The Netherlands is a member of the Apostille Convention. The member countries legalise foreign documents by adding a stamp or sticker called an ‘apostille’. It shows that the signature on your document is genuine. With an apostille you can use your Dutch documents in any country that is a member of the Apostille Convention.
Applying for an apostille
In the Netherlands you can apply for an apostille from any district court. You will have to pay a fee. You can apply for it yourself or you can get someone else to do it for you. You do not need to give them special authorisation. The application procedure is not the same in every court. You can choose which court to go to. Check this list of Dutch district courts to find the closest one.
You may need to get your document legalised by another organisation before you can get an apostille from the court. This is the case for the legalisation of diplomas, medication certificates (information in Dutch) and documents from the Tax and Customs Administration.
After you have received the apostille you can use the document in any of the countries that are members of the Apostille Convention.
The Apostille Convention applies to:
- documents from judicial authorities (for example the Public Prosecution Service (OM), a clerk of the court or a bailiff)
- administrative documents, like certificates, diplomas or civil status records
- notarial deeds
- official certificates placed on private documents, like declarations about the existence or official registration of a document on a certain date
The Apostille Convention does not apply to:
- documents issued by diplomatic or consular officials, for example a declaration or certificate of unmarried status from a foreign embassy in the Netherlands
- documents for commercial transactions or customs declarations
Using documents in EU countries
You may want to use a public document from one European Union (EU) country in another EU country. For example a birth certificate, a notarial marriage certificate or a court decision on a legal matter. You will probably not need a translation of documents from public or judicial authority in another EU country. However, you may need a multilingual standard form. Ask for one from the authority that issued your document. You can find a list of all public documents in the EU on the European Justice website.
Note: a multilingual extract of a birth certificate, marriage certificate or death certificate does not need to be legalised or given an apostille if you are going to use it in:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cabo Verde
- North Macedonia
Ask the municipality that issued the document if you can get a multilingual extract.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.