The Federal Central Criminal Register
In accordance with section 1 of the Act on the Central Criminal Register and on the Register of Youth Offences (Federal Central Criminal Register Act) (Gesetz über das Zentralregister und das Erziehungsregister - Bundeszentralregistergesetz – BZRG) of 18 March 1971 (Federal Law Gazette [BGBl.] I p. 243), the Federal Office of Justice operates the Federal Central Criminal Register, which as an organisational umbrella term for the Central Criminal Register and the Register of Youth Offences replaced in 1972 the 93 criminal registers of the public prosecution offices at the Regional Courts, which had been maintained until then by the Länder, as well as the Federal Crime Register.
The Register holds judgments of the criminal courts which have become final, as well as certain rulings of the guardianship courts and administrative authorities, and – after an assessment entailing a comparison of laws – foreign criminal convictions handed down against Germans or against foreigners living in Germany. Additionally, search notices can be deposited in the Register.
The Register currently holds entries on roughly 6.3 million individuals with roughly 15.3 million rulings.
Entries on convictions are not permanently stored in the Central Criminal Register. Instead, in the interest of resocialisation the legislature has created a graduated system of deadlines on expiry of which convictions become first of all banned from inclusion in a certificate of conduct, and are finally removed from the Register altogether (cf. sections 34 and 46 of the Federal Central Criminal Register Act).