How to order my own birth certificate from the Netherlands?

Almost every week, I get a question by someone who needs help obtaining his birth certificate from the Netherlands. Often, these are people who were born in the Netherlands but moved away and now need a birth certificate to get married or apply for citizenship. So I thought I’d explain how you can order your own birth certificate.

Birth records for people born less than 100 years ago are not public. Birth records younger than 100 years are kept by the municipality where the person was born. To protect the privacy of living people, only the person himself can retrieve a copy.

Municipalities in the Netherlands

Municipalities in the Netherlands in 2013. Map by Janwillemvanaalst (source: Wikipedia)

Finding the municipality

A lot of municipalities have merged over the last couple of decades, so the municipality you were born in may not exist anymore. You can find out the name of the current municipality by looking up the name of the old municipality in the “Repertorium van Nederlandse Gemeenten vanaf 1812 [Overview of Dutch municipalities since 1812].” The section that starts at p. 52 has a list of all municipalities that ever existed. If the municipality merged, it will say “opgegaan in [merged with]” followed by the name of the new municipality.

Contacting the municipality

All municipalities have a website, that can usually be found at the .nl address, for example www.amsterdam.nl or www.rotterdam.nl.  Alternatively, you could search for the name of the municipality in Wikipedia and see if it has a link to the website.

You need to find the address of the municipality. Most municipalities will have two addresses: one for visitors and a PO Box (Postbus). You need this second address.

There should also be a contact form on the site where you can ask for specific directions.

Ordering a birth certificate

Once you find the address, you can order your birth certificate by writing a letter addressed to:

[Name of municipality]
Afdeling Burgerlijke Stand
Postbus [number of PO box]
[Zip code consisting of 4 digits and 2 letters] [Municipality]
The Netherlands

In your letter please include:

  • Your full name
  • Your date and place of birth
  • Your postal address
  • The reason why you need the birth certificate
  • Your signature
  • A photocopy of a valid ID

Paying for the birth certificate

Costs vary but are typically between 10 and 20 euros (12-28 USD). Most municipalities will send you an invoice with the birth certificates, others require full payment upfront.

Some municipalities accept credit cards while others only accept bank transfers. Checks are not used in the Netherlands anymore.

To transfer money by bank, you will need to find out the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) for the municipality. Contact your bank to find out how to do a transfer. If you live outside Europe, additional charges will apply.

Someone else’s birth certificate?

Do you need the birth certificate of someone else, who was born less than 100 years ago? There are two ways you can do this:

  • If the person is deceased, provide a photocopy of their death certificate and send this with the order form. You still need to include a photocopy of your own ID.
  • If the person is still alive, the only way you can get a copy of their birth certificate is with their permission. Have them fill out and sign the form, or include a signed letter. Also include a photocopy of their ID.

If you don’t know if the person is alive, or you can’t get permission, you will not be able to obtain a birth certificate.

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About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

Comments

  1. Emilie Van Schayk Verhaegen says:

    How do I order my birth certificate from the Netherlands. I.am born in den Haag [date redacted for privacy reasons].

  2. busywithlife says:

    Is there an English language option on the website of my municipality because unfortunately I don’t know Dutch since I have been living in the UK all my life. The name of my municipality is Tilburg and I need to get a new birth certificate because I lost mines recently.

    • Many municipalities do not have an English website. I recommend you contact the municipality via email and ask them. info@ followed by the domain name usually works.

  3. Jill Harrison says:

    I’d just like to thank you for this information. I lived in Den Haag and my daughter was born there. The original birth certificate was lost and she needs one. Thats really helpful.

    • Karen Roadhouse says:

      We are looking for my husbands Dutch birth certificate. But the closest I’ve come , is not in English. I’m not very good on computers, so a beginners step-by step would be very helpful.

      • As I explained in this article, records of people born less than 100 years are not public and won’t be available online. The steps to order the record from the municipality are explained in this article.

