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.
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.
How does legalisation at the front desk work?
- Hand in your Dutch document(s) at the CDC’s Legalisation Desk from Monday until Friday between 09:00 and 12:30.
Attention: the legalisation desk is closed on public holidays in the Netherlands.
- It is not possible to make an appointment.
- You can also ask a friend or family member to legalise the documents for you. They do not require your official authorisation or a (copy of a) valid proof of identity.
- You only can pay per pin at the Legalisation Desk.
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.
How does legalisation by post work?
- 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 receive an email within 5 working days telling you how and 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 certified copies of Dutch documents.
- Consular statements of foreign embassies in the Netherlands, for example single statements and declarations of renunciation of foreign nationality.
Please note: the original document must be fully legalised in the country of origin for use in the Netherlands. Does a document have an apostille? Then you can use that document in all countries that are members of the Apostille Convention. You may need a translation.
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 be legalised by a district court.
You can find a sworn translator on the Legal Aid Council website (Bureau Wbtv).
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 and translations of these documents
- documents stamped ‘seen by’/‘gezien door’ or ‘seen for copy’/‘gezien voor kopie’
- translations in Dutch: Dutch translations serve only to enable Dutch speakers to read the document
- translations of documents from abroad, if the legalisation procedure was not completed in the country of origin.
- translations intended for use in a country that is a party to the Apostille Convention
What happens if my document cannot be legalised?
If the CDC cannot legalise your document you will be informed immediately at the desk.
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
Monday until Friday 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.
Extra closing day: in addition to Christmas (25 and 26 December 2023), the CDC will also be closed on Friday, 29 December 2023.
Postbus 20061, 2500 EB, Den Haag
Within the Netherlands: 0 247 247 247
Phoning from abroad: +31 247 247 247