Having your signature legalised

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If you are a Dutch national living abroad, the Dutch embassy or consulate-general may, in certain circumstances, be able to legalise your signature. You will need to sign the document in question in front of a consular officer.

The legalisation of signatures can for example be required to arrange power of attorney for an inheritance or for the sale of property.

Signature legalisation on a notarial deed is not possible

Dutch embassies and consulates general are not authorised to act as a notary. Are you unsure whether a document is a notarial deed? In that case, send a scan of your document to the embassy or consulate general. The embassy or consulate general will then check whether they can legalise your signature on the document.

Contact the embassy or consulate general

How does signature legalisation work?

Your document must be in Dutch, English, French or German. Documents in other languages must be translated by a sworn translator. If the sworn translator is registered outside the Netherlands, you must have the translation legalised by the local authorities.

Sign the document at your appointment at the embassy or consulate-general. Signatures must be legalised in person. They cannot be legalised by post. Legalisation only serves to confirm that the signature is genuine. The legalisation of a signature says nothing about the content or legal status of the document.

Sometimes the embassy or consulate-general will first check with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs whether a signature can be legalised. In that case it will take longer before you get your document back.

Preparations and making an appointment

You should first ask the authority that requires the document (for example, your bank, a notary or a municipality) whether they will accept a signature that has been legalised by an embassy or consulate-general.

Choose your country or region and read how to make an appointment at the embassy or consulate-general in your country. Or in a country in your region.

Attention: Please note that legalising your signature can sometimes take a few days.

How much will it cost?

For information about the fee for having your signature legalised, see the overview of consular fees.

What should you bring with you?

You must come to the embassy or consulate-general in person and bring the following items with you:

  • the document to be signed
  • a valid Dutch passport or Dutch ID card.

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