The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the RDW is the central provider for exemptions. The RDW does this on behalf of the Dutch road authorities. The RDW is the Dutch Vehicle and Driving Licence Registration Authority.

There are two types of exemptions for indivisible cargo: 

  • Short-term / incidental exemptions
  • Long-term exemptions.

The characteristics of the types of exemptions and the corresponding types of exemptions are briefly described below.

Incidental exemption

An incidental exemption can be issued for a vehicle or a vehicle combination. When you apply for an incidental exemption, a check is performed for each application to determine whether the transport is possible. This means that permission to use a particular route will be reassessed when the next application is submitted, so your next application will not be approved automatically. There are different types of incidental exemptions. All incidental exemptions specify pre-conditions for the transport.

An incidental exemption can be issued for the following types of cargo:

  • Indivisible cargo;
  • Divisible cargo (such as ballast/crane parts and LHVs);
  • Self-propelled machines.

Long-term exemption

A long-term exemption is valid for 1 year. Depending on the type of cargo and your vehicle, specific dimensions are defined in the exemption.

You can apply for this exemption for state roads, provincial roads, municipal roads and water board roads. Each road authority has its own restrictions on the maximum dimensions. In addition, it is not permitted to use all of the roads managed by road authorities. Only through roads, roads that lead from or to an industrial zone and roads inside industrial zones are included − and then only if they are suitable for exceptional transport and the road authority has granted its permission.

The exemption is issued on the basis of your vehicle’s license number. The dimensions and stipulations in the exemption apply to the entire combination.

Period of validity

Incidental exemption: 14 days, which can be extended to a maximum of 12 weeks when it involves a project exemption; you must specify this in your application.

Long-term exemptions are valid for 1 year. There is one exception to this: exemptions for agricultural machines are valid for 3 years.


The costs of an incidental exemption depends on the number of road authorities your transport will pass though, the number of routes and the duration of your exemption. You pay at least the basic tariff for an exemption for a maximum of 4 vehicles or combinations. You pay a surcharge for each route and for each extension of the delivery time. In addition, you pay a contribution to each road authority. This contribution (legal fee) must be paid to RDW, which will then pass it on to the road authority on your behalf.

The price for long-term exemptions depends on the number of road authorities for which the exemption is issued. The exemption includes a road overview for each road authority. You pay at least the basic tariff for an exemption for each license number. In addition, you pay for a combination of road authorities, based on a graduated scale. Lastly, you pay a contribution for each road authority, which RDW passes on to the individual road authorities.

In 2013 the price for long-term exemptions will change. Instead of paying per road authority, there will be one tariff for the whole Netherlands.

Delivery time

The delivery time for incidental exemptions depends on the dimensions. The following is an overview of the delivery times that RDW tries to achieve but unfortunately cannot guarantee. They depend on the decision space, the complexity, the total number of applications and the reaction speed of the road authorities.


  10 working days4 working days2 working days
 Width > 4.50 metres < 4.50 metres  < 3.50 metres 
Height > 4.50 metres < 4.50 metres < 4.20 metres
Length > 40 metres < 40 metres < 27.00 metres
Weight > 100,000 kilos and < 150,000 kilos < 100,000 kilos < 100,000 kilos*

* A delivery time of 2 days is not feasible if the transport weighs more than 50,000 kilos and the road authorities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, South Holland and/or North Holland are included on the route. In that case, you need to take a minimum of 5 working days into account.

The turnaround time for a long-term exemption is approximately 5 working days. This partly depends on the number of applications to be processed and the availability and clarity of your vehicle data.

Technical inspection

To qualify for an exemption, your cargo and your (combination of) vehicles must comply with certain conditions. You must confirm that your cargo is indeed indivisible. We may ask you a number of questions about this. In addition, your vehicle must be technically suitable for the transport of this cargo. You may be asked to produce additional documents for the technical inspection.

Foreign vehicle documents

The foreign vehicle documents that we need to examine during an assessment must be issued by the registration authority of the relevant country or by the vehicle manufacturer. Your application should also include a clear copy of your vehicle registration document. You should also send any additional technical documents, such as a §70, with your application so that your exemption application can be assessed properly.

General conditions and stipulations

Every exemption is governed by general conditions and stipulations, such as the requirements for the markings on your transport. In addition, there are often additional conditions and stipulations defined for incidental exemptions, such as driving times, transport supervision and harmonisation. These conditions are specified by the road authorities and are included in the exemption. 

Route & Route study

Before you start your journey, you must be certain in all cases that the route you want to drive is free of obstacles. For an incidental exemption, depending on the dimensions of your transport an additional route study may be required. This additional study must comply with particular requirements and must be appended to your exemption application.
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