criminal record

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The certificate of good conduct (Germany, formerly a police certificate or certificate of good repute ), the certificate of criminal record (Austria, unofficially still certificate of goodwill ) or the extract from the criminal record (or extract from the Swiss criminal record, Switzerland, unofficially still certificate of good repute ), in use of the EU criminal record certificate, is one Official certificate of a person's previous convictions (Germany), of the convictions entered in the criminal record of a person (Austria) or an extract from the register consisting of judgments for crimes and offenses against a person (Switzerland, Art. 366 and Art. 371, Paragraph 1 StGB ).


Moral certificate from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich for the student Theodor Heuss , 1907: "The ... student ... is attested to his leadership at the local university ... that nothing disadvantageous is not to be noticed."
Simple (private)
certificate of good conduct

Federal Central Register

In the Federal Office of Justice, the respective personal previous convictions are kept in a Federal Central Register (BZR), but not stored permanently. In accordance with Section 3 of the BZRG, legally binding decisions by the criminal courts , notes on incapacity and certain decisions by administrative authorities and courts as well as - after a comparative legal assessment - foreign criminal convictions against Germans or foreign persons living in Germany are entered in the register. Search marks can also be entered in the register. The stipulation for the content of a certificate of good conduct is Section 32 of the Federal Central Register Act (BZRG).

The Federal Central Register (BCR) is used exclusively as since 1975 database on computers out. The education register is part of the federal central register.

For reasons of rehabilitation , a staggered system of deadlines ( § 46 BZRG) was created, after which convictions saved are initially no longer included in a certificate of good conduct and are then completely deleted from the register ( §§ 34 and 46 BZRG). In cases of hardship, a register benefit can be granted with regard to the statutory deadlines. If a conviction has been deleted in the Federal Central Register or it is marked for deletion, the act and the conviction of the person concerned may no longer be held in legal transactions and may not be used to their disadvantage. Whether and how long previous convictions are stored in the Federal Central Register and information about them is given in the provisions of the Federal Central Register Act (BZRG). Depending on the amount of the judgment , the entries in the Federal Central Register will be deleted after the respective deadlines (5, 10, 15 or 20 years) have expired (see Section 46  BZRG). However, not all convictions that are in the Federal Central Register are also included in the certificate of good conduct (see below). The redemption periods for convictions that are recorded in the certificate of good conduct are also shorter than those for the Federal Central Register (3, 5 or 10 years, cf. § 34  BZRG). If a new judgment is added before a judgment entry is deleted, all entries are retained until the time of deletion has also been reached for the last judgment (exceptions to this apply to fines of up to 90 daily rates and imprisonment sentences of up to 3 months, cf. § 38  Paragraph 2 BZRG).

Personal extract from the Federal Central Register

Any person who is at least 14 years old or their legal representative will be informed free of charge on request which entries are electronically stored about them in the Federal Central Register. This information is not sent directly to the applicant, but to a local court of your choice, where the information can be viewed in person. The excerpt will be sent in a closed and sealed envelope. After breaking the seal and inspection by the applicant, the extract must be destroyed immediately by the local court. Under no circumstances may the extract be requested in legal transactions, e.g. B. be requested by employers. This would undermine the protective purposes of the certificate of good conduct, which does not contain all the entries in the federal central register.

In the case of people living abroad, the inspection agency is the official representation of the Federal Republic of Germany and in the case of people in prison it is the penal institution.

The legal basis is the Federal Data Protection Act, according to which everyone has the right to know what data about them is stored by public authorities. Lex specialis to § 57 BDSG is § 42 BZRG.

Unlimited information

For the purposes mentioned in § 41 BZRG (e.g. in criminal proceedings, before issuing a gun license , before naturalization , before civil service etc.), certain authorities (e.g. courts and public prosecutors) have an unlimited right to information from the Federal Central Register and can request an excerpt from the Federal Office of Justice on their own initiative without the person concerned being aware of it.

The top federal and state agencies, the courts, the prosecutor's offices , the prison authorities , the German intelligence services , the criminal investigation department of the police , the tax authorities , the naturalization authorities, immigration authorities , the grace authorities , the weapons and explosives legally competent authorities, bar associations , the Federal Institute for drugs and medical devices , the Federal Office for Radiation Protection and the aviation security authorities , unlimited information is to be given upon express request if the purpose of the use of the data is stated.

criminal record

A certificate of good conduct, an extended certificate of good conduct and an official certificate of good conduct contain certain parts of what is stored in the Federal Central Register about the person concerned.

