Checklist – moving abroad: 5 things to arrange with the authorities before you leave
If you’re moving abroad for a longer period of time, find out what you can arrange before you leave the Netherlands. This can save you time, money and hassle. Certain things cannot be arranged from abroad.
Activating the DigiD app
Even if you already have a DigiD, many organisations no longer allow you to log in with just your username and password. To log in you must use the DigiD app or a verification code sent by SMS. Before you can use the DigiD app, you will need to download and activate it. An activated DigiD app is required to turn on SMS verification from outside the Netherlands.
Applying for a DigiD
If you don’t have a DigiD, you can apply for one online. You need a DigiD to arrange matters with the Dutch authorities, Dutch care institutions and Dutch pension funds. This is the case even if you live abroad. To apply for a DigiD you will need your citizen service number (BSN).
It’s best to apply for a DigiD before you leave the Netherlands. Within 3 working days of applying you will receive a letter containing a code you can use to activate your DigiD. If you apply for a DigiD from abroad, you will have to collect the letter containing your activation code in person at a DigiD service desk. Please note that there is not a DigiD service desk in every country.
Applying for a DigiD (information in Dutch)
Apply for a DigiD before deregistering from your municipality.
If you are going to be living outside of the Netherlands for more than 8 months of the year, you must deregister from the Dutch municipality in which you live. You can do this starting 5 days before you leave. Ask your municipality how you can deregister – the process is not the same everywhere. Once you’ve deregistered, your data will automatically be transferred to the Non-residents Records Database (RNI). The municipality will forward your new address to other government organisations.
Tip: when you deregister it’s a good idea to request proof of deregistration. You may need this to register outside the Netherlands.
If you need a passport or identity card to move abroad or if your current document will expire soon, apply for a new passport or identity card at the municipality in which you live. It’s best to do this before you leave the Netherlands. Applying for a Dutch passport or identity card abroad often takes more time, costs more money and requires more effort. You may also have to travel some distance to arrange everything.
Passports and ID cards cannot be renewed. You must apply for a new document each time the old one expires.
In the Netherlands, once you have applied you can usually collect your passport or identity document from the municipality within 5 working days. If you need the document before then, ask your municipality whether it is possible to speed the process up and how much that costs.
Applying for a passport or identity card (information in Dutch)
If you have a Dutch driving licence, check to see whether it is valid in the country you are moving to. Whether you can renew your Dutch driving licence depends on which country you will be living in. In some countries it’s not possible to renew your licence. In that case, you’ll have to exchange your Dutch driving licence for a driving licence issued by the country you are moving to.
If your driving licence will expire soon, renew it before you leave the Netherlands. You can do this at the Dutch municipality in which you live. Your new licence will be ready in 5 working days. If you need the document before then, ask your municipality whether it is possible to speed the process up and how much that costs.
When you renew your driving licence you must hand the old licence in to the municipality. You are not allowed to keep your old driving licence.
Renewing your driving licence (information in Dutch)
If you’re going to be working or studying outside the Netherlands, you may need to have a document relating to your education, such as your diploma or transcript, legalised. This is how you can show that the document in question is genuine and recognised in your own country. In most cases, the Education Executive Agency (DUO) is in charge of the legalisation of such documents. There is a fee for this service.
To have a document relating to your education legalised, you can go to the DUO service desk in Groningen or Utrecht. Please note: legalisation is not currently possible at the service desk in Utrecht. The service desk in Utrecht is temporarily closed. Alternatively, you can send your document to DUO via registered mail. If you opt for legalisation via mail, you must send the original document along with your completed application form. Your legalised document will be returned to you within 3 weeks of when your payment is received.
You will then have to finalise the legalisation process at the Consular Service Centre in The Hague or at a district court. There is a fee for this service as well.