Legalisation by the Consular Service Centre (CDC)
The Consular Service Centre (CDC) legalises documents from the Netherlands and other parts of the Kingdom so that they can be used abroad. You can have this done at the front desk while you wait. You can also send documents by post. They will be returned within 14 to 21 days.
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.
Legalisation by the Consular Service Centre (CDC)
The CDC legalises Dutch documents so that they can be used abroad. A sticker will be placed on your document. In most cases, you will need to have the document legalised somewhere else first, such as a district court, the Chamber of Commerce or the Education Executive Agency (DUO). Once the CDC has legalised your document, for the final step in the legalisation process you will often need to take it to the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to use it.
Requirements for your document
Before you go to the CDC
Check the requirements for your document.
- Your Dutch document must be original and complete. If the document refers to other documents or annexes, these must be included.
- Check with the authority which requires your document how old the document can be.
The Consular Service Centre (CDC) is sometimes unable to legalise documents that were issued more than 12 months ago*. If your document was issued more than 12 months ago, send a scan of your document to the CDC by email. 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.
* If your document is a certificate 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.
The CDC only legalises original documents or official copies of original Dutch documents. The CDC will only legalise official copies of foreign documents if the original has been 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. The following rules apply:
- Your document must be translated by a sworn translator.
- It must be translated into English, French, German or Dutch.
- The translator’s signature must also be legalised by the district court.
Legalisation at the front desk
Hand in your Dutch document to the CDC’s Legalisation Desk. You can also ask a friend or family member to do this for you. An authorisation or a (copy of a) valid proof of identity isn't required for this.
How long will 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 from 09:00 the next working day.
Legalisation by post
Send your Dutch document to the CDC by registered post. You should include your name, address, email address and telephone number.
How long does it take?
You will receive a letter telling you how much you need to pay for the legalisation. Once the CDC has received your payment, it will send you the legalised document within 5 to 7 days.
CDC legalisation costs
There is a € 10 fee for each Dutch document legalised. If you send documents by post, you must also pay for them to be returned to you by registered post.
At the front desk you can pay with cash, but payment by card is preferred. If you are posting documents, your payment must be received in full before your legalised documents are returned to you. Please do not send cash in the post. Once the CDC has received your documents, you will receive an invoice and details on how to pay.
Sending documents by post and payments
If you send your document to the CDC, you will receive a letter telling you how to pay. Once the CDC has received your payment, it will send you the legalised document within 5 to 7 working days. The CDC will return to you documents that it cannot legalise. You will not receive a refund if you paid less than €15. When you send your documents for legalisation, please give your address and your email address and/or telephone number.
Your document is not suitable for legalisation
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.
The CDC does not legalise all documents
The CDC cannot legalise the following documents, for example:
- documents issued by an embassy or consulate that are not legally valid in the Netherlands, such as 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’
Legalisation by a foreign embassy or consulate
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 if this is the case.
Contacting the Consular Service Centre (CDC)
Address for visitors
2515 XP Den Haag
Weekdays from 09:00 to 12:30. It is not possible to make an appointment.
The legalisation desk is closed on official holidays.
2500 EB Den Haag
Within the Netherlands: 024-7247 247
Phoning from abroad: +31 247 247 247