Compulsory identification

The Netherlands has a compulsory identification policy. This means that you must be able to show valid ID (such as a passport).

What does compulsory identification mean?

Police and other officials, such as ticket inspectors and labour inspectors, may ask to see your identity document. They can only ask this if there is a good reason to do so. Healthcare providers and employers may also check your identity.

Compulsory identification for foreign nationals

Compulsory identification applies to Dutch and foreign nationals. If you are from an EU country or from Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland, you can show your passport or identity card.

If you are from another country, you may need a valid visa or residence sticker in your passport. Check whether you need a visa or residence permit for the Netherlands.

More information about compulsory identification

You can find information about compulsory identification on For example the anwer to questions like:

  • When can I be asked to identify myself?
  • Will I be fined if I cannot show my identity document?
  • What counts as a valid identity document?