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Germany - Obtain a Police Clearance Certificate (Certificate of Conduct)

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Contents

Introduction

A police certificate is an official document issued by police or government agency of a country to enumerate any criminal records that the applicant may or may not have. Criminal records may include arrest, conviction, and possibly criminal proceedings.

Each person over the age of fourteen may obtain an individual penal record. The application has to be filed with the registration office (Meldebehoerde) having jurisdiction over the applicant's residence. Former residents of Germany, no longer registered in Germany, can apply for an individual record through the German Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence, or directly with the Bundeszentralregister in Bonn. The application form is available at the German Embassy/Consulate, or directly from the Bundeszentralregister, Auslandsabteilung, Heinemannstrasse 6, 53175 Bonn.

Eligibility

Information for applying for a certificate of conduct for persons living

Any individual who has reached the age of 14 is issued on request:

  • with a certificate of conduct for personal purposes (private certificate of conduct), or
  • with a certificate of conduct for presentation to a German authority (certificate of conduct for official purposes).

If the person in question has a statutory representative, this person may also file an application. If the person in question has no legal capacity, only his/her statutory representative is entitled to file applications.

The application may be made orally, in person, or in single written form to the register authority at the addresses below.


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Instructions

The person filing the application must prove their identity and, if they are acting as a statutory representative, their power of representation. The person concerned and their statutory representative may not have themselves represented on filing the application by a person holding a power of attorney, even if they are a lawyer. The application must contain the complete personal data of the person concerned and must be signed by him/her in person. Additionally, the address is to be stated to which the certificate of conduct should be sent. The personal data and the signature must be officially confirmed. Such official confirmation may be issued by a German diplomatic or consular representation or by a foreign authority or a notary.

The certificate can only be sent to the applicant personally at his/her private address. On specific request, it may also be sent to a public authority in Germany; in this case, the address of the authority, intended purpose and/or file number should be provided. A police clearance certificate is only available in German. Its contents are governed by law.


  • You need to provide a police certificate when applying for permanent residence.
If you live in Germany
  • You may apply for a police clearance certificate from the Federal Central Register of the Public Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice.
  • German residents must apply for a police clearance certificate through their local registration office “Meldebehörde”.

More information on how to apply for a police clearance certificate is available at www.bundesjustizamt.de

If you live outside of Germany
  • You should apply in person or in writing for a “Führungszeugnis”

Required Information

  • Family name at birth
  • Present family name
  • All first names
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Present private address
  • Signature of the applicant


Procedure

Persons who are exempted from the obligation to register must make their application to the registration authority in whose district they are habitually resident. This also applies to persons with no fixed place of residence.

The certificate of conduct for personal purposes (private certificate of conduct) is only sent to the person making the application.

The certificate of conduct for presentation to a German authority (certificate of conduct for official purposes) is sent directly to the authority. The authority must grant inspection of the certificate of conduct to the person making the application on request. The person making the application may require that the certificate of conduct, if it contains entries, is first of all sent to him/her by a Local Court of his/her choice for inspection. The registration authority must inform the person making the application of this possibility. The Local Court may only permit inspection by the person making the application in person. The certificate of conduct is to be passed on to the authority after inspection or, if the person making the application opposes this, is to be destroyed by the Local Court.

If you live in Germany
  • Apply for a police clearance certificate from the Federal Central Register of the Public Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice.
  • German residents must apply for a police clearance certificate through their local registration office “Meldebehörde”.
If you live outside of Germany
  • You should apply in person or in writing for a “Führungszeugnis”

In writing:

Bundesamt für Justiz
Sachgebiet IV 21 / IR
53094 Bonn
Website: www.bundesjustizamt.de (> Themen > Strafrecht > Bundeszentralregister)

In person:

Bundesamt für Justiz
Besucherservice
Adenauerallee 99 - 103
53113 Bonn
Website: www.bundesjustizamt.de (> Themen > Strafrecht > Bundeszentralregister)

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Required Documents

  • Provide: full personal details and your signature officially witnessed by a German diplomatic or consular mission, foreign government agency or a Notary Public.
  • Alternatively, enclose an officially certified copy of passport or ID card containing your personal details. (You must sign this copy before certification).
  • The application form is on the following website.

