Register at local municipality

Living in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Netherlands

Registering at your local municipality is a mandatory procedure if you intend to stay longer than 4 months, irrespective of your nationality. If you are moving within the Netherlands, you must inform your new municipality of your arrival. The registration is done in person at your local town or city hall, in most cities by appointment only. All family members that will be registered must be present. No registration fees apply.

Municipal personal records database

The municipal personal records database (in Dutch: Basisregistratie Personen, abbreviated to "BRP") contains information regarding all residents in the municipality. This includes personal and address details of yourself and your accompanying family members, if applicable. The database is also used as a source of information by various other organizations, including IND, Tax & Custums Administration, and Social Insurance Bank. These organisations rely on the address details as listed in the municipal database.

Conditions & documents

You must always bring the following documents to your registration appointment:

  • Proof of identity: Valid passport or identity card.
  • Proof of address: Tenancy agreement or property deed. If the lease/ownership is not in your name, you also need written permission from the main occupant/owner of the property, and a copy of his passport.

Birth and marriage certificates

If you are accompanied by your spouse, you must also bring your marriage certificate. If you have any children with you in the Netherlands, birth certificates are also required. Please note that you may have to get these documents legalised.

Town hall vs. IND

Your registration in the database cannot be finalized until the municipality has confirmed that you have lawful residence in the Netherlands. There are two options:

  • If you have already applied for a residence permit, you have lawful residence. Bring a confirmation of receipt or sticker issued by IND to your registration appointment.
  • If you have not yet applied for a residence permit, you do not have lawful residence yet. When registering, your town hall will issue a document called a Bewijs van Bekendmaking. You must send this to IND, along with your residence permit application. IND will then return it to the municipality. Once that has been done, your registration will be finalized.

Citizen service number

Once you are registered, the municipality will issue your citizen service number (in Dutch: burgerservicenummer, abbreviated to "BSN"). This is a personal number that you will need for various purposes.