Using documents issued by the Dutch government abroad

To use a document issued by the Dutch government abroad, you will need to have it legalised. This is done with a stamp or sticker. After legalisation, you can use the document abroad.

What is legalisation?

Legalisation makes documents suitable for use in another country. It shows that a document has been issued by a competent authority.

How it works

If you have a document issued by the Dutch government that you want to use abroad, for example:

  • a civil status document
  • a photocopy of your Dutch passport
  • a certificate of residence issued by the Tax and Customs Administration

your document will need to be legalised by at least 2 Dutch authorities. Which authorities legalise your document depends on:

  • the type of document
  • the agreements between the Netherlands and the country where you want to use the document

Step 1 - What type of document do you have?

Civil status documents

Examples of civil status documents include:

  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates
  • death certificates
  • certificates of unmarried status

You should have these documents legalised by the municipality that issued them. The municipal officer authorised to carry out legalisations will place their name and signature on your document as proof.

Passport photocopies

You can have a photocopy of your passport legalised by the municipality that issued the passport.

You can also have the photocopy legalised first by a Dutch notary and then by a district court.

>> Go to Step 2

Certificates of residence issued by the Tax and Customs Administration

You must first have a certificate of residence legalised by the Ministry of Finance in The Hague. The Tax and Customs Administration can tell you how this works. For more information, call the tax information line on +31 (0)800 0543 (free of charge).

>> Go to Step 2

Step 2 - What are the agreements with the foreign country?

In some cases, your document may require an apostille. This depends on whether the country where you want to use your document is a member of the Apostille Convention.

You can find a list of the countries that are members of the Apostille Convention on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

The country is a member of the Apostille Convention

>> Your document has now been legalised and can be used abroad.

The country is not a member of the Apostille Convention

You must have your document legalised by the Consular Service Centre (CDC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.

>> Go to Step 3

Step 3 – Legalisation by the foreign country's embassy or consulate

  • Ask the foreign country's embassy or consulate if it also needs to legalise your document.
  • If so, have your document legalised by the country's embassy or consulate. The foreign country's embassy or consulate can tell you how this works.