Getting a phone number in the Netherlands

If you are staying in the Netherlands for an extended period of time, you might want to get a sim card from a Dutch mobile operator; especially if you are from a non-EU country. Read on to get the lowdown.

Roam like at home

On 15 June 2017, new EU regulations came into effect that significantly changed the rules surrounding international roaming tariffs within the EU. These regulations are informally referred to by the term Roam like at home and stipulate that anyone with a mobile telephone contract based in the EU will no longer pay international roaming charges when they are using their phone in another EU country. This means that if you are coming to the Netherlands from another EU state with an existing contract for your mobile, you don't have to change to a Dutch number right away: you can use your old contract for up to 90 days per year, with a maximum of 30 days in a row. This isn't a viable long-term solution, however, so you probably still want to get your hands on a Dutch sim card. If you are not from the EU, you might be able to use your old contract, but there's also a good chance that it won't work or that you will still get charged extra roaming costs. Your best bet is to get a Dutch sim card.

Two types of payment options
Two types of payment options As in most countries, you can go for a prepaid card or a contract (abonnement in Dutch). The prepaid card allows you maximum control over how much you are going to spend as you need to 'top up' your credit regularly yourself; you can't rack up costs accidentally. It's easier to get a prepaid sim card and this is ideal if you are only staying for a short while. A contract is more convenient, however, and will probably be cheaper (especially if you can commit to a longer contract), but you will get the bill afterwards. Also, because of the more permanent nature of a contract, there are more requirements.

Requirements to get a contract

While nearly anyone can get a prepaid card, there are a few things you need to get a mobile phone contract in the Netherlands:

  • Valid proof of identity (not a driving license)
  • Official bank statement from your Dutch bank
  • Dutch bank account

If you don't have a Dutch bank account Expats Mobile could be a solution!


Find out more about Mobile Providers in The Netherlands.