rules and driving tips. Getting your Belgian driver's license.Important documents



Discover Belgium by Car: A Traveler’s Guide to Driving Through History and Culture


Belgium, a small yet diverse country in Western Europe, is celebrated for its historic cities, picturesque countryside, and world-class chocolates and beers. Exploring Belgium by car allows travelers to easily navigate between its cultural and historical treasures, offering the flexibility to uncover hidden gems and experience the nation at their own pace.

Photo by Despina Galani on Unsplash

Navigating Belgian Roads

Belgium boasts an extensive network of well-maintained highways (autoroutes) and charming rural roads, making it an ideal locale for a road trip. The highways are generally in excellent condition, ensuring a comfortable journey from one city to another. However, when driving through historic city centers, be prepared to navigate cobblestone streets, which can be uneven and slippery, especially in rainy weather. Additionally, traffic congestion is common in major cities like Brussels and Antwerp, so plan your travel times accordingly.

Key Traffic Rules and Regulations

Understanding Belgium's traffic rules and regulations is essential for a safe and enjoyable trip. Speed limits are typically set at 50 km/h in urban areas, 70-90 km/h on rural roads, and 120 km/h on highways. Adhering to the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers, which is 0.05%, is crucial to avoid fines and ensure safety. Travelers must use seat belts at all times and carry mandatory safety equipment like a reflective vest and a warning triangle in their vehicles.

Parking Tips and Tricks

Finding parking in busy cities such as Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp can be challenging. Utilizing parking meters, underground parking garages, and Park-and-Ride facilities can make the process easier. Pay attention to special parking zones or restrictions, as non-compliance can result in fines.

Fueling Up and Roadside Services

Gas stations are widely available along highways and in urban areas, offering a variety of fuel types. Rest stops and service areas are conveniently located, providing travelers with opportunities to take breaks, refuel, and refresh during their journey.

Scenic Drives and Must-Visit Destinations

Belgium offers several scenic drives, like the route through the Ardennes forest region or the coastal drive along the North Sea. Must-visit attractions accessible by car include the medieval city of Bruges, the historic battlefield of Waterloo, and the vibrant city of Ghent.


Local Insights and Cultural Etiquette

Local driving etiquette in Belgium includes yielding to pedestrians and cyclists and understanding right-of-way rules. Basic phrases in French and Dutch can be helpful for interacting with locals and enhancing your travel experience.


Guide to Driving in Belgium

When driving in Belgium, remember that you need to drive on the right side of the road, which is something you will need to get adjusted to quickly if you are coming from a country that drives on the left.

Driving in Belgium

Speed Limits in Belgium

Speed limits vary depending on where you are driving in Belgium. The speed is measured in kilometers per hour (kph), which might be a bit confusing for someone who's not used to the metric system. Speed limits in Belgium are:

Recently, in the past few years, the Belgian Government introduced certain equipment to improve road safety. Speed traps, cameras, and unmarked vehicles are now operating throughout the country.


Highways in Belgium are well built and maintained with good lighting. However, rain and fog can reduce visibility. Although most of the roads in Belgium are toll-free, only the use of Antwerp’s Liefkenshoek Tunnel requires the use of toll.

Driving Age

The minimum age requirement for driving in Belgium is 18 years.

Drinking and Driving

The amount of legally allowed alcohol in the blood is 0.5 mg/ml. When police request an alcohol test, you are allowed to refuse according to the law. However, in doing so, you might get arrested.


Remember to carry important documentation with you at all times. Documents you should have with you:

Getting Your Belgian Driver's License

To apply for a Belgian driver’s license or to exchange your license for a Belgian one, you need to go to the town hall of the city you are registered in. To get the process started, you can register at your local commune office. The validity of your driver’s license in Belgium depends on your country of origin. Some foreigners in Belgium must exchange their license for a Belgian one, some may exchange it if they wish, and others will need to take a full driving test (theory and practical) to get a Belgian driving license.

Note: The minimum age for driving is 18 years in Belgium. People under the age of 18 with a valid US driver's license may not drive in Belgium until they are 18.

Important Documents

It is compulsory to carry a driving license, car registration papers, and insurance documents in the car (Dutch, EU, and International Driving Licenses are accepted). If you have an old-style all-green license, it is recommended, but not required, that you obtain the IDP for Italy and Spain. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not a substitute for a full UK driving license but is an additional document to be used alongside your driving license. International Driving Permits (often referred to as an International Driver's License) are available to people over the age of 18. An IDP/IDL is valid for either 12 months or 3 years (depending on the type of IDP) from the date of issue.

Safety Belts

Belgium requires the use of either seatbelts or a safety seat for everyone in the car, both at the front and back.

Driving with Children

Children under 18 years of age and below the height of 1.35m are prohibited from travelling in the front seat, and must be seated at the rear with a seatbelt tightly fastened or in a safety seat (depending on the child's age).

The Police

The police have the authority to collect fines and press charges on the spot. If you decide to pay the fine on the spot, make sure you get a receipt from the official. If for any reason, you are not willing to pay, you will be asked to pay a security deposit, in which case you have a specific time period (usually two weeks) to pay your fine.

Additional Required Equipment

All cars in Belgium must be equipped with the following equipment:


There are several parking areas known as Blue Zone parking areas in Belgium that feature parking meters or similar facilities. Parking discs are also used in some cases which can be obtained from police, service stations, etc. According to the law, you are not permitted to park within 15 meters of a tram, bus or rail stop, or intersections.

Additional Issues

In Belgium, trams have priority over cars. The horn is only allowed to be used outside built-up areas. Horns may be used during times of danger or during low visibility. Dipped headlights or day-time running lights must be used in poor daytime visibility.

Driving in Belgium can be a wonderful way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and historic cities. Following these guidelines will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Safety Tips for a Smooth Journey

To ensure a smooth journey, be cautious of cyclists and tram lines in cities. Having an International Driving License (IDL) is particularly important for non-EU residents driving in Belgium to comply with local regulations.

Why Choose for Your International Driving License offers a convenient and efficient way to obtain an International Driving License, bypassing the cumbersome procedures of traditional government offices. With a fast and straightforward online application process, exceptional customer support, and worldwide recognition, simplifies securing your IDL, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience in Belgium.


Embark on your Belgian road trip with confidence, equipped with knowledge and tips for a delightful journey. Utilize to obtain your International Driving License and enjoy a seamless and enjoyable travel experience.

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