Identity documents

Valid identity documents can be: a Dutch passport, identity card, driving licence or motorcycle driving licence (category AM). A copy of one of these is not a valid identity document.


For identification documents maximum price ceilings are set by the government. The tariffs for all available documents are listed in the travel documents tariff list (2014) (Dutch).

Real or fake?

An identity document has a number of authenticating features, such as the shadow watermark, a tactile relief and the document number.

Identification employees and customers

When you hire new employees, you must verify their identity. In a number of sectors you must also verify your customer's identity (for instance in the healthcare sector and for the visitor register in the hospitality sector). They can identify themselves with their passport, identity card or alien’s identity document. In some cases, using a driving licence for identification purposes is not allowed. Please check for exactly which identity document (Dutch) your customer or employee may use in which situation.

Copying identity documents

You are not allowed to copy your customer’s or employee’s identity document, except when you are required to do so by law. Hence, as an employer you are required to keep a copy of your employees’ identity document in your personnel records

Using someone else‘s identity document

You are not allowed to use someone else’s travel document, for example a passport. You are also not allowed to use someone else's driving licence, immigration document or company access pass.

Verifying the identity of employees

If you have a business in the Netherlands and employ staff, you must verify the identity of all workers on the basis of an original identity document. This applies to Dutch workers, foreign workers, and interns that you employ. Even if (foreign) temporary workers are hired through an intermediary or work for you through a contractor or subcontractor, you must nevertheless verify their identity. In addition, you must ensure that your employees can always produce valid proof of identity when at work.

A step-by-step guide (Dutch), developed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, helps you to determine your new employee's identity and whether they are permitted to work for you.

Please note: A driving licence is not a valid identity document for the purpose of verifying a person’s identity at the start of the working relationship as it offers no indication of nationality and residency status.

Please note: If the Inspectorate SZW (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment) requests from you to establish one of your employees' identity, you must send them a copy of their identity document within 48 hours.


You are obliged to keep a copy of the identity document in your records. You must retain this copy for 5 calendar years after the termination of the working relationship, period of employment or activities. When the validity of an identity document has expired, it is not necessary to keep a copy of a new identity document in your records.

Records when hiring through contracting or secondment

If you hire (temporary) workers through an intermediary or a (sub)contractor and you apply the anonymity rate (anoniementarief) for payroll tax purposes, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration may mitigate your liability for the payment of payroll tax by the intermediary or (sub)contractor. For this your records must clearly show the identity of your worker(s) and their individual wages and you must be able to prove that they have a valid residence or work permit.

It is not necessary to keep a copy of an identity document of the contracted employee in your records. To be able to show their identity, you must keep record of their: