Legalisation of documents

Documents originating from one country will often not be accepted in another country unless it is clear that they were issued and signed by authorised officials. By submitting a legalised document, the authorities in the recipient country will know that the document has been issued and signed by an authorised official in the country where the document was issued.

In practice this may mean that a document has to be legalised by a number of different official organisations before it can be used in another country. However, if both the originating country and the recipient country are party to the Apostille Treaty, there is just one step: legalisation with an apostille by the appropriate authority in the originating country.

A foreign document has to be legalised in the country of origin before this document can be used or registered in the Netherlands. Documents issued in the United Kingdom have to be legalised with an apostille by the Legalisation Office (part of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office). Documents issued in the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies first have to be legalised by the local authorities (usually the Office of the Governor).

The following documents do not have to be legalised:
All certificates and documents that do not fall under the above exemptions have to be legalised. If you have a foreign document and would like to know how and by which authority it should be legalised, please click on the name of the country under Landeninformatie. This information is only available in the Dutch language.
If a document or certificate has been issued in another language than Dutch, English, French or German, a legalised translation has to be attached to the original, legalised document.

Legalised birth, death and marriage certificates relating to a Dutch national can be registered by the Landelijke Taken department in The Hague.