Legalising a Dutch document with an apostille

Do you need to use a Dutch document outside the Netherlands? For example a certificate, degree or contract? For countries participating in the Apostille Convention, you can have the document authenticated with an apostille. This is a stamp or sticker on the document. You can obtain the apostille from a rechtbank (district court) in the Netherlands. After the document has been legalised, you can use it outside the Netherlands.

Last updated on 19 January 2023

Lees deze informatie in het Nederlands

Documents under the Apostille Convention

The Apostille Convention applies to:

  • documents from judicial authorities, such as documents from the Openbaar Ministerie – OM (Public Prosecution Service), a griffier (registrar) or a gerechtsdeurwaarder (bailiff);
  • administrative documents, such as certificates, diplomas or civil status records;
  • notarial deeds;
  • official certificates placed on private documents, such as declarations about the existence or official registration of a document on a certain date.

Documents not under the Apostille Convention

The Apostille Convention does not apply to:

  • documents issued by diplomatic or consular officials, such as a Ongehuwdverklaring (Certificate of Non-Impediment) from a foreign embassy in the Netherlands;
  • documents for commercial transactions or customs declarations.

Legalisation with an apostille from the district court

You can apply for an apostille for your Dutch document from any district court.

With this apostille, your document is valid in all the countries that are members of the Apostille Convention.

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Verdrag tot afschaffing van het vereiste van legalisatie van buitenlandse openbare akten (Apostilleverdrag)

Uitvoeringswet Verdrag tot afschaffing vereiste legalisatie buitenlandse openbare akten, artikel I

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