Legalisation of documents

Both the Dutch authorities and the authorities of other countries need to be certain about the status of each other’s documents. Legalisation confirms that a document was issued by someone with the proper authority and that the signatures it bears are genuine. Some documents need to be signed by several different authorities in order to be legalised. This is called the legalisation chain. In this section you find all information about the legalisation of documents

Cross-border traffic is increasing rapidly. More and more people and businesses have contacts abroad through trade, company branches, foreign postings, marriage or adoption. In many cases they are required to furnish documents, but a document which is legally valid in one country will not necessarily be valid in another.

Both the Dutch authorities and the authorities of other countries need to be certain about the status of each other’s documents, and it is often difficult to establish that status. It is impossible to know precisely who the authorised officials are in every country, what powers they have, and what a particular document ought to look like.

If a Dutch document has been legalised, the foreign authorities know that it is valid. By the same token, a foreign document legalised in its country of issue is legally valid in the Netherlands.

Legalisation confirms that a document was issued by someone with the proper authority and that the signatures it bears are genuine. Some documents need to be signed by several different authorities in order to be legalised. This is called the legalisation chain.