News of: Wednesday, February 02 2005,

3300 fines for not carrying identification papers

3300 fines have been given in the Netherlands since January 1, the date from which everyone older than 14 is obliged to carry a valid id.

Police can ask everyone for valid identification if there is a situation of unrest or danger. For instance, this may happen in areas with many clubs and bars (such as the Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein area in Amsterdam).
Also if you happen to be on the location of an incident (e.g. a shooting or a fire), you may be asked to identify yourself.

The government wants to increase the general security with this measure. The legislation has been passed against a background of fighting terrorism and growing feelings of insecurity amongst the general public.

Everyone who is older than 14, who can not produce valid id when asked by police, may be fined EUR 25 to 50, depending on age.

The obligation to carry id at all times has been a sensitive issue in the Netherlands, because the high quality registration of citizens was used during the Nazi occupation (1940-1945) to track down Jews. This started with the obligation of Jews to carry id cards with a capital 'J'.