When should you register?

  • If you live abroad and want to move (back) to the Netherlands, you need to register at the municipality. If you want to live in the Netherlands for more than 4 months in the next half year, you need to make an appointment for your registration with the municipality within 5 days after your arrival. If you have a partner and/or children who also need to be registered in Utrecht, they need to come with you to the appointment.
  • If you have never lived in the Netherlands before, your registration is a ‘first registration’ at the municipality.
  • If you have lived in the Netherlands before, you re-register at the municipality. Please note that if you moved abroad before 1 October 1994, you still need to register as if you register for the first time.
  • You need to register if you reside in the Netherlands for at least 4 months within a period of half a year.


Make an appointment for your registration within 5 days after the arrival and choose ‘verhuizen vanuit het buitenland'. Indicate for how many people you make the appointment. When you go to your appointment, bring the following documents:

  • A valid proof of identity of every person to be registered.
  • A valid travel document or other legal documents with your personal details and nationality.
  • A proof of deregistration when you come from Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba or Sint Eustatius.
  • A rental contract or contract of sale of your home, or your proprietor’s permission, for which you need to complete the form 'verklaring bewoning adres' (pdf in Dutch).
  • Original documents from abroad (not older than 1 year) of yourself and of your children, such as certificates of birth, a marriage certificate or a deed of divorce.

Only English, German and French deeds will be accepted without translation by a sworn translator. Foreign documents have to meet the rules for rules for legislation foreign documents. These rules depend on the country where the documents were issued.

Up to 4 weeks later, your registration will be listed in the Basic Registration of Persons (BRP). If you also apply for a residence permit, your registration will become definitive if the municipality is informed by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND) that you are allowed to live in the Netherlands. When you register, you will receive a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN) during your appointment.

A BSN is required in order to be permitted to work, open a bank account, make use of a healthcare institution (a doctor or hospital) and to apply for benefits or an allowance.

Tip - ask the volunteers of ACCESS

All international residents of the Utrecht region, are welcome to use the information desk of the Expat Center Utrecht.

Do you have a question on practical matters? Or do you want to know where you can obtain various professional services in English? Please feel free to walk in and ask the staff. Staff members at the Information desk are volunteers of ACCESS, a not-for-profit organization supporting the international community in the Netherlands. They are expats themselves or have experienced being abroad to work and live. They are very happy to help you. So visit them on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9-17 hours.