Driving licences: Information for Australians residing in Belgium
The Belgian government has agreed to the mutual recognition of Australian driving licences. Australian residents in Belgium can now seek to exchange their Australian licences for Belgian licences at their local Commune, without taking a theoretical or practical driving exams. Australians will be able to have normal driving licences recognised. Heavy vehicle licences will also be recognised.
As a result, Australians can approach the Commune where they are registered and apply for a Belgian licence. At their Commune, Australians would need to hand in their Australian licence. Australian licences will be held at the Commune and can be retrieved when an Australian departs Belgium permanently for Australia.
As Australian state and territory licences do not indicate a date from which each licence is valid, some Communes might request documentary evidence that the licence is valid. In that case, Australians could either present the letter or documentation from their licensing authority which accompanied their licence at the time of issue, or contact their relevant state or territory licensing authority to request documentary confirmation that their licence is valid. For a list of Australian licensing authorities, click here.
Belgian licences issued in this manner will be valid for temporary transit in other EU member states. But, where Australian residents in Belgium wish to leave Belgium and become resident in other EU member states, Belgian licences issued to Australians under this arrangement will not necessarily be recognised by other EU member states. Under EU rules, a member state has the right not to recognise a licence which has been issued by another member-state under a licence-exchange program. This may be the case in EU member states whose own licences are not recognised in Australia.
The Embassy is aware of problems at some communes when officials have noted differences between their examples of Australian driving licences and the licence being presented. This has resulted in some applications being declined.
Renewing your Australian licence while overseas
The Embassy does not extend, renew or replace any Australian State or Territory licence. If you wish to renew or replace your Australian driver\'s licence, you should direct your enquiry to the Road Traffic Authority of the State or Territory, which issued you the licence. For a list of Australian licensing authorities, click here.
If you are required to and wish to have your signature witnessed and/or photograph certified please telephone the Embassy Consular section on 02 286 05 00 to make an appointment and to inquire about any fees payable.
Please note these fees do not include the fee for your licence which is payable directly to the relevant State or Territory Road Traffic Authority in Australia. An applicant should bring his/her passport and licence to the interview. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make his/her own arrangements to forward the application to Australia.
Tourist Travel in Belgium
The ‘Local travel’ section of the Smartraveller advice for Belgium provides information for tourists about travelling in Belgium, including on Australian driver’s licences. It can be viewed at: http://smartraveller.gov.au/Countries/europe/western/Pages/belgium.aspx