Document authentication

29th July 2003, Comments 0 comments

Many Dutch organisations require that documents issued in other countries be authenticated by means of an Apostille. We guide you through the process.

What is an Apostille?

An Apostille is a form of authentication (or legalisation). There are two forms of authentication and an Apostille is one of them. The other is a certificate of authentication.

Why do you need an Apostille?

Some documents intended for use in The Netherlands (such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, diplomas, adoption papers and corporate documents) require some form of authentication. An Apostille confirms the authenticity of the signatory.

In which countries do the documents originate?


Australian citizens need to mail their original document to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the State or Territory which issued the document. The document should be accompanied by a letter specifically requesting an Apostille. (If an Apostille is not specifically requested, another type of authentication may be given in Australia which is not acceptable to the Dutch authorities.) Print your name and address in The Netherlands clearly in block letters at the top of the letter. Do not forget to include the Netherlands as part of your return address.

If you have documents issued in different States and Territories of Australia which require Apostilles, you may send them all to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Payment to accompany your letter may only be made by Australian cheque or international bank cheque made payable in Australian dollars to 'The Collector of Public Moneys'. Apostilles will not be affixed until payment is received by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Cash and credit card payments are not possible.


Canadian citizens must send their documents in need of authentication to:

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Legal Advisory Division (JLAB)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

There is no fee.


Irish documents in need of legalisation should be sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs Consular section. The fee is ten pounds per document.

Department of Foreign Affairs, Consular Section
80 St Stephen's Green
Dublin 2

New Zealand

If New Zealand citizens possess certificates that have not been issued by the Central Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, it is recommended that you apply for a new certified copy from the registry.

Obtaining a new certified copy (although requiring a complicated application procedure) will assist in avoiding the hassle of having certificates notarised before authentication. To obtain an application form, contact the Central Registry (address below) or the New Zealand Embassy in Den Haag. The application form for the issue of a new certified copy of Birth Entry and/or Marriage Entry should be sent to:

The Central Registry
Births, Deaths and Marriages
P.O. Box 31115
Lower Hutt
Tel: 0064 4570 6300

Send a covering letter in which you request that the document(s) be forwarded for authentication/legalisation to the Department of Internal Affairs. The office will then send the document(s) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for authentication. Following authentication, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send the document(s) to the Netherlands Embassy, Wellington for verification.

Finally, the Netherlands Embassy will send the document(s) to your new address in The Netherlands.

The costs are as follows:


per certified copy of birth or marriage entry issued by the Central Registrar
authentication by The Department for Internal Affairs (same amount applies if more than one document in one name/family)
authentication by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (same amount applies if more than one document in one name/family)

Fees may be paid by bank cheque or credit card. Cheques should be payable on a New Zealand Bank in New Zealand dollars. If you wish to pay by credit card, a credit card service is available at the Central Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages:

South Africa

South African documents needing authentication should be sent to:

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

The charge for authentication is 12.50 rand.

United Kingdom

British citizens must pay a fee of 12 pounds. Documents should be sent registered mail to:

The Legalisation Office
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Old Admiralty Building
The Mall
London SW1A 2LG

24-hour recorded helpline, tel: + 44 20 7008 1111

United States of America

Citizens of the United States of America must send documents to the Office of the Secretary of State in the State in which the original document was issued.


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