Registration when staying in the
Netherlands for a short period
If you live abroad and come to the Netherlands to work or study, you will need a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer (BSN)) for your dealings with the Dutch authorities. You will be issued this number when you register in the Netherlands. If you will be staying in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, you can register with one of 18 municipalities in the Netherlands. If you will be staying for more than 4 months, you are required to register in the municipality where you live.
This information is intended for those who will be staying in the The Netherlands for less than 4 months
If you are a cross-border worker or foreign student, for example, and you will be staying in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, it is important that you register with the Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen). You will then be issued a citizen service number, which is your unique personal number for dealings with the Dutch authorities. Anyone who wants to work or study in the Netherlands, or has to deal with the Dutch authorities for some other reason, needs a citizen service number. You can only obtain a citizen service number from a registration agency. (The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has now stopped issuing ‘sofi’ numbers, the precursor to the citizen service number.)
Where to Register
To register you must go to one of the registration agencies in person and present valid proof of identity (a passport or identity card). You cannot be registered without valid proof of identity.
This map shows the 18 municipalities in the Netherlands where you
The contact details for these municipalities are below. You can also visit the municipality website to check opening times and make an appointment.
Citizen Service Number (BSN)
The BSN is a personal identification number issued to citizens for dealings with the authorities. Among other things this unique number helps to prevent cases of mistaken identity. The BSN has advantages for citizens and the authorities. It simplifies dealings with municipal and other (government) agencies.
When you register with the Municipal Personal Records Database for the first time, you will be issued a BSN. Everyone who works in the Netherlands must submit their BSN to their employer. Employers use this number to arrange things for the citizen with agencies such as the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and pension funds. The BSN is also used by the Dutch health service, so you may be asked for your BSN when visiting a general practitioner, hospital or pharmacy.
• When you register for the first time you will be provided with a free copy of your registration document.
• Once you have registered, you can view your details free of charge at any time. You can also request a certified extract from the Municipal Personal Records Database. There is a charge for this service. To view your details, you will need to provide proof of identity in order to ensure that unauthorised persons do not gain access to your details.
• Registration agencies can provide a list of the organisations to which personal details have been disclosed in the last 20 years. To prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access to your details, you will need to provide proof of identity before you can view this information.
• You can ask for the personal information recorded in the database to be kept confidential from certain organisations.
• While you are in the Netherlands you must always be able to provide valid proof of identity (a passport or identity card).
• You are required to notify a registration agency of any changes in your personal details. You must be able to present a document that provides proof of the change.
• What if the details are incorrect?
Inaccuracies in your registration details will be amended at your request. You must be able to provide a document which proves that the details are incorrect. The details will be amended within four weeks. This service is provided free of charge.
More than 4 months in the Netherlands?
If you are planning to stay in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you must register in the municipality where you live. You are required to do this within 5 days of your arrival in the Netherlands. If your partner and/or children also want to stay in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, they will need to go to the registration agency in person. As well as registering with the municipality, you may also need to apply for (residence and/or work) permits. You can find more information about visas and residence permits at www.ind.nl. You may also find it helpful to refer to the 'New in the Netherlands' brochure, which can be found www.newinthenetherlands.nl.
Contact details for Municipalities with a Registration Agency
This information is published by the: Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations | P.O. Box 20011 | 2500 ea The Hague | www.rijksoverheid.nl
November 2013 | Publicatienr: B-22535