Every person who is legally present in the Netherlands is registered in the Persons Database (Basisregistratie personen, BRP). That means that asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection also have to be registered in the BRP. The registration takes place in the municipality where the person resides.
The following personal details are registered at the BRP:
- Civil status: name, date of birth, marriage, child birth certificates;
- Legal status;
- Registration of travel documents;
- Official identity number;
- Parental authority; and
- Information on voting rights.
The registration of foreigners is based on family documents and identity documents. If there are no documents available, a person can be registered based on a sworn statement on his or her personal records. It is not possible to register a person’s nationality with a sworn statement.
If someone does not know his or her date of birth, the IND can make a declaration on the day of birth that they determined and used in the asylum procedure. The IND can do the same when someone has no documents to prove his or her nationality. The municipality can use the declaration of the IND to register the day of birth and/or the nationality in this way if necessary.
The registration in the Persons Database is necessary to obtain an official identity registration number (“burgerservicenummer”). Having an official identity registration number is an administrative requirement in order to access social welfare, housing, health care insurance and other public provisions.
The registration of asylum seekers takes place at the Application Centers. At the end of 2015, the so called “BRP-straat” (the Persons’ Database of the municipality) was introduced in Application Centres nationwide. As a result, asylum seekers who are granted temporary asylum status during their stay at the Application Centre are registered immediately in the Persons’ Database and will receive their temporary residence permit. This means that, once they are assigned to a local authority, their registration can quickly and easily be processed by that new local authority. Additionally, they will have quicker access to social security benefits. Organisations contributing to the BRP-straat are IND, COA, the Dutch Association for Civil Affairs (NVVB) and the former Platform Opnieuw Thuis.
The BRP-straat is working well in practice. Refugees with a permit as well as asylum seekers are registered. There are a few conditions for asylum seekers before they can be registered.
As soon as the identity of the asylum seeker is determined, the IND notifies the municipality stating that this person can be registered. However, the IND does not notify the municipality for people falling under the Dublin Procedure (Track 1) or the Accelerated Procedure (Track 2). These applicants cannot register at the BRP early in the asylum procedure.
When a child of an asylum seeker or beneficiary of international protection is born in the Netherlands, the child will be registered at the BRP even if the parents are not registered at the BRP. The child can obtain a birth certificate.
The registration of a marriage is based on a marriage certificate. Some applicants and beneficiaries do not have a marriage certificate from their country of origin. In this case the instrument of sworn statement can provide a solution, provided that: (a) a marriage certificate cannot be produced; and (b) it is very clear for the municipality that the person concerned will not be able to obtain a marriage certificate within six months.
Dutch authorities do not, as a rule, recognize a traditional / religious marriage. However, a traditional / religious marriage contracted in the country of origin can be recognized if it is perceived as legally valid in the country of origin. Sometimes the law of the country of origin requires a formal registration of the traditional / religious marriages before these become legal.
 Article 2(17) Persons Database Act.
 Article 24a Persons Database Decree.
 Article 2(10) Persons Database Act.