Getting married or entering into a registered partnership in Switzerland

If you are a Dutch national and you are planning to get married or enter into a registered partnership in Switzerland, check the additional requirements you must meet and the documents you will need. If you live in the Netherlands, you must register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership with your municipality, so that the details can be entered in the Personal Records Database (BRP).

Dutch requirements for marrying or entering into a registered partnership

If you are a Dutch national and you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18 and you marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad, your marriage or registered partnership will not be recognised in the Netherlands until you are both 18 years old.
  • You and your partner must not already be married to or have a registered partnership with someone else.
  • If you are under guardianship you will need the permission of your guardian or of the limited jurisdiction judge ('kantonrechter').
  • The following family members are forbidden to marry each other or enter into a registered partnership with each other: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters.

Obtaining permission from the country in which you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership

If you are planning to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad, check whether this is permitted under the law of the country in question. To find out, you should consult the foreign authority responsible for conducting marriages and registering partnerships. You cannot marry or enter into a registered partnership at a Dutch embassy or consulate abroad.

Documents required for marriage or registered partnership outside the Netherlands

You will require documents in order to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad. The foreign authority that conducts your marriage or registers your partnership can tell you which documents you require. These may include an official copy of your birth certificate and a declaration of marital status

Registering a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

If you live in the Netherlands, you must register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership with the municipality where you live. Do this as soon as possible once you return to the Netherlands. The personal data held on you in the Personal Records Database (BRP) will be updated.

Sometimes you may need to have a foreign official document legalised first. Legalisation is usually done in the country where the document originates. Find out whether you need to have your document legalised and, if so, how.

Converting a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership into a Dutch one

If you wish, you can have a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership converted into a Dutch one by the Foreign Documents Department of the municipality of The Hague.

This is not mandatory but it will make things easier in the future if you ever need an official copy of the certificate. An official copy of a marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership bears a stamp and the signature of a Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partnerships. This will save you having to request one from abroad. Instead, you can request an official copy online from the municipality of The Hague.

Find out how you can have foreign official documents converted into Dutch ones.

Marrying or entering into a registered partnership in this country or region

Getting married in Switzerland

Choosing your name after marriage/registered partnership

When a marriage takes place in Switzerland (= under Swiss law), both spouses can either keep their original surnames or choose a shared family name. In this case they must choose either the bride's or the groom’s surname. In registered partnerships, the couple can also choose one of the partners’ names as a shared family name.

Married name in your Dutch passport or ID card

The new surname after marriage can be entered in your Dutch passport or ID card to replace your original surname. Or you can choose to keep your original surname and add the name of your spouse as "e/v <name spouse>".

You can apply for a new passport or ID card at the embassy if you would like to change your surname on one of these documents. You do not have to wait for your passport or ID card to expire.

Double names

  • Double names such as Meier Müller can no longer be created through marriage under Swiss law.
  • Surnames combined with a hyphen (such as Meier-Müller) are not official names and will not be entered in the Swiss civil register, but may be used in everyday situations. If you are also a Swiss citizen the hyphenated name can de recorded in your Swiss passport and identity card on request. However, this is not allowed in the Dutch passport or ID card.