How to get a police certificate - Germany

If you need to give your fingerprints for a police certificate, this isn’t the same as giving your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) for an application.

Do I need to provide a police certificate with my application for permanent residence? Yes.

Name of document(s) to get:

  • Certificate of Conduct ("Führungszeugnis") or
  • European Certificate of good conduct ("Europäisches Führungszeugnis") for citizens of another European Union member state

How to get a police certificate

If you’re a citizen of Germany

If you live in Germany

There are 2 ways to apply:

  1. In person–at the local registration office (“Meldebehörde”) where you’re currently registered.
  2. Online–on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (in German only). You’ll need:
    • a valid and recognized electronic signature (“elektronischen Personalausweis”) such as an electronic residency permit (“elektronischen Aufenthaltstitel”)
    • a card-reading machine (“Kartenlesegerät”)

If you live outside of Germany

There are 3 ways you can apply:

  1. By mail–send your application to Federal Office of Justice at:

    Bundesamt für Justiz
    Referat IV 2
    53094 Bonn

  2. Online–on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (in German only). You’ll need:

    • a valid and recognized electronic signature ("elektronischen Personalausweis") such as an electronic residency permit ("elektronischen Aufenthaltstitel")
    • a card-reading machine ("Kartenlesegerät")
  3. In person–at the Federal Office of Justice located at:

    Bundesamt für Justiz
    Besucherservice
    Adenauerallee 99 - 103
    53113 Bonn

If you’re not a citizen of Germany

If you live in Germany

There are 2 ways you can apply:

  1. In person–at the local registration office ("Meldebehörde") where you’re currently registered.
  2. Online–on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (in German only). You’ll need:

    • a valid and recognized electronic signature ("elektronischen Personalausweis") such as an electronic residency permit ("elektronischen Aufenthaltstitel")
    • a card-reading machine ("Kartenlesegerät")

If you live outside of Germany

There are 2 ways you can apply:

  1. By mail–send your application to Federal Office of Justice at:

    Bundesamt für Justiz
    Referat IV 2
    53094 Bonn

  2. In person–at the Federal Office of Justice at:

    Bundesamt für Justiz
    Besucherservice
    Adenauerallee 99 - 103
    53113 Bonn

If you’re a citizen of another European Union member state

Germany is now issuing the European Certificate of good conduct to citizens of another European Union member state who request a police certificate in Germany. This document includes any records or entries in your country of birth and in Germany.

Information and documents you need

  • Applicable fees
  • Application form (available in German, French and English)

Special notes and considerations

For more information on fees, processing times, how to apply online, how to obtain an electronic signature or to download the forms, please go to the website of the Federal Office of Justice.

Your police certificate will be mailed to your residential address (even if you live abroad). It cannot be sent to a third party.

Police certificates issued before February 2019 are in German only. You must give us a certified English or French translation of your certificate. New German police certificates are now in German, English and French, and do not need to be translated.

German law restricts who can request a police certificate on your behalf.

If you apply from overseas, you must have your personal data and signature confirmed by a German diplomatic representative, a foreign authority or a notary, or you must provide a certified photocopy of an official document.

If your certificate contains entries and you live abroad, the Federal Office of Justice will forward your police certificate to the German embassy or consulate where you live and you will be invited to come and look at the document in person. You must give your consent to allow the German embassy/consulate to send this document to the responsible Canadian visa office.

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