Mediation in obtaining and legalising foreign documents

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Documents issued abroad should be legalised in the country where they originate. In some cases, the Consular Service Centre (CDC) can mediate for Dutch nationals who want to request documents from abroad and/or have documents legalised abroad. You can request this service by post or by email. Mediation can take between 8 and 12 months and costs €131 per document.

Who can the CDC mediate for?

The Consular Service Centre (CDC) can mediate if a request meets the following conditions:

  1. The document relates to a Dutch national.
  2. The document that needs to be obtained and/or legalised is either a foreign document or a Dutch document issued by a Dutch embassy or consulate-general abroad.
  3. The document was issued in a country that allows the CDC to mediate.*
    Some countries will only issue a document to the person the document relates to, or to one of their family members.

Find out in which countries the Consular Service Centre (CDC) can assist with the legalisation of foreign documents

* This does not apply for mediation in obtaining a document issued by a Dutch embassy or consulate-general.

What types of documents can the CDC mediate for?

You can only request certain documents from abroad. You can only have certain documents legalised abroad. Examples include birth certificates and consular civil status documents drawn up at a Dutch embassy or consulate.

The most common documents are civil status documents:

  • an official copy of a birth certificate
  • an official copy of a marriage certificate
  • an official copy of a divorce certificate
  • an official copy of a death certificate
  • an official copy of a declaration of acknowledgement of parentage

What to do

Check whether the CDC can mediate. Select the country your document comes from to find out if mediation is possible.

If so, write a letter or send an email to the CDC that includes:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • what type of mediation you require (request for document and/or request for legalisation)
  • what type of document your request relates to
  • what country your request relates to

What to send

To request civil status documents

Along with your written request, you should enclose:

If you want to request a new official copy of a document you already have, please also enclose:

  • a photocopy of the original document

If you do not have the original document or a photocopy of it, please enclose:

  • parents’ full names (if requesting a birth certificate)
  • the place and date of birth/marriage/death (if requesting an official copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate)

To get a document legalised

If you already have a document and only want to have it legalised in the country of origin, please enclose:

Because you are sending an original document, you are advised to use registered post.

What does the CDC do?

The CDC will send a letter confirming receipt of your request. The letter will say how much you have to pay. When you have paid, the CDC will begin mediation. The CDC will send your document to the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country concerned. The embassy or consulate will contact the local authorities and/or institutions. When the process is complete, the documents will be sent to you by registered post.

How long does it take?

The amount of time mediation takes depends on the country. In some countries, the process of requesting a document and/or having it legalised can take 8 to 12 months. In some countries, the process is quicker. The CDC cannot guarantee that mediation will always be successful. This depends on the foreign authorities.

Mediation to obtain an official copy of a consular document (such as a consular marriage or birth certificate) takes between 8 and 12 weeks. The CDC obtains the document from the Dutch embassy or consulate-general where it was drawn up.

What does mediation by the CDC cost?

Requesting documents as well as their legalisation abroad via the CDC costs €131 per document. If a document cannot be obtained or legalised, the mediation fee will not be refunded.

Do you have a document that includes all legalisations except those of the Dutch embassy or consulate-general? In that case, the mediation for obtaining the legalisation costs € 36.25.

Requesting  official copies of, for example, a birth certificate or marriage certificate drawn up by a Dutch embassy of consulate-general costs €30 per document.

Contacting the Consular Service Centre (CDC)

Postal address

Postbus 20061
2500 EB Den Haag


Within the Netherlands: 024-7247 247
Phoning from abroad: +31 247 247 247