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Legal matters

Compulsory Identification

Compulsory identification on the street

Everyone over the age of 14 in the Netherlands must carry acceptable proof of identification. In general circumstances, only certain officials may ask to see proof of identity if they have a reason:

  • police officers
  • ticket inspectors on public transport
  • special enforcement officers (BOAs) like labour inspectors and forest wardens.

Reasons can include:

  • traffic management (e.g., if a cyclist rides through a red light); 
  • the maintenance of public order (when people’s safety is at stake);
  • the investigation of criminal offences.

Fines for failure to show proof of identity

For persons aged 16 or over who fail to comply with the requirement to identify themselves, the fine is €60. For persons aged 14 and 15, the fine is €30.

No objection possible

If you receive a fine from the police for failing to show proof of identity, you are not entitled to file an objection. The Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) will send you a giro collection slip which you can use to pay the fine. If you fail to pay, the public prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute you. You can be prosecuted within two years of the date of the offence. 

Identity documents

For non-EU citizens, the following are valid identity documents in the Netherlands:

  • a valid passport containing a visa sticker or other valid residence sticker; or
  • a Dutch residence permit issued by the IND; or
  • a refugee travel document issued by the Dutch authorities; or
  • an alien’s travel document issued by the Dutch authorities; or
  • a leave to remain card (W-document).

For EU citizens, the following are valid identity documents in the Netherlands:

  • a Dutch passport or a passport or identity card of a country belonging to the EU or the EEA; or
  • a Dutch identity card; or
  • a Dutch driving licence.

For more informaton, please view this link.