Legalisation of Dutch documents by apostille
The Netherlands is a member of the Apostille Convention. Countries that are members of the Apostille Convention legalise documents using a stamp or sticker called an ‘apostille’. In the Netherlands you can get an apostille from a district court. Documents with an apostille can be used in all of the countries that are members of the Convention.
What documents does the Apostille Convention relate to?
- documents issued by judicial authorities (for example, a public prosecutor, a court registrar or a court enforcement agent)
- administrative documents, including certificates, diplomas and civil status documents
- documents drawn up by a civil-law notary
- official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity (for example, certificates recording the registration of a document or the fact that it existed on a certain date)
The following documents cannot be legalised by apostille:
- documents drawn up by diplomatic or consular agents (for example, declarations of unmarried status drawn up by a foreign embassy in the Netherlands)
- documents relating to commercial transactions or customs formalities
As of 16 February 2019 you can use certain documents from a European Union (EU) member state in all EU countries and in some territories without an apostille.
Where to get an apostille
In the Netherlands you can get an apostille from a district court. Check this list of district courts in the Netherlands to find the nearest one (this site is in Dutch).
In what countries can documents with an apostille be used?
Documents with an apostille can be used in all the countries that are members 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).