DigiD transcending borders: Frontier workers now able to apply for DigiD


DigiD is known as the quick and easy identification system for use of government websites. Sadly, in the past frontier workers seemed to be excluded from this service. Until now, that is. The government has recently granted frontier workers the possibility to apply for a DigiD. Expertise centre ITEM reports how this decision came about and what it means.

Expansion DigiD

Secure use of websites from the government, educational institutes, healthcare institutions or pension funds. This is made possible by DigiD. Previously however, when frontier workers wished to use the service to submit their tax returns, for example, they encountered insuperable difficulties. This was the case for numerous frontier workers, on the grounds that DigiD was only available for Dutch nationals or residents of the Netherlands.

For years, expertise centre ITEM has been advocating to provide DigiD to frontier workers. This led ITEM to initiate a test case involving a Belgian frontier worker in order to obtain a DigiD in 2017. Although legal proceedings initiated by ITEM, seemed unsuccesful at first, the Council of State eventually ruled in favour of frontier workers.

In a Letter to the Parliament in July 2020, State Secretary (of the Interior and Kingdom Relations) Knops informed the Lower House that the expansion of the DigiD provision for frontier workers is expected in autumn of 2020.

Translated excerpt from letter to the parliament titled ‘Commitment DigiD foreign frontier workers AO GROS 11 March 2020 and Current status DigiD eIDAS regulation’ from July 2nd, 2020

“The Council of State has ruled that a Belgian lady who works in the Netherlands but lives in Belgium must be assigned a Dutch DigiD under EU law, so that she can log in digitally to Dutch government bodies by the same means as Dutch citizens can. Consequence of this ruling is that EU citizens who reside outside the Netherlands but who have a relationship with our country and have therefore registered in the Registration of Non-Residents (RNI), can obtain a DigiD if they wish. They can apply for a DigiD digitally via the existing procedure for applications abroad and activate it with a code that they receive at a DigiD foreign desk.”

The Secretary of State for the BZK, drs. R.W. Knops

In line with the above commitment, the Dutch government officially expanded the DigiD provision on 29 September 2020, allowing citizens to apply for a DigiD provided they have a connection to the Dutch government, have a BSN and are resident in the EEA (European Economic Area).


Applying for a DigiD from abroad can be done here.

Conditions for the application

You have the Dutch nationality or the nationality of another country in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Click here for more information about the test case and the ruling.


Besides the fact that DigiD is now available for frontier workers, there is other promising news in the area of the free movement of European citizens. it has been announced that DigiD is recognised as an official European login tool. This means that DigiD can be added as a login tool to digital government websites of European member states. Subsequently, however, DigiD must also be implemented in the other European Member States, which can take up to 12 months. This recognition complies with the European eIDAS (Electronic Identification and Authentication Services) regulation.

For more information regarding the eIDAS notification click here.

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