Certified Translations English and Dutch: Diplomas, Certificates, Study Guides, Legal, Financial and Medical Documents

Certified Translations

Edine Bakker Sworn Translator

Translations of official documents (such as diplomas, certificates, testimonials, birth certificates, certificates of good conduct and many other legal documents) often require to be certified.
A translation is certified if it is supplied with an official stamp, a sworn statement and a signature by the certified translator. This signature is filed with the district court where the oath is taken or where the solemn affirmation is made. The translation will be attached to the source document.

More and more frequently, clients prefer sending their translations by scan. In that case, the translation cannot be attached to the source document. The translator's stamp will then be placed on the source document with a code that corresponds with the code on the translation, showing that the documents belong together. Documents submitted in this way are usually accepted by the authorities.

Note: Due to the stamp and the original signature by the sworn translator, a certified translation can only be sent by post or courier. Please take into account that this will influence the term of delivery.

Certified Copy

The translation will be attached to the source document by means of a copper eyelet causing a small hole in the document. Therefore, you had better not send your original diplomas and certificates: in many cases a clear copy of your diploma/certificate and a copy of the reverse side, if any, will suffice.

In the event that a normal copy does not suffice, you may obtain a certified copy from the civil law notary. The costs of a certified copy may vary enormously (from € 10.- to € 35.-). It is worthwhile to call around before submitting your documents to a civil law firm.

You may send the certified copy to us, so that the notarial statement can also be translated. If an embassy or any other authority requires multiple copies of your certified documents, the required number of certified copies must be sent to us.


Legalisation is the conclusion that a document has been issued by an authorised person and that the signature on the document is authentic. If a document is legalised, foreign authorities will know that it is legally valid.

Legalisation of a document is by no means required in all cases and it depends on the authority for which it is intended. If it has been established that your document must indeed be legalised, it must be legalised prior to translation, enabling the translator to also translate the legalisation statement.

Dutch educational documents may be legalised by the ‘Informatie Beheer Groep’ [Information Management Group]. The IB-Groep (section Diploma-recognition & Legalisation) legalises Dutch educational documents on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Attention: the IB-Groep does not legalise foreign diplomas; for this you must address the authorities of the country of origin.


An “authentication” is a governmental act by which a designated public official certifies the genuineness of the signature and seal and the position of the official who has executed, issued or certified a copy of a document.

In the Netherlands, the apostille stamp, made up of nine or ten lines, can be obtained from the district court. For a list of the Member Countries of the Hague Convention, please refer to Document legalisation.