Applying for a German Police Certificate from New Zealand – Backpacking Tips

How to apply for your German police certificate from New Zealand

From my own experience I can say that applying for a police certificate from Germany is actually quite simple. However, I haven't found a good guide, so we'll simply write you a concrete instruction on what you need to do to apply for (and receive) your German Police Certificate while you are in New Zealand.


Possibilities to apply for your german police certificate

There are two different ways to apply for your criminal record in Germany at the Federal Office of Justice.

  1. Digital: Do you have an identity card with activated online identification function, do you know your 6-digit pin and have a suitable smartphone or card reader to identify yourself online? Then you can easily do this directly and digitally. In this case you can continue directly here on the website of the German Federal Office of Justice.
  2. In writing: If you don't have an identity card with online function, you can also send the application in the traditional way in writing. Please note that the application will only be accepted in the original. The application will not be accepted by fax or e-mail in digital form. This is no problem from New Zealand. You can find the application form for printing out yourself here on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (download application form).


Application for the german police certificate

Application for the german police certificate


Instructions for the written application for the German police certificate while you are in New Zealand

  1. Download the application: Download the application on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (Download Application German / Download Application English). If you are in New Zealand, then you should either download the English version only, or German and English, because you need your signature certified (more about this later) and nobody certifies what they don't understand.
  2. Print the application: Fill out the application and print it (you do not need to print the page with the explanations). Alternatively, you can print it out directly and then fill it out. Put a checkmark in the box:
    1. You are applying for a german police certificate.
    2. Please send it to my private address mentioned above.
    3. Ideally you should transfer the fee before/during the application and indicate this in the application.
    4. Enter your personal data and make sure that it is legible. Ideally you should use block letters (or even better fill it out on your PC).
  3. Witnessed signature: After you have filled out the form, find a person who is allowed to certify your signature. Possible locations in New Zealand are:
    1. German embassy in Wellington
    2. Police (call shortly before and ask if someone is available)
    3. Justice of Peace (Free of charge and everywhere in New Zealand)
  4. Sign: Go to the appropriate office and have your signature certified. You sign on the spot and the person signs with signature and stamp that you are who you are.
  5. Post: Go to the post office and use the cheapest way to send a letter. You do not normally need an express option.
  6. Wait and relax: Now you have to wait, it took me 3 weeks to receive the police certificate to my German address.
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Tips & tricks for the german police certificate

Alternative shipping address: If you would like to have your police certificate sent to a different address, you can enclose a short cover letter and receive your police certificate also, for example, to a German address. Worked out fine for me.

Witnessed signature: The easiest way is to contact the police, because they can be found in almost every small town. However, there is not always someone who has time. A good alternative is the Justice of Peace. There are hundreds of people who can certify your signature.

French language application: The application is also available in French, a variant that you can use in other countries where French is spoken. In New Zealand, however, French is not a good choice for the application because very few people can read French let alone speak it.

Individual questions: The Federal Office of Justice has a hotline that can help you or connect you appropriately. The phone number is +49 228 99410-5668 and can be reached on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12 am.


German Police Certificate

German Police Certificate


Questions, remarks or ideas

Do you have a question, a comment on your criminal record or an idea what is missing here? Then we look forward to your comment under this article.


Further Information

Source for the article and further information can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Justice.


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  1. Hi Julian,
    thank your for your instructions. There’s one question left though: Did you need a apostille for your German police certificate for New Zealand? I found that information on the website of the Federal Office of Justice and I’m unsure if that is really necessary.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Carolyn,
      NO I just had someone from the “peace of justice” witness my signature on the english application form. That’s all I needed and it worked out.

      Cheers Julian

  2. Hi. Did you have to include a copy of your passport? My wife and I submitted forms over 4 weeks ago from Italy. One was supposed to go to the Bavarian government. But none have arrived. We know they were delivered because we tracked the post. Also the the telephone number does not really work. I tried 10 times tonight. Any ideas

    • Hi Chris.
      The request that I filed didn’t go to a local “government”. It went to the national headoffice and therefore I can’t say anything about your question.
      The phone number worked for me, it did just take time to get through. But they worked out well and were helpful.

      Cheers Julian

    • Hi Chris, did you get an answer from Germany? I also applied more than 4 weeks ago from France and nothing yet. The phone also do not work for me =/

      I sent an amail though and got an answer saying they needed more information to do a search. I gave them, but still waiting an answer. So frustating!

  3. Hi Julian,
    I was wondering how did you get the german autority to send the document back to your address? do you need to add a prepaid envelope? or would they cover the price to send it back?

    Thank you

    • Hi Alejandro,
      thanks for your message.

      Indeed the german authorities cover postage for the return. I guess it’s kind of included in the payment of 13€ that you do for the police certificate.

      Hope that helps, Julian

  4. hello, did you need to get your document translated to English?

    • Hi Sam,
      the application form is available in english, that’s what I used and therefore didn’t need a translation.

      Simply download on the website I linked in the article.

      Cheers Julian

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