Police officers and other officials such as ticket inspectors and labour inspectors may ask to see proof of identity. As may care providers and employers.
Compulsory identification on the street
On the street, only certain officials may ask to see proof of identity. Those officials are:
- police officers
- ticket inspectors on public transport
- special enforcement officers (BOAs) like labour inspectors and forest wardens.
These officials may not ask to see proof of identity without giving a reason. Situations in which they may do so include:
- traffic management (for instance, if a cyclist rides through a red light);
- the maintenance of public order (when people’s safety is at stake);
- the investigation of criminal offences.
If you are unable or unwilling to identify yourself in such situations, you will be liable to prosecution. You risk being taken to a police station, where your identity will be investigated. You may also have to pay a fine.
Fines for failure to show proof of identity
For persons aged 16 or over who fail to comply with the requirement to identify themselves, the fine is €60. For persons aged 14 and 15, the fine is €30.
No objection possible
If you receive a fine from the police for failing to show proof of identity, you will not be entitled to file an objection. The Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) will send you a giro collection slip, which you can use to pay the fine. If you fail to pay the fine, the public prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute you. You may be prosecuted within two years of the date of the offence.
The following are valid identity documents in the Netherlands:
- a Dutch passport or a passport or identity card of a country belonging to the EU or the EEA. Passports of all other countries must contain a valid residence sticker;
- a Dutch identity card (formerly known as a European identity card);
- a refugee travel document issued by the Dutch authorities;
- an alien’s travel document issued by the Dutch authorities
- a residence permit or leave to remain card (W-document);
- a driving licence (in some cases).