Legalisation of documents from the United Kingdom (UK) for use in the Netherlands

You can use certain documents from the United Kingdom immediately in the Netherlands. Other documents need to be legalised first by the British authorities. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.

Due to the corona virus, you cannot have foreign documents legalised at most embassies or consulates-general until further notice. Please check the contact page of the embassy or consulate-general to see if and from when it is possible to have your document legalised. Don't see a start date on the contact page? Then it is not yet possible. Do you only need to have your documents legalised by the local authorities? Then check with the local authorities if that is possible.

Who can have documents legalised?

Anyone who has one or more documents from the United Kingdom can have them legalised for use in any part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

  • the European part of the Netherlands
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curaçao
  • Saba
  • St Eustatius
  • St Maarten

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.

Multilingual extracts from civil status records do not need to be translated. A multilingual extract is a standard form in 9 languages.

Where to get your documents

The most common documents are extracts from civil status records:

  • an official copy of a birth certificate
  • an official copy of a marriage certificate
  • an official copy of a death certificate
  • an official copy of a divorce certificate

Contact the British authorities to find out where you can get these documents. Documents like these are usually available from your local register office.

Certificate of unmarried status

(certificate of no impediment)

You can get this certificate at your local register office. Certain conditions apply:

  • you live in the United Kingdom
  • you are a British national
  • you need the certificate to get married or enter into a registered partnership outside the United Kingdom
  • you intend to get married outside the United Kingdom

Other documents

Ask the UK authorities where you can get the documents you need.

Which documents do not need to be legalised?

The following documents do not need to be legalised for use in the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

Documents drawn up by diplomatic or consular officers

This also applies to documents from the British Crown Dependencies.

  • Bailiwick of Guernsey
  • Bailiwick of Jersey
  • Isle of Man

Public documents

As from February 1, 2020 the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union.  However  European rules and regulation still apply during the transition period (until December 31, 2020).

Public documents are exempt from legalisation during the transition period. See the overview of all public documents on the European Justice website.

It is not clear yet what rules will apply after December 31, 2020.

Which documents require an apostille?

An apostille is a stamp or sticker on your document. The following documents require an apostille:

  • official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity (and not drawn up by a civil-law notary);
  • diplomas, certificates and other declarations, e.g. disability declarations;
  • certified copies issued by an EU country of public documents issued by the authorities in a non-EU country.

This is not a complete list. Contact the authorities to find out if your document needs an apostille.

This also applies to documents from the following British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies:

  • Anguilla
  • Bailiwick of Guernsey
  • Bailiwick of Jersey
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Montserrat
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Where can you have your document legalised?

To get your document legalised with an apostille, contact the UK authorities. For details see the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

Once your document has been legalised with an apostille it can be used in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Mediation by the CDC in The Hague

The Consular Service Centre (CDC) cannot help Dutch nationals apply for documents or have documents legalised in the United Kingdom.

Verification of your document

The stamp or sticker on your document means only that the correct signature is on your document. Legalisation does not prove that the content is correct or that the document is authentic. A municipality in the Netherlands, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) or another authority may decide to check this.