Chapter 1. General provisions (Federal Act on Registration) German law

Federal Act on Registration. German law

Chapter 1
General provisions

Section 1
Registration authorities

Registration authorities shall be the authorities so designated by Land law.

Section 2
Tasks and powers of the registration authorities

(1) The registration authorities shall register the persons residing in their area of jurisdiction (residents) in order to be able to identify them and their places of residence and verify this information.

(2) To carry out their tasks, the registration authorities shall keep population registers. These shall contain data collected from the data subject, transferred from public bodies or otherwise officially known.

(3) The registration authorities shall issue information from the population registers, shall cooperate in accordance with this Act or other law with other public bodies to carry out their tasks and shall transfer data.

(4) The registration authorities shall be permitted to collect, process or use personal data stored in the population register only in accordance with this Act or other law. Data of persons not required to register may be collected, processed and used only with consent which complies with the data protection law of the Land in question.

Section 3
Data storage

(1) To carry out their tasks pursuant to Section 2 (1) and (3), the registration authorities shall store the following data and remarks necessary to verify their accuracy in the population register:

1. surname,

2. previous names,

3. given names, indicating name usually used,

4. doctoral degree,

5. religious name, stage or pen name,

6. date and place of birth, including country for persons not born in Germany,

7. sex,

8. no entry,

9. regarding the legal representative

a) surname,

b) given names,

c) doctoral degree,

d) address,

e) date of birth,

f) sex,

g) date of death and

h) blocks on releasing information pursuant to Section 51 and conditional blocks on releasing information pursuant to Section 52,

10. current nationalities,

11. legal membership of a religious community under public law,

12. current addresses, previous addresses in the registration authorities’ area of jurisdiction and address of the last sole or principal residence and last secondary residences outside the registration authorities’ area of jurisdiction, indicating principal and secondary residence including country for persons moving to Germany from abroad and last address in Germany; for persons moving abroad, also the address abroad, including the country,

13. date moved in, date moved out, date last moved out of a residence in Germany and date last moved to Germany from abroad,

14. marital status including date and place of marriage or registration of partnership, if applicable, including country if abroad,

15. regarding spouse or registered partner

a) surname,

b) given names,

c) name at birth,

d) doctoral degree,

e) date of birth,

f) sex,

g) current addresses in the registration authorities’ area of jurisdiction and address of the last sole or principle residence outside the registration authorities’ area of jurisdiction,

h) date of death and

h) blocks on releasing information pursuant to Section 51 and conditional blocks on releasing information pursuant to Section 52,

16. regarding minor children

a) surname,

b) given names,

c) date of birth

d sex,

e) address in Germany,

f) date of death,

g) blocks on releasing information pursuant to Section 51 and conditional blocks on releasing information pursuant to Section 52;

17. issuing authority, date of issue, date of expiry and serial number of the national identity card, temporary national identity card or substitute identity card, of the recognized and valid passport or passport substitute as well as the blocking code and blocking sum of the national identity card,

17a. the serial number of the arrival certificate pursuant to Section 63a (1) no. 10 of the Asylum Act, including date of issue and length of validity,

18. Blocks on releasing and transferring information,

19. date and place of death, including country for persons who died abroad.

(2) In addition to the data listed in subsection 1, the registration authorities shall store the following data and remarks necessary to verify their accuracy in the population register:

1. to prepare and conduct elections and voting at national and local level, the fact that the data subject

a) is not eligible to vote or be elected,

b) as a Union citizen (Section 6 (3), first sentence, of the European Elections Act) shall automatically be entered in an electoral register in Germany for European parliamentary elections; the territorial community or constituency in the country of origin where the person was last listed in an electoral register shall also be stored,

c) as a German living abroad, shall receive a reminder of elections to the German Bundestag and elections of the members of the European Parliament from the Federal Republic of Germany; the data subject’s current address abroad shall also be stored when provided by the data subject,

2. for the process of creating and applying electronic criteria for the deduction of wages tax pursuant to Section 39e (2), second and third sentences of the Income Tax Act

a) membership of a religious community which collects taxes, and the date of officially joining and leaving this community,

b) marital status,

c) date of marriage or registration of partnership or dissolution of marriage or partnership and

d) the identification numbers or temporary processing reference

aa) of the spouse or registered partner,

bb) of minor children whose sole or principal residence is within the same registration authorities’ area of jurisdiction,

3. for purposes pursuant to Section 139b (2) of the German Fiscal Code

the identification number pursuant to Section 139b of the German Fiscal Code and, until it is stored in the population register, the temporary processing reference pursuant to Section 139b (6), second sentence of the German Fiscal Code,

4. for issuing passports and identity documents

the fact that there is reason to refuse to issue a passport, that a passport has been denied or revoked or an order pursuant to Section 6 (7), Section 6a (1) or Section 6a (2) of the Act on Identity Cards has been issued,

