Chapter 3. General registration requirements (Federal Act on Registration) German law

Federal Act on Registration. German law

Chapter 3
General registration requirements

Section 17
Registration, deregistration

(1) Anyone who moves into a residence shall register with the registration authorities within two weeks of moving in.

(2) Anyone who moves out of a residence and does not move into another residence in Germany shall deregister with the registration authorities within two weeks of moving out. Deregistration shall be possible no more than one week before moving out; the population register shall be updated as of the moving-out date.

(3) Registration or deregistration for persons under 16 years of age shall be the obligation of the persons into or out of whose residence the persons under 16 years of age move. Newborns born in Germany shall be registered only if they live in a residence other than that of their parents or mother. If a caregiver or guardian who may decide on the place of residence has been appointed for an adult, registration or deregistration shall be the obligation of this caregiver or guardian.

(4) The registry offices shall inform the registration authorities without delay of children for whom they have issued birth certificates and of every change in a person’s civil status.

Section 18
Certificate of registration

(1) The registration authority shall provide the data subject a registration certificate on request. A simple registration certificate shall contain the following data:

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 born outside Germany,

7. current addresses, indicating principal and secondary residence.

(2) An expanded registration certificate may be issued on request which may contained the data referred to in Section 3 (1) except for information about blocks on providing and transferring information. The registration certificate referred to in subsection 1 may also contain fewer data.

(3) Section 10 (2) and (3) shall apply accordingly to registration certificates issued electronically.

(4) Section 11 (2) shall apply accordingly.

Section 19
Cooperation by the supplier of the residence

(1) The person supplying the residence shall be obligated to cooperate with registration. The person supplying the residence or someone authorized by him or her shall confirm in writing or pursuant to subsection 4 electronically within the period given in Section 17 (1) that the person required to register has moved in. He or she may contact the registration authority to find out whether the person required to register has done so. The person required to register shall provide the person supplying the residence with the information necessary to confirm that the former has moved in. Confirmation pursuant to the second sentence may be provided only by the person supplying the residence or someone authorized by him or her.

(2) If the person supplying the residence or the person authorized by him or her refuses to provide confirmation, or if the person required to register does not receive confirmation on time for other reasons, the person required to register shall inform the registration authorities of this without delay.

(3) The confirmation of the person supplying the residence shall contain the following data:

1. name and address of the person supplying the residence and name of the owner, if different,

2. date moved in,

3. address of the residence, and

4. names of the persons required to register pursuant to Section 17 (1).

(4) If confirming electronically, the person supplying the residence shall receive from the registration authority a reference number to be given to the person required to register to use when registering. Section 10 ( 2) and (3) shall apply accordingly. The registration authority may provide for additional ways to authenticate the person supplying the residence as long as they correspond to the state of the art.

(5) The registration authority may require the owner and the supplier of the residence, if they are not one and the same, to provide information concerning persons currently living at his or her residence or who lived there in the past.

(6) It shall be prohibited to offer or make available to a third party the address of a residence for the purpose of registration pursuant to Section 17 (1) if the third party neither moves into the residence nor intends to do so.

Section 20
Definition of residence

A residence as defined in this Act is any closed space used for living or sleeping. Accommodation on board a Navy ship shall also be considered a residence. Caravans and barracks ships shall be regarded as residences only if they are stationary or rarely moved.

Section 21
Multiple residences

(1) If a resident has multiple residences in Germany, one of these residences shall be his or her principal residence.

(2) The principal residence shall be the residence used most by the resident.

(3) All other residences of the resident shall be secondary residences.

(4) Whenever registering or deregistering, the person required to register shall inform the registration authority of any additional residences in Germany and which one is the principal residence. For every change of principal residence, this person shall inform the registration authority responsible for the new principal residence within two weeks. If the person required to register moves out of one of his or her secondary residences in Germany and does not move into another residence, this person shall inform the registration authority which is responsible for the sole or principal residence.

Section 22
Determining the principal residence

(1) The principal residence of a resident who is married or in a registered partnership and does not permanently live separately from his or her family or registered partner shall be the residence used most by the family or registered partner.

(2) The principal residence of a minor resident shall be the residence used most by the persons entitled to care and custody of the minor; if they live separately, the principal residence shall be the residence of the person entitled to care and custody which is used most by the minor resident.

(3) In case of doubt, the residence used most shall be the one where the resident’s personal relationships are focused.

(4) If the residence status of a resident who is married or in a registered partnership pursuant to subsections 1 and 3 cannot be established without doubt, then the principal residence shall be the residence pursuant to Section 21 (2).

(5) At the request of a resident living in a facility for persons with a disability, the residence pursuant to subsection 2 shall remain his or her principal residence until he or she has reached the age of 25.

Section 23
Fulfilling the general requirement to register

(1) Unless otherwise stipulated below, the person required to register shall fill out and sign a registration form and present it to the registration authority with his or her national identity card, temporary national identity card, substitute national identity card, recognized and valid passport or passport substitute and the confirmation from the supplier of the residence or the reference number pursuant to Section 19 (4), first sentence. If the population register is automated, no registration form shall be needed if the person required to register appears in person at the registration authority and confirms the accuracy and completeness of the data collected by the registration authority by signing a printout.

