The German Federal Central Register (Bundeszentralregister) issues police clearance certificates and Certificates of Good Conduct. The Federal Office of Justice maintains criminal record information in the Federal Central Criminal Register. It is required for those seeking immigration status in other countries to provide evidence that they have never committed any criminal activity that brought them into conflict with the German Police. In today’s blog post, let’s discuss the procedure, the required documents, and other information that you might need to know if you are to receive a police clearance certificate.
A Certificate of Good Conduct is often required, especially when applying for a job, depending on the type of job you are applying for. Especially if you are involved in public welfare programs for children or youth, or if you work in child care and upbringing, the Employer may even require a certificate of good conduct in Germany. Employers in the public service, security industry, and transport industry are very likely to require a certificate of good conduct.
Where can you apply for a Police Clearance Certificate?
Certificates of good conduct can be requested either in person or online at the official Website of the Federal Office of Justice (BfJ). Personal applications are handled by the local registration office (e.g., the town hall, the municipal office, or the citizens’ registration office). For persons who are exempt from registration or do not have a fixed address, applications can be submitted at the registration office whose district they usually reside in.
Who is eligible to get one?
Applicants must be at least 14 years of age to be eligible.
What to do if I do not have a residence of my own?
The certificate of good conduct must also be sent only to the person who applied for it. In cases where certifications of good conduct must be sent to an address other than the one of registration or when they are requested for submission to a government entity, an exception is granted. If the person concerned requests an inspection (in advance), the document must be sent directly to the authorities.
How long does the application process take?
The time it takes to process an application for a certificate of good conduct depends on how many applications are to be processed but is typically 1-2 weeks.
Generally these are the steps for anyone in general :
The form is available in 3 languages ( English, French and German). You can click on this Link and download the form available.
- Proof of citizenship (valid IDs issued by the respective nation)
- A passport-sized photograph
- A copy of the birth certificate (if required)
- Email address (to communicate about your application)
- A valid phone number (so the applicant can be contacted).
Foreign nationals must bring a copy of their passport while living in Germany and a copy of their permit of stay in Germany, passport number, and place of issue.
Fees and Exemption from Fees
The fee for each certificate of conduct is 13 Euros. Depending on the case, fees may vary. Fees will be updated by the respective authorities when you apply.
There are exemptions from fees in the case of hardship, e.g. in case of receiving ALG II, social assistance, benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act, or child benefit supplement under § 6a of the Federal Child Benefit Act. Volunteer work or full-time carers may qualify for an exemption from fees.
How long is this valid?
The certificate is valid for three months but each country has its own validity norms. Certificates of good conduct can only accurately reflect the contents of the register at the time they are issued. The more recent the certificate, the more likely it will be accepted.
Procedure to apply for a police clearance certificate:
For German citizens living in Germany and Non citizens in Germany you can either apply in Person or apply Online or via Mail(Post)
To apply in Person
- In order to apply, the applicant must visit the local registration office where he or she is currently registered (Meldebehörde – register certificate issuing office).
- Please enter ‘Führungszeugnis + City name’ in Google and the relevant site with the requirements will be shown.
- Schedule an appointment. Take the completed application to the appropriate office.
- Remember to bring the originals and copies of the required documents to the office
- If you have a request, please speak to the authority. You will need to submit the application with the required documents.
- Payment for the certificate should be made as advised.
- If you applied in person, the certificate will be available at the office upon notification.
To apply Online
- Online applications are only available to those with an Electronic Signature recognized by the government, such as a residency permit or card reader.
- Click Here to apply online
- You can reach the application page by selecting “Apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct” on the left-hand side of the given page.
- In order to proceed to the next page, the applicant has to select the respective option for self-application and hit next.
- The next page can be reached by following the screen prompt for the personal date and hitting the next tab at the bottom.
- To initiate the online application process, please complete the questionnaire, pay and then “overview.” A request ID will be provided to the applicant. The department will process the submitted application. Notification of the certificate to be collected will be sent upon completion of processing.
For those living Outside of Germany
but requiring a German certificate of good conduct:
You can apply via mail. The applicant should complete the Application Form and attach the required documents along with payment proof as detailed below.
- The appropriate department will process the application.
- You will receive your certificate by mail or as per your requirements.
- By mail, you can apply to the Federal Office of Justice
How does the Certificate Look alike?
I hope this helped you get an idea of the procedure to apply for a police clearance certificate. Feel free to reach out to us on our socials linked below. We’re here to help! Not only this we are also providing consultation for insurance, investment, buying loans and taxation in Germany.
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