Legalisation of documents issued by embassies and consulates in the Netherlands
The Consular Service Centre (CDC) in The Hague can only legalise documents issued by a foreign embassy or consulate in the Netherlands.
Which foreign documents does the CDC legalise?
The CDC only legalises documents issued by a foreign embassy or consulate in the Netherlands. In most cases these documents are consular certificates. Occasionally they are official copies and extracts from the foreign country's civil status records. The most common consular certificates are:
- a certificate of renunciation of nationality
- a certificate of unmarried status
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.
Requirements for your document
Your document must be original and complete. If the document refers to other documents or annexes, these must be included.
Translation of your document
If your document is not in English, French, German or Dutch you might need to have it translated. The following rules apply:
- Your document must be translated by a sworn translator.
- It must be translated into English, French, German or Dutch.
- If the sworn translator is registered outside the Netherlands, you must also have the translation legalised.
Having documents legalised by the CDC
Legalisation at the front desk
Hand in your Dutch document to the CDC's Legalisation Desk. You can also ask a friend or family member to do this for you.
How long does it take?
The average waiting time for legalisation is one hour. If you have more than 20 documents, you will need to wait longer. Documents submitted before 11.30 can be collected the same day. Documents submitted after 11.30 can be collected from 9.00 the next working day.
Legalisation by post
Send your Dutch document to the CDC by registered post. You should include your name, address, email address and telephone number.
How long does it take?
You will receive a letter telling you how much you need to pay for the legalisation. Once the CDC has received your payment, it will send you the legalised document within 21 days.
CDC legalisation costs
Legalisation costs €10 per document. At the desk you can pay with cash, but payment by card is preferred. If you are posting documents, your payment must be received in full before your legalised documents are returned to you.
Contacting the Consular Service Centre (CDC)
The Consular Service Centre is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.
Address for visitors
2515 XP Den Haag
Weekdays from 9.00 to 12.30. It is not possible to make an appointment.
The Legalisation Desk is closed on official holidays.
Attention: The legalisation desk of the CDC will not only be closed on 25 and 26 December 2019 but also on Friday, 27 December 2019 and January 1, 2020.
2500 EB Den Haag
24/7 BZ Contact Centre:
From within Netherlands: 024-7247 247
From outside the Netherlands: +31-247-247-247
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is my document suitable for legalisation?
Some documents are not suitable for legalisation. If you are in any doubt, scan your document and email the scanned image to the CDC to be checked first. This will save you time and money. The CDC will inform you by email if your document is suitable for legalisation. If your document can be legalised, take the original document to the Legalisation Desk in The Hague or send it by registered post.
If your document is not suitable for legalisation
If the CDC cannot legalise your document, you will be informed immediately at the desk. If you emailed your document to the CDC to be checked, you will be informed by email. If you sent documents by post, you will not be reimbursed for postage costs up to €15.
Which documents cannot be legalised?
The CDC cannot legalise the following documents, for example:
- documents issued by an embassy or consulate that are not legally valid in the Netherlands such as documents relating to consular divorces
- documents stating that goods were not produced in or shipped via Israel
- religious certificates, such as certificates of Christianity or baptism certificates
- documents stamped 'seen by'/'gezien door' or 'seen for copy'/'gezien voor kopie'