The license plate requirement for tractors and other agricultural vehicles had been a subject of debate in the Dutch Parliament for years. While license plates were already mandatory for fast e-bikes or scooters, they were not required for tractors. This debate led to a political decision to introduce the license plate requirement for tractors and agricultural vehicles from January 1, 2021. With a few exceptions, every agricultural vehicle had to be equipped with a license plate from that point on. At the same time, the maximum speed for tractors was increased from 25 kilometers per hour to 40 kilometers per hour. Naturally, a mandatory license plate also requires the corresponding lighting. TRALERT® can help you find the right LED lighting for your license plate.

Kentekenplicht landbouwvoertuigen kenteken led verlichting

Agricultural vehicle registration valid from 1 January 2021

The license plate requirement came into effect on January 1, 2021. What does this mean in practice? First, the RDW introduced a registration system. After this date, it was no longer possible to register a tractor via the RDW website. The registration fee is €18. If you want to register after December 31, 2021, your vehicle must first be inspected, incurring additional costs (€200). After registration, you will receive a license plate card, which allows you to comply with the ongoing license plate requirement for agricultural vehicles. Furthermore, the RDW plans to provide all registered vehicles with license plates starting from January 1, 2025. Once you have received your license plate, you must attach it to the back of the agricultural vehicle.

Which agricultural vehicles are subject to registration?

Since January 1, 2021, all agricultural vehicles capable of speeds exceeding 25 km/h are required to display a yellow license plate. These tractors fall under this license plate requirement. However, the yellow license plate is mandatory only for tractors registered with the RDW in 2021. Towed vehicles that are not registered with the RD

Licence plate compulsory in the following situations

A licence plate is compulsory when your vehicle meets one of the criteria below:

  • The agricultural vehicle drives faster than 25 km/h;
  • The vehicle was put into service after 31 December 2020;
  • The vehicle has an exemption requirement.

Exceptions to the standard registration requirement for a tractor

In some cases, exceptions apply, making it not mandatory to display a license plate. This applies, for example, to vehicles used exclusively on private property and not driven on public roads. Good examples of this are fruit-picking trains or riding mowers with a maximum width of 1.30 meters.

What do I need for registration?

Before you can register your tractor or other agricultural vehicle, you need certain documents. Without these documents, it is not possible to register your vehicle. First, you need the VIN, which stands for "Vehicle Identification Number" and is also known as the PIN, frame number, chassis number, or production number. This number can be found on the construction or type plate of your vehicle. Additionally, the brand, type, or trade name of the vehicle is important. The year of manufacture, maximum design speed, and vehicle category are also required. Finally, the type of fuel must be provided during the registration of your tractor. All this information is required before your vehicle can be registered.

Why is your tractor subject to registration?

The registration requirement for agricultural vehicles was introduced earlier than originally planned. Initially, the plan was to introduce kenteken (license plate) requirements for all agricultural vehicles by 2025. However, at the end of 2020, the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) made a decision to expedite the implementation of this law. What is the reason for the introduction of license plates for agricultural vehicles?

According to politicians, the registration requirement comes with several advantages. It makes it easy to identify the owner of a tractor in case of theft. It also provides more clarity in case of accidents and contributes to road safety. Mandatory license plates allow for traffic violations to be fined, and fines for violations involving agricultural vehicles can now be sent to the correct owner.

kenteken led verlichting landbouwvoertuig

How many number plates on agricultural vehicles?

In the Netherlands, it is mandatory to install a single license plate at the rear of the tractor. This single license plate is approved by the RDW (the Netherlands Vehicle Authority) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. This allows you to drive in Belgium and Germany as well, as these countries have agreed to accept agricultural vehicles with only one Dutch license plate at the rear of the vehicle.

In what name will the registration be made?

It is important to know in whose name the license plate will be registered. You can apply for the registration of your tractor both as a business entity or as an individual, each with its own implications. In a partnership (maatschap), the license plate will be registered in the names of the partners (maten), but it's not yet entirely clear if it's possible to use the partnership's name.

Tractor registration requirement? Think of your agricultural lighting set

The license plate requirement for agricultural vehicles also affects the lighting set. It's important that your license plate holder is equipped with lighting, also known as LED license plate lighting. Just like with other vehicles, the license plate holder with lighting should be clearly visible from a distance of 20 meters at any time of the day. TRALERT® can assist you in finding the right LED license plate lighting for your vehicle.

kentekenplicht tractor

What is a licence plate light?

A licence plate light is the category of lighting that ensures that the licence plate of your agricultural vehicle is clearly legible in the dark. These lights are also known as licence plate lights or number plate lights. The licence plate light ensures that your licence plate is clearly legible. The licence plate light is usually mounted at the rear of the vehicle.

Is licence plate lighting compulsory?

Licence plate lighting is not mandatory for agricultural vehicles that were put into service before 1 January 2018. Is your agricultural vehicle taken into use after 31 December 2017? Then your tractor does require registration. It is therefore mandatory to have a number plate holder with lighting. From 2018, agricultural vehicles must meet the approval requirements. Licence plate lighting is one of those requirements.

If you are planning to purchase a new agricultural vehicle, it is wise to assume that it must have licence plate lighting in order to be allowed to drive on public roads.

What colour is the licence plate light?

The most important thing about licence plate lighting is that the licence plate of your agricultural vehicle is clearly legible. This must be the case in all weathers. It is therefore important that the light is as colourless as possible. This way, the colour of the licence plate will not appear changed. In a previous blog about the Differences between LED and halogen work lights.A graph can be read that shows the different colours of lighting very well. In this image, it is very clear that LED lighting is the most colourless. LED is the best option when it comes to licence plate lights. In addition, a licence plate light should not shine backwards. This could hinder other people.

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How many watts does licence plate lighting have?

LED licence plate lights have a very low wattage. The LEDs used for license plate lighting consume around 1 watt. Often even less. Despite the low wattage, LED licence plate lighting has the same efficiency as other types of lighting. This is because LEDs do not lose energy to heat. This ensures that it also requires less energy to burn.

Ways of connecting LED licence plate lighting

TRALERT® has a wide range of LED licence plate lights. The lights can be connected in various ways. In total TRALERT® offers four ways to connect your LED licence plate lights. The four ways of connecting the lights are:

  1. Cable connection
  2. 0,75 mm2 DC connector
  3. 1,5 mm2 DC connector
  4. 2 PIN LED Autolamps.

What is important now?

If your agricultural vehicle doesn't have a license plate, you risk a fine of 140 euros. If the vehicle is not registered, the fine is even higher, at 380 euros. Therefore, make sure you have a registered license plate mounted on your agricultural vehicle before using it on public roads!