Requesting a Citizen Service Number and registering with the Local Authority

Publication: 30-08-2019



A lot of the time is renting a place easier said than done. There could be some rules or requirements that you didn’t keep in mind when you first started looking for a place. Especially expats need to make sure everything, other than signing a contract, is taken care of. This blog series will give you insights of everything you need to keep in mind when you’re renting a place in Amsterdam. This week we will talk about requesting your Citizen Service Number and how to register with the Local Authority.

Why do I need a Citizen Service Number?

Hurray, you found your own place in The Netherlands! Apart from signing your lease agreement, you have to take care of a lot of other things, before you finally move into your new home. First things first, make sure you have your own Citizen Service number. This is an unique personal number for everybody that is registered in the Basic Registration Persons. The government uses this number to process your personal data. This way, you are able to identify yourself when you need medical help. School, child daycares and landlords are also obligated to use this number for their administration.

I will stay shorter than 4 months in the Netherlands

When you are planning to stay in the Netherlands for less than 4 months, you will be referred to as a ‘non-resident’. As a non-resident, you will have dealings with the Dutch government as well, but you do not reside in the Netherlands permanently. Everybody that like to work, live or stay in the Netherlands is obligated to have a Citizen Service Number.

I will stay longer than 4 months in the Netherlands

Register as resident when you are planning to stay for a longer period of time than 4 months. You are obligated to take care of this within five days of your arrival in the Netherlands. Apart from this registration, it might be necessary to apply for a residence and work permit. The website of IND should be able to give you more information about these permits, which ones you need and how you can apply for them.

When the local authorities are able to successfully confirm your identity, you will be registered immediately and within a couple of hours, you will walk out of the building with your own Citizen Service Number! This application is free of charge and you will get a copy of your registered personal data.

How do I apply?

To successfully own a Citizen Service Number, it is necessary to personally visit your local authorities. This has to be done in person and you need to be able to identify yourself. The website of the local authority gives you insight about opening hours and you can make an appointment as well.

Register at the municipality, how does that work?

If you move from abroad to a city like Amsterdam, you have to register at the local authorities within 5 days of your arrival. This registration is mandatory and free of charge. It is necessary to make an appointment upfront, so the authorities can help you as smooth and good as possible. It is good to know that you have to stop by yourself, you can’t let anybody else register for you. Your partner and/or children should all come by themselves as well, as they need to be registered as well. An address where you can register is required to complete this process.

What do I need to register at municipality

There are a few terms and conditions connected to registering at the local authorities in the Netherlands. The first requirement is that you are planning on staying over 4 months in Netherlands within the next half year. You should also have a Dutch identity or permission to stay in The Netherlands. Your identity must be established, so bring a valid proof of identity with you.

Other than that, you need a birth certificate. Other certificates, like a marriage certificate if you’re married or a divorce certificate if you’re divorced,  are necessary, if they apply to you. A rental- or purchase contract is necessary to be registered at the local authorities.

Watch out, it is possible to receive an administrative fine when you knowingly or unknowingly contribute to incorrect information regarding the basic registration of persons.  This fine helps to update and validate administrations.