How to register a birth in the Netherlands

You’ve got a precious bundle of joy on the way (or maybe it’s already arrived!). Either way, you’ll need to register your baby’s birth if you’re living in the Netherlands.

Despite the magic of giving birth, you can be quickly brought back to reality when you realise that bringing a whole new human into the world also comes with a nice side order of paperwork.

That’s because, (and fair warning) if you don’t register the birth of your child with your local municipality within just a few days, you could be slapped with a fine.

Of course, that won’t happen: because this guide will tell you all you need to know about registering the birth of your child in the Netherlands!

READ MORE | 9 things to expect as an expat mother in the Netherlands

How long before I have to register the birth of my child?

Once you’ve popped the non-alcoholic champagne, chomped down some beschuit met muisje (sugared aniseeds on a kind of biscuit that are traditional when celebrating babies in the Netherlands), it’s time to get down to business.

You have to register the birth of your child within three days. If you can’t register because of a public holiday or the weekend, you must register the first working day afterwards.

If you don’t register the birth within this time frame, you could be facing a penalty (ouch!). After all, babies are expensive enough as it is. 😉🍼

Who can register a birth in the Netherlands?

The only people who can ask for a birth to be registered in the Netherlands is:

  • the mother or father,
  • someone who was present at the birth, like a friend or relative,
  • someone who lives at the house where the child was born,
  • the head of a hospital or their representative.

Unfortunately, that means your super-friendly and overly-helpful neighbour can’t take on this task for you. Wat jammer!

How to register a birth in the Netherlands

Luckily, registering your child’s birth in the Netherlands is pretty simple. You’ll need to make an appointment at your local municipality (gemeente). This is where you registered when you arrived in the Netherlands.

If you can’t remember the name of your local municipality, simple search: “gemeente [city name]”. Many municipalities offer websites in English, but if yours doesn’t you can search the website for “geboorteaangifte” (birth registration).

You’ll typically have to make an in-person appointment to register your new child’s birth.

What will I need to bring to register a birth in the Netherlands?

Whether you’ve got an unfortunate case of baby brain or not, you’ll need these documents to make sure your appointment goes as planned:

  • Valid identification (a passport, ID card, driver’s licence) of the person registering the birth.
  • Valid identification (a passport, ID card, driver’s licence) of the person who gave birth.

It can also be useful (but isn’t compulsory) to bring:

  • a birth notification from the hospital or midwife with the child’s birth names and date and time of birth,
  • if you have it, a declaration of acknowledgement of parentage or declaration of surname choice if these were decided before the birth.

Tip! You may like to write down the name of your new child and bring it with you just to be ultra-sure there are no mistakes made around the name or spelling.

At the end of the appointment, the gemeente will print your child’s official birth certificate. Congrats, you officially have a child! 👶

How much does it cost to register a birth in Holland?

Here’s a word the Dutch love: “gratis!”

Registering a birth in the Netherlands is completely free. That’s enough to make you say hoera! 🎉

At the appointment, the gemeente will kindly print your birth certificate. Now you can tick off register birth from your to do list!

Finally, and even more good news, there are free baby boxes (gratis babydozen) available for pregnant women! Yes, now go and enjoy your little bundle of joy!

Have you registered a birth in the Netherlands? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2018, and was fully updated in August 2021 for your reading pleasure.

Image: Wavebreakmedia/Depositphotos

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam has over six years experience writing about life in the Netherlands and leads the content team at DutchReview. She originally came to the Netherlands to study in 2016 and now holds a BA (Hons.) in Arts, a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and (almost) a Masters in Teaching. She loves to write about settling into life in the Netherlands, her city of Utrecht, learning Dutch, and jobs in the Netherlands — and she still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike (she's learning!).

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