The following federal central register entries, for example, are not included in the certificate of good conduct:

  1. youth sentences suspended on probation ,
  2. Penalties not exceeding 90 daily rates or 3 months imprisonment ( Section 32 (2) No. 5 BZRG), if no other penalties are otherwise entered in the Federal Central Register,
  3. first-time convictions of drug-addicted offenders who do not exceed two years of imprisonment and for whom the execution of the sentence was postponed in favor of therapy according to § 35  BtMG and  suspended after successful therapy according to § 36 BtMG and if the other relevant conditions of § 32   para. 2 No. 6 BZRG are fulfilled.

Application, issuance, dispatch

Every legally competent person who is at least 14 years old, as well as their legal representative, can request a certificate of good conduct from the Federal Office of Justice in Bonn.

The application can be made as follows:

In the past, the certificate of good conduct had to be requested from the police and was also issued by them. This is where the old name for police clearance comes from .

Applying for a certificate of good conduct costs 13 euros. People who need a certificate of good conduct for voluntary work receive it free of charge, as do recipients of unemployment benefit II or social benefits on presentation of the approval notification.

The certificates of good conduct are sent by post, either to the recipient (for private documents - type N ) or to the authority that requests the certificate (for official documents - type O ) or to the local court closest to the applicant's place of residence ( type P ), where the person concerned Can inspect and then decide whether it should be forwarded to the authority.

Private certificate of good conduct

A simple ( private ) certificate of good conduct is sufficient for submission to a private employer , provided the applicant or employee is willing to submit it. In the opinion of the Federal Labor Court, however, the demand for a certificate of good conduct by the employer is not permissible. This sees the interests of the Federal Data Protection Act as violated, because the employer thus learns more than he is entitled to learn for the intended employment. So also things that go far beyond the area relevant to the job. For example, it concerns possible criminal behavior in the off-duty area, which is in no understandable connection with the intended employment relationship. However, specific questions about criminal offenses that are related to the area of ​​activity are permitted. As a rule, the requirement for a certificate of good conduct is therefore seen as unnecessary and inadmissible.

Exceptions are security-relevant areas such as B. Money and valuables transport or security companies and so-called sensitive activities in which the applicant comes into contact with children and young people.

Extended certificate of good conduct

Extended certificate of good conduct

With the fifth law amending the Federal Central Register Act, which came into force on May 1, 2010, an "extended certificate of good conduct" was introduced in § 30a   and § 31 BZRG, which can be issued to persons who are professionally, voluntarily or in any other way children or are or should be active close to young people. Extended certificates of good conduct can also be applied for by authorities “for the purpose of protecting minors ” directly in accordance with Section 31 (2) BZRG if a request to the person concerned to submit them is inappropriate or unsuccessful. In most cases, the person will be asked by the entity (employer or the respective carrier) to provide an enhanced criminal record - and with reference to § 30a BZRG, if a test of an individual's suitability or § 72a of the SGB VIII at professional or voluntary supervision, care, upbringing or training of minors or in an activity with similar contact with minors. So it is usually applied for personally like a private certificate of good conduct. Compared to the normal certificate of good conduct, the extended certificate of good conduct also contains minor convictions and convictions that would no longer be included in the certificate of good conduct due to the expiry of the deadline, for certain criminal offenses (list in Section 32 (5) BZRG, e.g. exhibitionistic acts, dissemination of pornographic literature, human trafficking ).


It is criticized that the submission of the extended certificate of good conduct (EFZ) to the employer conflicts with the employee's right to informational self-determination, because not all information contained in the EFZ is relevant for the employer. The Caritas Association, a very large employer in the social sector that is obliged to adhere to the requirements of child protection law, has published a handout in which it explicitly stipulates which criminal offenses stand in the way of an employment relationship with him. Other crimes documented in the EFZ do not affect an employment relationship with Caritas. Caritas also suggests that employees retain their right to informational self-determination by not going to the employer, but to a notary who certifies that the employer has information about the crimes relevant to their work - but no information about the crimes that are not relevant enables. It also proposes an amendment to the Federal Central Register Act.

European certificate of good conduct

On December 15, 2011, the European Certificate of Good conduct was introduced with the law to improve the exchange of data under registration law between the member states of the EU and to amend regulations under register law. Since August 31, 2018, citizens of other member states of the European Union have been issued a European certificate of good conduct when applying for a simple or extended certificate of good conduct in Germany. The respective home Member State is requested to notify them of entries in the criminal record of the home Member State. If the relevant state notifies of any entries, provided that transmission is legally stipulated there, those entries will be accepted without translation and content verification. This regulation also applies to dual and multi-national citizens. The fee for all certificates of good conduct (simple or European) is now € 13. The issuance of the European certificate of good conduct takes longer than that of a simple or extended certificate (1–2 weeks). A European clearance certificate should be issued no later than 20 working days after the Federal Office of Justice has sent the request to the country of origin.

Official certificate of good conduct

Only authorities receive information from the Federal Central Register in the form of official clearance certificates.