  4. Sheila Nelson says:

    I am researching my genealogy, my father was Dutch, my mother Scottish. I have a copy of my fathers death certificate, he died in England, but I don’t know in what part of Holland he was born. Can you suggest how I can find this information, please?

  5. Hi,

    My Fiancee is Dutch and his mother still lives there. Can she pick up his birth certificate or he would need to follow the procedures above?

    Thanks, Tirma

  6. Sekena Chang says:

    Please help. My grandmother was born in aruba but has gotten her citizenship here in America. Due to a housing incidenct, she lost all her important personal documents, such as her birth certificate, citizenship papers, etc. All she has left is an expired passport. I have been looking all over for ways to obtain her birth certificate. I have her authorization but will an expired passport be enough for a valid ID? Also , what would the cost be? Is there an specific email or number or address that I can mail to, to put in a request?

  7. Dale Thornton says:

    Hi Yvette, Could you guide me towards a site that can produce details of a, female relative who was born in Amsterdam in about 1787. The woman’s father was a Freeman of the City of Amstdrdam and I have the original document (Porter Ed) dated 14.11.1777. His name was Hendrik Broerse van Venr Schipper. Any information on where I could obtain details of this document also would be most useful.

    Kind Regards

    Dale Thornton

    • Hi Dale,
      Indexes of Amsterdam records, including baptismal records, are available at the Amsterdam City Archives website. Poorterboeken (freemen books) for this period have a paper index that is available in the reading room in Amsterdam. Scans of the originals are available at the Amsterdam City Archives website (pay-per-view). BTW, the last name doesn’t seem right, “van Venr” is not a Dutch name. It may have been “van Veen” but you would have to check your source to be sure. “Schipper” [skipper] may have been his occupation rather than a second part of the last name.

  8. Dario Lenarduzzi says:

    Need copy of my fathers birth certificate. His name is Mario Lenarduzzi born Soest 11/21/1939
    Father Benedetto Lenarduzzi Mother Amelia Centazzo Need this in order to get his ashes back to home town in Campagna di Maniago Italia {PN} Please help.
    Thank you!
    Dario Lenarduzzi

  9. Georgia patterson says:

    My father was born in Holland but now lives in the USA he needs his birth certificate he had given me permission to help him he has id but it is not in date does this matter help please ?

    • What do you mean when you say “it is not on date”? If you send a letter to the municipality where he was burn, with a copy of your id, your father’s id and a signed letter with his authorization to you, that should be enough.

  10. Leandi van der Laarse says:

    Good day!

    I am trying to find a copy of my grandfather and grandmother’s birth certificates. Both have passed away and unfortunately we do not have their death certificates. I do however know when and where both where born. Is there any way to apply for the certificates?

    • Hi Leandi,
      If they died in the Netherlands you can order their personal record cards to find out when and where they died. Most municipalities will accept the personal record cards as proof of death. If you don’t have proof of death, I don’t think they would allow you to obtain their birth certificate. I recommend you contact the municipality where they were born to discuss your particular situation with them.

  11. James Griffiths says:

    I am trying to trace records on my great grandmother and the only information I have is that she was Dutch, and an approximate date of birth. Her full names were Judith (Judick) Mariana Adriana Botha, born about 1878. Between then and 1900 she and her parents must have immigrated to South Africa. Any help would be greatly appreciated. As I have hit a dead end.

    Many thanks

    James

    • Hi James,

      Where did you find the information that she was Dutch? I quickly checked some databases and it seems like Botha was not a name in use by people in the Netherlands in the second half of the 19th century. Could the family have been in South Africa before that? I recommend you first exhaust the records in South Africa, such as her marriage and death record, baptismal records, church membership records et cetera, to find out as much as you can about her.

  12. Lina Jordaan says:

    Dear Yvette,
    I am trying to find any relatives of my husband that was adopted from an orphanage in Holland around 1953/1955.I know that he had brothers and sisters but they were separated I the orphanage.Unfortunately I do not know their names or dates of birth. The only thing I have is the parents name….. Any idea where to start?
    Thank you

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