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May I drive...

Driving a car is one of the most useful skills in the world. It gives us the freedom to get in the car and drive anywhere. For example, for a quick errand, a long road trip or a family visit. When you start driving lessons, you will learn all about the rules and regulations involved in driving a car. However, there may be situations in which you are not sure whether you are allowed to drive. This is important for you to know, because it also affects your car insurance. If you get into the car when you shouldn't and cause damage, the insurer might not pay out. Therefore, we have listed the most common questions below.

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Can I drive with alcohol?

Alcohol affects your ability to react, which makes it dangerous to drive when drunk. There is therefore a limit to the amount of alcohol you may drive with. A distinction is made between novice drivers (drivers who have had their licence for less than five years) and experienced drivers. For a beginning driver, the limit is 0.2 promille. For men this equals about one glass, for women half a glass. For experienced drivers, the limit is 0.5 promille. For men this is equal to approximately 2 glasses, for women this is approximately 1.5 glasses.

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I may drive

Can I drive with a plaster cast?

Do you have a wrist, arm or leg in plaster? That is annoying! Especially when daily life goes on as usual and you have to drive a car. But can you do this? It is not against the law to drive with a plaster cast. Of course you can ask your doctor for advice. Doctors usually recommend not to drive with a plaster cast. Even if your doctor says you can drive, this is only advice and you have to decide whether this is wise or not.

Your car insurer may have excluded driving with a plaster cast from coverage. You can find this in the policy conditions of your car insurance. If you still get into the car and cause damage because of the plaster cast, the insurer will pay the other party but they can then recover the damage from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drive with a trailer?

Whether you are allowed to drive with a trailer depends on the type of driving licence you have. Which driving licence you need to drive with your trailer depends on the maximum permitted weight. This is the empty weight plus the maximum load. If you have driving licence B, you may pull a trailer of: a maximum of 750 kg OR more than 750 kg, provided the weight of the trailer and the car together does not exceed 3,500. With driving licence BE you may pull a trailer of: maximum 3500 kg OR more than 3500 kg, but only under certain conditions.

Can I drive a caravan?

For a caravan, the same rules apply as for a trailer. Driving licence B is sufficient, provided that the empty weight + loading capacity does not exceed 750 kilos. In most cases, a caravan is not heavier than 750 kilos, so if you have driving licence B you may drive a caravan.

Can I drive to Germany?

Normally you can drive your car into Germany. However, due to the coronavirus there are currently different advices. For the current travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please visit the website of the Government of the Netherlands.

Can I drive in America?

Are you going to America on holiday and planning to rent a car? Then it is important that you are in possession of the correct driving licence. With a Dutch license you may drive in all EU countries, but outside the EU you may need an international license. America is of course a continent, with many different countries. In the United States, for example, a Dutch driving licence is valid, even when hiring a car. Many rental companies, however, often ask for an international driving licence. It is therefore recommended that you take one with you. It is wise to always check the driving licence rules in the destination country in advance. For example, there are often different rules about the driving licence required for a motorhome.

Are you going to another country in America? The ANWB has listed all the rules for you.

Can I drive if I have passed?

Once you have passed, you will naturally want to drive as soon as possible. However, you must first apply for a driving licence before you can actually get into a car. If you get into a car without a physical driving licence, you risk a hefty fine.

Can I drive again?

When you can drive again after drinking alcohol depends on several factors. It takes your liver about 1 to 1.5 hours to break down a glass of alcohol. Please note that not every body is the same. If you generally drink little or little alcohol, it may take longer for the alcohol to break down in your body. The type of alcohol you have drunk also plays a role. Spirits naturally contain more alcohol than a glass of beer.

Can I drive without an MOT?

No, if your car has not had its MOT, you may not drive it. You are informed of the expiry date six weeks before the expiry of the APK obligation. The RDW sends you a letter stating the exact date on which your MOT expires. With this letter the RDW tries to encourage people to make an appointment on time for an MOT check. You can also view the expiry date online on the RDW website. So 'I haven't received a letter' is not a valid excuse for letting your MOT expire. If the RDW discovers that your MOT has expired, you will receive a fine. In 2021 the fine for an expired MOT will be €150. In addition there will be €9,- in administration costs. So in total you will have to pay €159,- if you do not have your car MOT tested on time.

My car has been rejected (MOT). Am I still allowed to drive?

That depends on whether the expiry date of your MOT has already expired or not. If the expiry date has not yet expired, you can still drive the car, but you have to judge yourself whether this is wise or not. If the car has been rejected because of a technical defect, it may not be wise to drive the car. Moreover, you can be fined by the police for the technical defect.

If the expiry date has already passed, you may no longer drive the car. You will then receive a fine from the police for not complying with the MOT requirement. You may also receive a fine for the technical defect that caused the car to be rejected.

Can I drive a suspended car?

No, when your car is suspended, you are not allowed to drive it anymore. If you do take your car onto the public roads and you are checked, you will receive a hefty fine. Moreover, a suspended car must always be parked on private property, for example in a closed garage. A public parking garage is still public road.

Can I drive without a licence?

When you drive your car, you must always have the registration certificate with you. Do the police ask for your registration certificate and can't you show it? Then you will be fined €45. If you recently transferred the registration to your name, but have not yet received the registration card, you may drive without a registration certificate for 14 days after the transfer.

Can I drive without a licence plate?

No, a car must always have number plates. If you drive a car without a licence plate, you risk a €140 fine. Also, if the licence plate is damaged or difficult to read, it must be replaced. You are also not allowed to drive with only one good licence plate. Both the front and rear licence plates must be present.

Can I drive with an expired driving licence?

Normally you are not allowed to drive with an expired driving licence. However, at the moment, due to the corona crisis, different rules apply. For certain groups, the expired driving licence will be renewed.

  • Did your driving licence expire in the period between 1 February and 1 June 2020? Then your licence will remain valid until 1 July 2021.
  • Did your driving licence expire in the period between 1 June and 1 September 2020? Then your licence will be valid for 13 months longer.
  • Did your driving licence expire in the period from 1 September 2020 to 1 July 2021? Then your licence remains valid for 10 months longer

Can I drive without a licence?

Driving without a licence is not allowed, it is an offence. It is not considered a serious offence, but the penalties imposed are relatively high, especially if it is not the first time. If you are caught driving without a licence, you will receive an official report.

Do you have your driving licence, but do not have it with you and are you stopped by the police? Then you will be fined.

Can I drive if I have just applied for my licence?

As soon as you have passed, you can apply for a driving licence in the municipality where you are registered. Of course you want to be on the road as soon as possible once you have passed, but unfortunately you have to wait until you are actually in possession of your driving licence.

What can I drive with driving licence B?

With driving licence B you may drive more than just a passenger car. You may drive the following vehicles:

An important point here is the weight of the vehicle. You may therefore drive a camper with driving licence B, but the camper may have a maximum weight of 3500 kilos. With a quad bike, it depends on what type of quad bike you have.

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