Rules for registering a birth

In the Netherlands you must register a birth with the municipality in which it was born within 3 days of the birth. The municipality will then issue a birth certificate.

Register within 3 days

You must register a birth within 3 days. If this is not possible due to a weekend or a public holiday, you must register the birth on the first working day after the weekend or public holiday. If you are too late you may be fined.

Who can register a birth

Not everyone is allowed to register a birth. Any of the following people may do so:

  • the father or mother;
  • a person who was present at the birth if the parents are unable to register, for example a friend or relative;
  • a fellow resident of the house at which the child was born;
  • the head of the hospital/clinic or their representative.

A fellow resident or the head of the hospital/clinic or their representative may only register the birth if no one was present at the birth.

Birth certificate

When you register a birth the municipality will issue a birth certificate. This will show your child’s names. If you later notice a spelling or typing mistake on the birth certificate, you can have the mistake on the certificate corrected.

Documents you need when registering a birth

To register a birth you need the following documents:

  • Valid passport or identity card (ID card) of the person registering the birth. Or a driving licence if the person registering the birth lives in the municipality where the birth is being registered.
  • Valid passport or ID card of the mother. Or a driving licence if the mother lives in the municipality where the birth is being registered.

The following documents are not compulsory when registering a birth. However, it may be useful to take them with you:

  • birth notification from the hospital or midwife showing the child’s birth names and the date and time of birth;
  • where applicable a copy of the declaration of acknowledgement of parentage if the child was acknowledged before birth;
  • declaration of last name choice if the child’s last name was decided when acknowledging the child before birth.

My child was born in transit. Where should I register the birth?

Your child may be born while you are travelling. For example:

  • in a moving vehicle, such as an ambulance;
  • on a ship;
  • on an aircraft during a domestic flight.

If your child is born on Dutch territory you must register the birth in the municipality in which the child leaves the vehicle or aircraft, or where the ship berths.

You must register a stillborn or deceased child

It is compulsory to register the birth of a stillborn child. This applies if the child was born after 24 or more weeks of pregnancy. A death certificate will be issued for the child.

If the child dies immediately after the birth, you must register the birth within three days. A birth certificate and death certificate will be issued. 

Cost of registering a birth

There is no charge for registering a birth. A fee will apply if you would like a copy of the birth certificate.

Registering a child born abroad

If your child is born outside the Netherlands, you must register the birth with the local authorities in that country.

You can have a foreign birth certificate registered in the Netherlands.