Moved to the Netherlands and need a DigiD? The process of getting a DigiD can be a lengthy and confusing one.
If you need some help navigating the waters of Dutch bureaucracy, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out how you can set up your own DigiD in the Netherlands — you can thank us later. 😉
What is a DigiD?
A DigiD (Digital Identification) is an online identification you can use for websites and services of the Dutch government. It’s basically kind of like having your own digital passport. Your DigiD account is linked to your BSN and it comes in the form of a username and password.
Do I need a DigiD to live in the Netherlands?
Basically, everything you do in the Netherlands revolves around DigiD, so it’s definitely worth getting one.
Your workplace may ask for it and if you plan on studying in the Netherlands — for example you want to apply for a masters — you may need it for things like Studielink. DigiD is also needed if you want to apply for different types of allowances and do your taxes.
However, it’s not like you are going to be kicked out of the country if you don’t have one of these. For example, many international students on Erasmus exchanges are not required to have a DigiD. That being said, life with one is certainly simpler.
How do I get a DigiD?
Applying for a DigiD is actually a rather easy process, but receiving one can take a bit of time. To get started, head to the government’s DigiD website. You can switch the website to English and click on “Apply for or activate.”
These steps will take you to the DigiD application form (now available in English!), where you have to start by filling in your BSN number (the number you receive upon registering at your local municipality), date of birth, postal code, and house number.
Once you’ve filled in the form, you will have the option to choose different security verification measures.
Text message authentication
You can choose to have text message authentication. This is not mandatory, but I’d recommend it just to save time, as some services do ask for text messages for security reasons and it makes everything else much easier too.
This part is easy too — just click “Ja” if you do or “Nee” if you don’t. Again, click that “next” or as the Dutchies say, “volgende” button and move onto the next page.
Your DigiD account: username and password
Now it’s time to create your DigiD! On this page, you will have to choose your username and password. Your username should be easy for you to remember (and none of that cringe stuff we used to do with our email names back in the 90s).
Always remember that this is also case-sensitive and you shouldn’t include spaces. Your password should also be easy for you to remember (yet not so much so that people can guess it). You then need to retype the password.
If you want to be able to recover your password by text message or email, then tick the box underneath called “wachtwoordherstel.” Congratulations, you’ve got a DigiD! (…almost!)
Security validation for the DigiD
You’ll now find that your phone is going off. I’m sad to say, it’s not your date texting you back, it’s from DigiD. This is the code you should input into the form before continuing onto the next page.
You’re also going to have new email, which also is sadly not from anyone interesting. It’s DigiD again!
Receiving your DigiD authentication code
Next, you will have to wait to receive a letter to your address stating yet another code for you to input into the system. It should arrive at your address within 5 working days, however, for some people it could take longer, or even shorter.
NOTE: Remember that you have 20 days to use this code and activate your account.
I’ve received my code for DigiD by post, now what?
Congrats, you’ve received your letter! Now it’s nearly all over. Just head to the DigiD activation page (the same one as last time) and input your activation code into the box provided.
Now you can click “activeren” or “activate” to confirm and voila you officially have your DigiD!
Tips when you have a DigiD in the Netherlands
Once all the hard work is done and you finally have a DigiD, there are a number of things that you should be aware of:
Ssshh it’s a secret
First things first, your DigiD is strictly personal — you must not give out your details to anyone. If someone Knows your DigiD, you should apply for another one.
It may need updating
If you do not use your DigiD for 3 years, then it will expire, meaning that you will have to apply for another one. Not sure when that will be? This information can all be found in your account!
Install the app!
DigiD have an app that helps to reduce the number of steps needed to authenticate an action. Instead of inputting your password, you can use a simple pin code selected by you or you can scan a QR code on your computer screen.
Setting up the app is an easy process, and you can find all the necessary information on the Dutch government’s website!
Now you’re all set on getting your DigiD in the Netherlands. While you’re here though, do join our DutchReview Facebook group, we’re a funny, cheery bunch, I promise. 😉
Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2018, and was fully updated in March 2021 for your reading pleasure.