Legalisation by the Consular Service Centre (CDC)
The Consular Service Centre (CDC) legalises documents from the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. You can have this done at the front desk while you wait. You can also send documents by post.
COVID-19/Coronavirus: the services of the CDC are unchanged. Documents can be handed in during business hours at the legalisation desk. We try to carry out the services as best as possible with a reduced staff. To reduce risk of infection you are asked to only pay by card. Documents can only be handed in without plastic wallets.
Legalising Dutch documents
The CDC legalises Dutch documents so that they can be used abroad. A sticker will be placed on your document. You can have this done at the front desk while you wait. You can also send documents by post.
Please note: In most cases, you will need to have the document legalised somewhere else before you go to the CDC, for example a district court, the Chamber of Commerce or the Education Executive Agency (DUO). After the CDC has legalised your document, the final step is usually to take the document to the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to use it.
Legalisation at the front desk
Hand in your Dutch document(s) at the CDC’s Legalisation Desk. You can also ask a friend or family member to do this for you. They do not require your official authorisation or a (copy of a) valid proof of identity.
How long does it take?
The average waiting time is 1 hour. If you have more than 20 documents, you will need to wait longer. Documents submitted before 11:30 can be collected the same day. Documents submitted after 11:30 can be collected after 09:00 the next working day.
Legalisation by post
Send your Dutch document(s) to the CDC by registered post. Include your name, address, email address and telephone number. Please do not send cash. After the CDC has received your document(s) you will get a letter telling you how much you have to pay.
How long does it take?
After the CDC has received your payment, it will send you the legalised document within 5 to 7 working days.
Legalisation by the CDC costs €10 per document. If you send documents by post, you must also pay for them to be returned to you by registered post.
Criteria for your document
Your document must satisfy certain criteria in order to be legalised. Check these first.
- Your Dutch document must be original and complete. If it refers to other documents or annexes, send these too.
- Check with the organisation that requires your document how old the document can be. The CDC is sometimes unable to legalise documents that were issued more than 12 months ago. However, there is an exception to this rule. If your document is a certificate or diploma recognised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, you must always have it legalised by the Education Executive Agency (DUO) first, regardless of when it was issued.
If your document was issued more than 12 months ago, or if you are not sure whether your document is suitable for legalisation, email a scan of your document to the CDC (email@example.com). Make sure that the signature and the name of the person who signed the document are clearly visible. The CDC will tell you whether your document can be legalised.
Which documents does the CDC legalise?
The CDC legalises:
- original documents
- official copies of Dutch documents
- official copies of foreign documents if the original has been correctly legalised or issued with an apostille for use in the Netherlands
Translation of your document
If your document is not in English, French, German or Dutch you will need to have it translated into one of these 4 languages by a sworn translator. The translator’s signature must also be legalised by the district court.
Which documents are not suitable for legalisation by the CDC?
The CDC cannot legalise:
- documents issued by an embassy or consulate that are not legally valid in the Netherlands, for example documents relating to consular divorces
- documents stating that goods were not produced in or shipped via Israel
- religious certificates, such as certificates of Christianity or baptism certificates
- documents stamped ‘seen by’/‘gezien door’ or ‘seen for copy’/‘gezien voor kopie’.
What happens if my document cannot be legalised?
If the CDC cannot legalise your document it will inform you immediately. If you have sent documents by post, the CDC will return them to you, unlegalised. If you paid less than €15 your costs will not be refunded.
Legalisation by a foreign embassy or consulate in the Netherlands
After your document has been legalised in the Netherlands the country where you want to use it may also need to legalise it. Ask the country’s embassy or consulate about this.
Contacting the Consular Service Centre (CDC)
Address for visitors: Rijnstraat 8, 2515 XP Den Haag
Opening times: Weekdays from 9.00 to 12.30. It is not possible to make an appointment.
The legalisation desk is closed on public holidays in the Netherlands (in Dutch).
Postal address: Postbus 20061, 2500 EB Den Haag
Telephone: Within the Netherlands: 0247 247 247, phoning from abroad: +31 247 247 247