An English version is also available.

Fees

The fee for issuing a police clearance certificate is €13, payable in advance to:

  • Deutsche Bundesbank Filiale Bonn
  • Bank code: 370 000 00, Account number: 38001005
  • Account name: Bundesamt für Justiz
  • BIC/swift MARKDEF1370, IBAN DE49370000000038001005
  • Payment can also be made by cheque. Cheques should be made out in Euro and drawn from a German bank. Cheques from the UK can also be made out in pound Sterling. Please contact the legalisation department for further details and exchange rate.
  • No certificate can be issued until the fee has been paid or appropriate proof of payment is provided.


Validity

Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use

The following application form can be used for the application.

Sample Documents

Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.    

Processing Time

Please explain the processing your application.    

Office Locations & Contacts

For personal appearance:
Federal Office of Justice
Visitors Service
Adenauerallee 99-103
53113 Bonn
Opening times:
Monday – Wednesday: 7.30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday: 7.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Friday: 7.30 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.

For written applications:
Federal Office of Justice
Referat IV 2
53094 Bonn

The German Missions Abroad


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Video

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 
	

Information which might help

The certificate of conduct for personal purposes (private certificate of conduct) is only sent to the person making the application.

The certificate of conduct for presentation to a German authority (certificate of conduct for official purposes) is sent directly to the authority. The authority must grant inspection of the certificate of conduct to the person making the application on request. The person making the application may require that the certificate of conduct, if it contains entries, is first of all sent to him/her by a Local Court of his/her choice for inspection. The registration authority must inform the person making the application of this possibility. The Local Court may only permit inspection by the person making the application in person. The certificate of conduct is to be passed on to the authority after inspection or, if the person making the application opposes this, is to be destroyed by the Local Court.

If the person making the application lives abroad, he/she may require the certificate of conduct, if it contains entries, to be first sent to an official representation of the Federal Republic of Germany named by him/her for inspection. The official representation of the Federal Republic of Germany may only permit the person making the application to inspect the certificate in person. After inspection, the certificate of conduct is to be forwarded to the authority or, if the person making the application opposes this, is to be destroyed by the official representation.

The certificate of conduct is only issued in German. Any translation that may be required is to be organised by the person making the application themselves. The content of the certificate of conduct is in line with the provisions of the Federal Central Criminal Register Act.

The use to which it is to be put is to be stated when making the application.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate

In many immigration cases you may be requested by relevant Government to present Police Clearance Certificate from another country where you have resided for some time. If you are going through immigration process, you will definitely be asked for such a certificate.

External Links

Federal Office of Justice

The Federal Central Criminal Register

Auswärtiges Amt - Federal Foreign Office


Others

Authorities of various foreign states sometimes require police certificates of good conduct to be overauthenticated by the Federal Office of Justice, and may also demand an Apostille to be issued by the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne. The overauthentication of the certificate of conduct is a precondition for issuing an Apostille.

Overauthentication can be applied for either at the same time as filing the application to issue the certificate of conduct or – if the person making the application already has the certificate of conduct – may be lodged subsequently by presenting the original certificate of conduct. The application may be made orally, in person, or in single written form to the register authority at the addresses above.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the relevant authorities to obtain the necessary police certificates or clearances. Each country’s procedures are different. Applicants may have to apply to more than one level of government or more than one agency - municipal, provincial, state, federal and the police, courts or similar governmental agencies for the police certificate. If a police certificate cannot be obtained from any of the countries on the list, provide a written explanation why and an original letter from the police authority confirming that it will not issue a certificate.

  • All compulsory fields should be filled in.
  • Make sure all entered information is correct.
  • Make sure all required documents are provided.

Both with applications for overauthentication, and when applying for an Apostille, the country is to be stated in which the certificate of conduct is to be presented.

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