Traffic and public transport
Traffic rules and traffic fines
You can find all the necessary information about driving in the Netherlands at www.xpat.nl. You can find more information about the traffic rules (including for pedestrians and cyclists) on the website of Dutch Traffic Safety Association [Veilig verkeer Nederland] (VVN) at https://vvn.nl
NB: Your Ukrainian driving licence will be valid for a further 185 days from the moment you register with the municipality of Zaanstad. Normally you would have to obtain a Dutch driving licence after this period of 185 days from the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing [Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen] (CBR). The Dutch government may decide that this rule does not apply to you and that you therefore do not need to obtain a new driving licence after the period of 185 days. You will then be able to keep your Ukrainian driving licence. For more information please visit the website: www.rdw.nl. If you have already lost your driving licence, you will be able to obtain a new European driving licence, after verification by the Ukrainian embassy.
Parking rules in Zaanstad also apply to cars with an Ukrainian license plate
In some places in Zaanstad you have to pay for parking your car. In 2022 these parking rules did not apply to cars with an Ukrainian license plate. That is not the case anymore.
Now, the parking rules apply to all cars, also to cars with an Ukrainian license plate. Cars with a foreign license plate that are parked incorrectly, will get a wheel clamp around a wheel. This will also happen if you did not pay for parking in places where that is obliged. The municipality can tow away the clamped vehicle after 24 hours.
You can use a public transport smart card known as the OV chip card [OV-chipkaart] to travel on any public transport in the Netherlands. You can use this card on buses, trains, trams and the metro. You can buy the OV chip card at stations, in various stores and supermarkets, as well as online. You must charge the card before you can use it to travel. Certain discounts are available for children, young people and the elderly. Children under the age of 3 can travel for free. You can find more information about obtaining the card and possible discounts at www.ov-chipkaart.nl.
You can use the travel planner website '9292' to find out how you can get to your destination by public transport. Just enter your current location and the desired destination and the website will show you which bus, tram or train you have to take. The travel planner is available as a free app which you can use on your smartphone. You can find this travel planner at www.9292.nl.
You can find more information about public transport in the Netherlands at www.expatica.com.
Returning (temporarily) to Ukraine and travel
If you would like to return to Ukraine, or continue your travels, you can receive assistance from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) or Repatriation and Departure Service [Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek] (DTV). The Repatriation and Departure Service can support you with your return to Ukraine. You can contact this organisation via email@example.com.
The same applies to refugees from Ukraine with a different nationality. This support consists of information and advice, support with arranging (replacement) travel documents and help with transport to Ukraine. Usually transport will be arranged to a country neighbouring Ukraine in the form of flights to, for example, Warsaw or Kraków in Poland.
If you have applied for asylum in Ukraine you will not be eligible for this assistance, unless you cancel the asylum application. If you have applied for asylum, you must apply to the embassy or consulate for (replacement) travel documents.
You can find more information on the website: www.dienstterugkeerenvertrek.nl.
You can contact the DT&V by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephoning +31 (0)88 7464466 or +31 (0)70 3181500. The DT&V does not provide any support for a temporary return to Ukraine.
Holidays abroad or a temporary return to Ukraine
The consequences of a temporary stay abroad, or a temporary return to Ukraine, differ per municipality as regards receiving the living allowance and assistance upon returning to the Netherlands. If you would like more information about the consequences for you as a resident of Zaanstad, please contact the municipality of Zaanstad via 14075, or +31 (0)75 6816969 if you are calling from abroad.
NB: If you are leaving the Netherlands (temporarily), you must always let us know via email@example.com.
For more information please visit the website: www.refugeehelp.nl. Here you will find information about the possibilities for travelling from the Netherlands to other countries and then returning to the Netherlands. There is a difference between travelling in and outside the European Union.
For more information about travelling through the European Union, please visit the website of the European Commission: https://ec.europa.nl.