For applications to an authority, the official clearance certificate is usually issued at the request of the person concerned. If this is sent directly to the recruiting authority ( Section 30  (5) sentence 1 BZRG), the authority must grant the applicant access to the certificate of good conduct on request.

Authorities can apply for a certificate of good conduct if they need it to carry out their sovereign tasks and a request to the person concerned to present a certificate of good conduct is inappropriate or unsuccessful (see: § 31 BZRG).

The differences with regard to the content of a certificate of good conduct for authorities and a certificate of good conduct for private individuals result from Section 32 of the Federal Central Register Act.

Designation as "unpunished"

Under which circumstances a person can call himself unpunished (without previous convictions) and does not need to disclose the facts on which a possible conviction is based can be found in Section 53 BZRG.


The criminal record certificate is similar to the German certificate of good conduct. The Vienna State Police Directorate ( criminal record office ) is responsible for keeping criminal records throughout Austria .

Since the Central Register of Residents (ZMR) went into operation on March 1, 2002, the criminal record certificate has been issued immediately ( e-government ):

  • in cities in which the respective state police department acts as the security authority of the 1st instance, by them
  • in cities in which the respective state police department does not act as the security authority of the 1st instance or in municipalities by the mayor
  • abroad by the Austrian representation authority

Issuance of a criminal record certificate: For the issue at the registration office of the local municipality , an average waiting time of one to two weeks can be expected. If the municipality to which the application is submitted has direct access to the criminal record data, the waiting time is correspondingly shorter.

An application, an official photo ID (passport or identity card, driver's license only in connection with a certificate of citizenship) and any documents relating to previous names (e.g. birth certificate , marriage certificate , divorce certificate ) are required in the original for the issue . The exhibition costs 15 to 30 euros, depending on the authority. In special cases - if the criminal record certificate is only intended to be presented to a specific body (natural or legal person, e.g. employer, authority, company) - the certificate fee of 14.30 euros is waived and the certificate costs 16.40 euros . Municipalities are authorized to collect a municipal tax of approx. 0.36 to approx. 0.73 euros.

Many agencies (for example most employers) require that the criminal record certificate is not older than three months when it is presented.

The earlier name was certificate of good repute or moral certificate .


In Switzerland , the criminal record is determined in particular in accordance with the ordinance of 29 September 2006 on criminal records (VOSTRA Ordinance; SR 331).

According to Art. 3 Para. 1 lit. a VOSTRA Ordinance are entered in the criminal record - with exceptions - primarily convictions for crimes or offenses under the StGB, MStG or other federal laws.

Disciplinary punishments under military criminal law are not entered in the criminal record (Art. 226 Paragraph 1 MStG).

Other states


Namibian certificate of good conduct

In Namibia , the certificate will ( English Certificate of Conduct ) from Police Record Center (criminal record) of the Namibian Police issued a fee and upon presentation of a birth certificate, identity card or passport. Appearance in person is required. It has unlimited validity, but is only accepted by most authorities (including the road traffic authority) for a period of six months from the date of application. The exhibition lasted up to six months until 2019, up to 4 weeks in the fast-track process, since then it has been possible within a few days.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Law on the Central Register and the Education Register . Federal Ministry of Justice. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  2. § 30c BZRG, online portal of the Federal Office of Justice
  3. Police clearance certificate for Robert Goldschmidt - October 7, 1933 ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 24, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. § 4 JVKostG (Appendix 1 No. 1130)
  5. Leaflet on the exemption from the fee for the certificate of good conduct according to § 12 JVKostO (PDF)
  6. ^ Fifth law amending the Federal Central Register Act
  7. ^ Certificate of good conduct application (domestic use) . Federal Ministry of Justice. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  8. The extended certificate of good conduct (PDF) Caritas Association. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  9. Extended certificate of good conduct with fundamental rights question marks . Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Certificate of good conduct - Sonneberg toy town. Retrieved April 5, 2019 .
  11. ↑ Certificate of good conduct; Application for a European Certificate of Good Conduct - BayernPortal. Retrieved April 5, 2019 .
  12. ^ Certificate of good conduct - Sonneberg toy town. Retrieved April 5, 2019 .
  13. Metropolnews editors, Metropolnews editors: European certificate of good conduct for EU citizens will be mandatory in future. In: August 16, 2018, accessed April 5, 2019 (German).
  14. ^ BfJ - Certificate of good conduct (domestic use). Retrieved April 5, 2019 .
  15. BfJ - Press Releases -Aktuell- - EU citizens received European certificate of good conduct. Retrieved April 5, 2019 .
  16. Who receives information from the Central Register . Federal Ministry of Justice. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  17. ^ Certificate of Conduct. Namibian Police Force , accessed September 6, 2016.