Leiden Expat Center


Compulsory identification

 In the Netherlands everyone must be able to identify themselves when requested to do so by the police or supervisory officials. You must therefore carry valid identification at all times.

The reason for identification requirement 

The Dutch government introduced a law to improve public safety in 2005. This enables the police and supervisory officials to find out right away whether the details a person gives about themselves are correct. For instance, a police officer can ask a cyclist who has ridden through a red traffic light to produce identification. Those who fail to produce valid information when asked risk being fined 50 euro.

Who the identification requirement applies to

The identification requirement applies to everyone fourteen years of age or older who resides in the Netherlands. This therefore includes you, for as long as you live and work here.

Who may ask you to produce identification

Police and supervisory officials may ask you to produce identification. Supervisory officials are park and forest rangers, traffic wardens, Building Control Department (bouw- en woningtoezicht) inspectors, tax inspectors, customs officials and inspectors of education.

What is valid identification

What counts as valid identification depends on the country you come from.

  • If you come from the EU or EEA, then your passport or driving licence is valid identification.
  • If you come from a country outside the EU or EEA, then you can identify yourself with your residence permit  (verblijfsvergunning or verblijfsdocument).

Further information

If you require further information, call the city hall Leiden (department citizenship) information number: 071-5165500.