necessary to have a driving license though it does not necessarily have to be a Belgian license. The state allows drivers to use a Belgian license, a EU/EEA driver’s license, a recognized foreign driver’s license and a foreign driver’s license backed by an international driver’s license. Holders of licenses from European Union members, Australia, some states in Canada, and the United States may simply exchange a license for a Belgian one at the town hall, though the process may take several weeks while the validity is verified. Documents to be presented are:
- Resident card.
- The existing license (translated by a sworn translator if not in Dutch, French, German or English).
- Proof of residence (utility bill or equivalent).
- 2 passport-size photographs.
Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA without an agreement with Belgium may use their own licenses or an international license for a year. After one year, the license will cease to be valid and must be surrendered to local authorities, and a Belgian license must be applied for. It is necessary to take the Belgian driving test consisting of a theory and practical exam, sign declarations that the applicant has not been banned from driving, and that there is no physical or mental impairments that may hinder the ability to drive safely. Testing centres can be found at http://www.mobilit.fgov.be/data/route/examcentr.pdf.
A learner’s handbook for driving in Belgium can be found at http://www.newtrafficbooks.be/.
There are 4 categories of licenses in Belgium:
- Category A3 – Scooters, mopeds etc
- Category A – Motorcycles
- Category B – Regular cars
- Category G – Agricultural vehicles
The theory exam can be taken at 17 years old and the test is conducted in French or Flemish. An identity card and a small fee are required to take the test and it can be taken as many times as required. There are 50 questions in the exam, and a minimum score of 41 is required, including correct answers to all serious motoring offences on the test. This provisional/learner’s license is valid for between 18 months (if lessons are to be given by a training school) and three years (if lessons being given by an adult who has held a license for at least eight years) and may also vary on the type of license. It is not necessary to make an appointment for this exam. For more information go to http://www.goca.be/fr/permis/REUSSITHEORIE.pdf.
The practical test lasts a minimum of 40 minutes and there is a mandatory six hour training at a driving school should the applicant fail twice. If using a driving school, they will schedule a practical test for you, otherwise you can go to the office in your commune (http://www.mobilit.fgov.be/data/route/examcentr.pdf) and book a test date there. The following documents are required;
- Identity card
- Learner’s license
- Identity card and driver’s license of accompanying adult
- Proof of payment
- Vehicle registration documents
- Proof of insurance
International Driving License
An international driving license can be obtained from your local town-hall if you hold a Belgian license. This is valid for 3 years and the following documents are required:
- Belgian Driver’s license
- Identity card
- Passport photo
English-speaking Driving Schools
Auto-ecole Simonis – Boulevard Lepold II 288, Brussels 1081. Telephone: 024140833. Website: http://www.autoecolesimonis.be/.
L’Auto Ecole Europeenne – Several locations, for closest one, look at the website, http://www.aee.be/fr/index.html.
Registered driving schools can be found at http://www.mobilit.fgov.be/data/route/rijscholen.pdf.