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Information for applying for a certificate of conduct for persons living outside the Federal Republic of Germany

Application to issue a certificate of conduct

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:

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 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 following application form can be used for the application:

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.

Fees

The fee for each certificate of conduct is 13 €. Payment may be effected by sending a cheque, or by transfer to the account of the Federal Office of Justice given below:

Deutsche Bundesbank - Cologne Branch -
IBAN No.: DE49370000000038001005
BIC/swift No.: MARKDEF1370
Purpose:  (file reference of the event - if known - or the forename and the surname of the person making the application)

All cheques must be made out in Euro and be drawn on a German bank. Fees levied by foreign banks for cashing a (foreign) cheque are to be added to the fee for the certificate of conduct. Questions relating to payments by cheque and their fees can be answered by the respective foreign bank.

If the amount is transferred, the carbon copy of the transfer order is to be forwarded to the Federal Office of Justice – if possible – with the application to issue the certificate of conduct.

The certificate of conduct cannot be issued until after receipt of the fee or on presentation of proof of payment (section 8 of the Judicial Administration Costs Law [Justizverwaltungskostengesetz – JVKostG]).

Overauthentication of a certificate of conduct and issuing an Apostille

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 below:

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.

The person making the application must ascertain for themselves whether the overauthentication of a certificate of conduct, and where appropriate also the issuance of an Apostille, is necessary. The appropriate information is generally provided by the embassies and consular representations of the countries in which the certificate of conduct is to be submitted.

The fee for overauthentication is 20 € per certificate of conduct. It is independent of the fee for the issuance of the certificate of conduct. Overauthentication cannot be carried out until after receipt of the fee or presentation of proof of payment. The information on the fee for the certificate of conduct applies accordingly to the possible modes of payment.

The application to issue an Apostille is to be addressed to the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne, Division II B 4, 50728 Köln. If the application is to be made at the same time as the application to grant overauthentication, it may also be forwarded to the Federal Office of Justice in order to simplify matters. In this case, the certificate of conduct is to be forwarded to the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne to issue an Apostille once it has been overauthenticated – without the person making the application receiving notification of its submission.

The fee for issuing the Apostille is separately levied by the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne, and is not to be transferred to the Federal Office of Justice. It does not have to be paid in advance.

E-Mail

Applications to issue police certificates of good conduct cannot be made by e-mail because of the proof of identity which is required.

Contact for further questions

If it was not possible to answer your questions regarding applications for police certificates of good conduct from abroad and concerning overauthentication, we will be pleased to answer them on the telephone within our service times from Monday to Friday from 9.00 – 11.00 a.m. and Monday to Thursday from 1.30 – 3.00 p.m. on +49 228 99 410-5668.

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