Creating a birth certificate

In some cases, a court procedure is needed to create a birth certificate before a name change is possible. If the petition is successful, the court will order the registrar to create a birth certificate. Once the new birth certificate is created, then your name can be changed.

Legally creating a birth certificate in The Netherlands

When can a birth certificate not be registered normally?

In the following cases, a birth certificate cannot be registered according to the normal procedure:

  • your passport does not state the same name as your birth certificate;
  • you do not have a birth certificate.

The lack of documents can have numerous reasons. Whatever the reason; the result is that the Dutch authorities cannot register your birth certificate. 

How do you get a Dutch birth certificate? 

You have to petition the court to create a new birth certificate. Once the new birth certificate has been created this can be followed by the name change procedure.

The request to create a birth certificate is a court procedure. You cannot address the court yourself. You will have to hire a lawyer to petition the court to create a birth certificate. 

How does the procedure work? 

The procedure starts with a court petition, which is submitted by your lawyer.

The court then informs the official registrar in the municipality of The Hague about the petition. The court will request the registrar to submit a formal opinion on the request. 

Your lawyer will be informed of the registrar’s opinion and will be allowed to respond to the opinion. 

Sometimes the court will schedule a court hearing if it feels it needs more information from parties. The court’s decision can be expected approximately four weeks after the hearing. 

If the court has no questions, and the registrar has no objections, no court hearing will take place.

What are the criteria for creating a birth certificate? 

The bottom line is that you need to prove your existence and identity to the court. The court needs to be convinced that the name, birth date, place of birth and – if applicable- the details of your parents are correct. Basically, you need to prove the information that is normally registered on a birth certificate. The court bases its conclusion on all of the facts and circumstances presented to it.

If the petition is granted, the court will order the municipality of The Hague has to create a birth certificate in accordance with your request. The municipality of The Hague is the official registrar for birth certificates of people born outside of The Netherlands.

What evidence do you need for the court proceedings?

You need to provide us with any document that can prove who you are from the country were you were born, This may include copies of old passports and identity cards, old school or university diploma’s, registration from a sports club or music classes etc. In addition, we will ask you to provide us with any Dutch document that can prove who you are, such as your immigration documents. 

The above is not a complete list as every situation is different. We will discuss with you what you can or cannot prove, help you retrieve evidence and discuss the chances of success with you. 

How long does a procedure to create a birth certificate take?

This depends on the specific circumstances of your case. The more evidence you have of your identity, the faster the procedure will be. If the court has to schedule a hearing, proceedings will take much longer. Therefore, we try to make the petition as complete as possible before going to court.

As a general estimate, court proceedings take between 7 and 14 months. 

Is there any way to speed court proceedings up? 

Unfortunately no. There are no short cuts available. 

However, if you only wish to change your first name, we can combine both requests into one procedure. This saves court costs and means that your new birth certificate and your name change happen as close together as possible.

When changing your surname, you will have to wait until the court has decided in your favour before requesting a surname change.


Creating a birth certificate is a not a standard procedure. Therefore, the costs may differ depending on the circumstances. Costs also vary depending on whether you want a first (or middle) name change or a surname change in addition to creating a birth certificate. 

If you have any further questions or want more information on creating a birth certificate, please contact us.

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