I currently live in the Netherlands on a family residence permit. Registration at my local municipality requires a copy of my birth certificate (birth country is different from the country of my passport).

That's no problem to get, but I was born with a different first name (though not entirely dissimilar to mine now), and I'm wondering if this will cause any problems when I try to get it legalised for use in this country.

The DOB is the same, after all, but I have no ID or other documents with my birth name as I've been using my current name ever since I became an adult. Plus I have no documentation of the name change (it became my legal name in my adopted country simply through consistent use). Even my social security card is in my current name.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – SztupY
    Apr 23, 2018 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


I don't have experience with this situation exactly, but based on other "name not the same" scenarios I've heard about, the answer is probably not.

You see, the authorities cannot effectively distinguish the case of you providing somebody else's birth certificate from the case of you having changed your name. And they will likely not go to the trouble of following the argumentation regarding why it "has to" really be you.

So - do the work for them, by providing them with the official document of name change from the state in which you were born. If that somehow doesn't exist, then at some point you managed to have a document created with your new name; hopefully you had provided documents with your old name in order to get that new document - now you'll have to contact the issuing party, to get them to write you a confirmation saying something like "Yes, we have issued a passport with name to the person whose birth certificate is the one attached, and bears the name ". Finally, if you can't even get that - you might need something like a sworn legal statement describing how you came to have different names on different documents, and/or some documents of your parents where the old name is indicated etc.

... but it's not a bad idea to ask the office where you're going to registry what you can do in this situation, rather than ask us.

  • This sounds like I need to go to the US consulate in Amsterdam. Signing an affidavit there would be easy, I suppose. Much easier than returning to the US to file a legal name change (which also requires placing an advert in a local name change). Apr 22, 2018 at 15:19
  • 1
    @truffelmayo: I'd first email/call your consulate before popping in, to ask about this.
    – einpoklum
    Apr 22, 2018 at 15:26

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