5. for procedures related to nationality law

the fact that German nationality pursuant to Section 4 (3) or Section 40b of the Nationality Act has been acquired and that pursuant to Section 29 of the Nationality Act German nationality may be lost,

6. for purposes of tracing services

the address as of 1 September 1939 of those residents from the territories described in Section 1 (2) no. 3 of the Federal Expellees Act,

7. for procedures related to weapons law

the fact that a firearms certificate has been issued and the authority which provided this information, including the date on which the firearms certificate was first issued,

8. for procedures related to explosives law

the fact that an explosives permit or qualification certificate pursuant to Section 20 of the Explosives Act has been issued and the authority which provided this information, including the date on which the permit or certificate was first issued,

9. to answer questions from other authorities or public bodies concerning residence if the resident has moved out of the residence and the registration authority is not aware of a new residence,

the request for data transfer with the date of the request and the name of the requesting body for up to two years,

10. to check whether the information provided by the person required to register is correct, and to safeguard the right to information in Section 19 (1), third sentence and Section 50 (4)

the names and address of the owner of the residence and, if this is not the supplier of the residence, the name of the owner of the residence and the name and address of the supplier of the residence,

11. in a state of tension or defence for registration for military or alternative service

the fact that a resident has already been registered before others in his or her birth cohort.

Section 4
Sorting criteria

(1) The registration authorities may keep their registers with the help of sorting criteria. The sorting criteria may be based on the data listed in Section 3 (1) nos. 6 and 7. Appropriate technical measures shall be taken to keep the sorting criteria in order.

(2) If the registration authorities already process and use sorting criteria containing data other than those listed in Section 3 (1) nos. 6 and 7, they may continue to process and use them for a transitional period of six years following the entry into force of this Act.

(3) Sorting criteria may be transferred to public bodies and religious communities under public law when data are transferred. The recipient of the data may use the sorting criteria only in communicating with the relevant registration authority; onward transfer shall not be permitted. If sorting criteria contain personal data, they may be transferred only if the personal data contained in the sorting criteria may also be transferred to the recipient.

(4) Subsection 3, second and third sentences shall apply accordingly to the onward transfer of sorting criteria within the administrative unit to which the registration authority belongs.

Section 5
Purpose limitation

(1) The registration authorities may process or use the data described in Section 3 (2) only for the purposes given there. They shall take technical and organizational measures to ensure that these data are processed or used only in accordance with the first sentence.

(2) The data described in Section 3 (2) may be processed or used with the data described in Section 3 (1) only as far as necessary to carry out the relevant task. Section 34 (3) and (4) shall remain unaffected on the condition that

1. the data referred to in Section 3 (2) no. 1 may be transferred only to the bodies responsible for preparing and conducting the elections and voting referred to there, and

2. the data referred to in Section 3 (2) nos. 2 and 3 may be transferred only to the Federal Central Tax Office. The date of the dissolution of the marriage or registered partnership referred to in Section 3 (2) no. 2 (c) may also be transferred to the official statistics.

The data referred to in the second sentence, nos. 1 and 2 may also be transferred to the registration authorities pursuant to Section 33.

Section 6
Accuracy and completeness of the population register

(1) If the population register is inaccurate or incomplete, the registration authority shall on its own initiative correct or complete (update) it. Those public bodies to which inaccurate or incomplete data have been transferred in the context of regularly occurring data transfers shall be informed without delay of such corrections and updates.

(2) If the public bodies referred to in subsection 1, second sentence, do not carry out tasks of official statistics and are not religious communities under public law, they shall inform the registration authorities without delay if they have specific reason to believe that the transferred data are inaccurate or incomplete. Public bodies to which registration data have been transferred at their request shall inform the registration authorities when they have such specific reasons. Legal obligations of secrecy, especially tax secrecy pursuant to Section 30 of the German Fiscal Code, as well as professional or special official secrecy shall not prevent them from doing so as long as they inform the registration authorities only that they have specific reason to believe that the transferred data are inaccurate or incomplete.

(3) If the registration authority has specific reason to believe that the population register contains inaccurate or incomplete information on a specific person or a number of persons identified by name, it shall investigate the matter on its own initiative.

(4) When forwarding data and remarks pursuant to Section 37, subsection 1, second sentence and subsection 2 shall apply accordingly.

Section 7
Confidentiality of registration data

(1) Persons employed by registration authorities or other bodies acting on their behalf shall be prohibited from collecting, processing or using personal data without authorization.

(2) When taking up their duties, the persons referred to in subsection 1 shall be informed by their employer of their obligations pursuant to subsection 1 and shall agree in writing to maintain the confidentiality of registration data. Their obligations shall continue after their employment ends.

Table of contents (Federal Act on Registration)

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