Netherlands Worldwide

Using translated documents abroad

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If you wish to use a Dutch document such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or diploma abroad, you may need to have it translated. After it has been translated, you may also need to have both the source document and the translation legalised. This is done with a stamp or sticker. After legalisation, you can use the source document and the translation abroad.


The source document may need to be legalised via a different procedure to the translation. To find out how to legalise the source document, see the page on the legalisation of Dutch documents for use abroad. This page tells you how to prepare a translation of your document for use abroad.

Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Check whether you need to have your document translated

Ask the foreign country's embassy or consulate in the Netherlands whether you need to provide a translation of your document and whether the translation also needs to be legalised.

  • If you do need to have your document translated, you should have it translated by a sworn translator (beëdigd vertaler).
  • To find a sworn translator (information in Dutch), please consult the website of the Legal Aid Council (Raad van Rechtsbijstand (Bureau Wbtv)).
  • The translator usually attaches the translation to a photocopy of the source document. Sometimes they attach the translation to the original source document.

Please check whether you need to have both the source document and the translation legalised or just the source document.

Stap 2: Have the translation legalised

This can be done in 2 ways:

  1. Via ‘normal’ legalisation, which will often require more than one stamp or sticker.
  2. Via the apostille procedure, which is a simplified form of legalisation requiring 1 one stamp or sticker.

The type of legalisation required depends on whether the country you want to use your document and its translation in is a party to the Apostille Convention.

Legalisation by the CDC: important points

The CDC only legalises translations if both the translation and the source document meet all the requirements.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.