Register foreign documents for use in the Netherlands

If life events have taken place abroad, you are obliged to register them in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) of the municipality where you live. This may concern, for example, a birth, marriage, death, divorce, acknowledgment or adoption. These documents are also referred to as source documents.

A foreign document from a country outside the European Union is not automatically legally valid in the Netherlands. Therefore, check on the website of the central government whether your documents require legalization or an apostille.

How long does it take?

Legalization or verification of documents can take several months. This depends on the local authority that has to legalize or verify the documents.

Make an appointment

After you have had the documents legalized or verified, you can make an appointment with the municipality to have them registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).

More information

Legalization means that it is established that the document has been issued by an authorized person or authority and that the signature on the document is indeed that of the signatory. In practice, a whole series of signatures is sometimes required from authorities that know who is authorized for what. This is called the ‘legalization chain’. You can read more about legalizing documents on the website of the Dutch government. With an apostille stamp, the procedure to legalize a document is shorter. Read more about it on the website of the Dutch government.

Legalization does not prove that the content of the document is correct. Sometimes extra research is needed to check the contents of the document. This is called ‘authentication’. Is a document verified only by a QR code? Then we can’t check this. We will then not be able to register the document.