No Dutch-registered motor and a foreign vehicle in the country staying for more than 3 months shall drive on the Dutch public highways. But what if your APK certificate expiration nears when you’re out of the country with your vehicle? What should you do?

A mandatory periodical technical inspection of motors and vehicles is implanted in the Netherlands. It applies to all Dutch-registered vehicles, as well as, foreign vehicles in the country that has been staying for three months. Remember that once a foreign vehicle arrives on Dutch soil is subject to its laws and regulations without exemption. Therefore, if you’re planning to import a foreign vehicle to the Netherlands, make sure that it undergoes APK inspection if a valid foreign APK is unavailable, and after 3 years for a brand-new vehicle.

After the initial inspection, car owners are obliged to have their vehicles inspected annually or every 2 years. The inspection is an obligation that must be observed. Likewise, this law intends to ensure road safety and environmental protection.

The RDW sends a reminder to car owners if their APK certificate is near expiry. Six weeks before the expiration date, vehicle owners are expected to schedule an appointment for inspection with the RDW. If the owner fails to perform this obligation, they have to pay the fines, and they can’t drive their vehicle on public roads.

If the RDW sends you a reminder of your APK expiration while you’re out of the country, and unable to get back home soon, what shall you do?

APK Inspection Outside of the Netherlands

If you’re driving your Dutch-licensed vehicle outside of Netherlands, and its APK certificate is near expiring, what you can do is have it inspected either in Spain or Belgium. These countries are EU/EFTA member states where Dutch-registered vehicles can undergo valid inspections. Thus, if you are unable to return to the Netherlands before your car’s APK expiry date, you can go to one of these countries wherever you are nearest.

Be warned that Belgium and Spain have different requirements for APK inspection from the Netherlands. Of course, you’ll be asked to submit the basic requirements, including the original registration certificate of the vehicle, a license plate, and your proof of identity.

PTI inspection in Spain, however, is not applicable for taxis with Dutch registration.

You can schedule the Spain inspection online. The Spain PTI will notify the RDW once you received a PTI inspection report. Remember that the process for Spain PTI is a bit different. You can go to the official website of their designated authority to assure which documents to bring and the fees to pay.

If you are in Belgium, all you have to do schedule a PTI inspection at their web portal. Complete the information asked on the website and prepare the documents. Once the application is successful, they will send you a notification, as well as to the RDW.

There are several locations wherein you can go for a PTI inspection in Belgium. You can look it up at the country’s website or in RDW.