(2) Section 10 (2) and (3) shall apply accordingly to registration in electronic form.

(3) The registration authority for the new place of residence shall be authorized to request from the registration authority for the previous place of residence data stored pursuant to Section 3 (1) nos. 1 to 18 and to provide these data in written or electronic form to the person required to register (pre-filled registration form). The person required to register shall review the information for accuracy, correct any inaccurate information and add any missing information. He or she shall sign the corrected, pre-filled registration form and return it to the registration authority for the new place of residence. Section 10 (2) and (3) shall apply accordingly to electronic transmission.

(4) The person required to register shall supply his or her surname, given names, date of birth and previous address for the pre-filled registration form. The registration authority for the new place of residence shall send these data to the registration authority for the previous place of residence in order to request the data pursuant to Section 3 (1) nos. 1 to 18. The registration authority for the previous place of residence shall send the requested data to the registration authority for the new place of residence without delay.

(5) Spouses, registered partners and family members having the same previous and current addresses and moving dates should use the same registration form. Registration pursuant to subsections 1 and 2 by one of the persons required to register shall suffice. Subsections 3 and 4 shall apply accordingly if the person required to register provides assurance that he or she is authorized to receive the data of the other persons required to register. He or she shall be informed that obtaining such data without authorization is a criminal offence pursuant to Section 202a of the Criminal Code.

(6) In derogation from subsections 1 and 2, persons for whom an arrival certificate pursuant to Section 63a of the Asylum Act has been issued and who have moved into a reception centre may be registered using an automated procedure by copying the data from the Central Register of Foreigners pursuant to Section 18e of the Act on the Central Register of Foreigners.

(7) Persons who have moved abroad may deregister in writing or, applying Section 10 (2) and (3) accordingly, electronically. In case of electronic deregistration, the person required to deregister may confirm his or her identity by providing his or her surname, given name, date of birth and serial number of the national identity card or passport last stored in the population register pursuant to Section 3 (1) no. 17.

Section 24
Data collection, confirmation of registration

(1) When registering, deregistering or changing the principal residence, the data referred to in Section 3 (1) nos. 1 to 18 and (2) no. 2 (a) to (c), nos. 5, 6 and 10 may be collected from the person required to register. The same shall apply to the remarks necessary to verify the accuracy of these data.

(2) The person required to register shall receive free of charge a written confirmation of registration or deregistration (official confirmation of registration). This confirmation shall contain only the following data:

1. surname,

2. given names, indicating name usually used,

3. doctoral degree,

4. date of birth,

5. date moved in or out,

6. date of registration or deregistration,

7. address and

8. sole residence, principal or secondary residence.

Section 25
Cooperation by persons required to register

At the request of the registration authority, the person required to register shall

1. provide information necessary to keep the population register in good order,

2. present the necessary documents to verify the information, and

3. appear in person at the registration authority.

Section 26
Exemption from the registration requirement

The following persons shall be exempt from the registration requirement pursuant to Section 17 (1) and (2):

1. members of a foreign diplomatic mission or foreign consular representation and family members living with them in the same household, if the persons do not have German nationality, are not permanently resident in Germany and are not in gainful employment;

2. persons for whom this exemption has been stipulated in international treaties.

Exemption from the registration requirement pursuant to the first sentence, no. 1 shall apply only on the basis of reciprocity.

Section 27
Exceptions to the registration requirement

(1) There shall be no grounds for a registration requirement pursuant to Section 17 (1) and (2) if a person who is registered at a residence in Germany moves into collective accommodation or other officially provided housing in order to

1. perform compulsory military service pursuant to the Compulsory Military Service Act or voluntary military service pursuant to the Act on the Legal Status of Military Personnel;

2. perform national volunteer service pursuant to the Federal Volunteer Service Act;

3. perform civilian alternative service pursuant to the Act on Civilian Alternative Service;

4. perform a service pursuant to Chapter 4 of the Act on the Legal Status of Military Personnel;

5. serve in the Bundeswehr as a career service member or temporary career volunteer or serve as a federal or state police officer, unless residing at the accommodation for more than 12 months;

6. take part as a public service employee in courses or specialized studies for initial or advanced training.

(2) Anyone who is registered in Germany pursuant to Section 17 or 28 and moves to a residence for a stay of no more than six months shall not be required to register or deregister at this residence. Anyone who has not moved out of this residence after six months have elapsed shall register with the registration authority within two weeks. For persons who otherwise live abroad and are not registered pursuant to Section 17 (1), this obligation shall apply after three months have elapsed.

(3) The exception to the registration requirement pursuant to subsection 2 shall not apply to

1. ethnic German resettlers from the countries of the former Soviet Union and their family members, if they are assigned a place of residence pursuant to Section 8 of the Federal Expellees Act; or

2. asylum applicants or other foreigners residing temporarily in a reception centre or other assigned housing.

To meet the registration requirement pursuant to subsection 2 in conjunction with the first sentence, no. 2, the body responsible for keeping records of persons at the reception centres may submit the necessary data to the registration authority in the form of a list. A copy of the record kept pursuant to foreigners law may be submitted instead of a list. In both cases, the information may be submitted in electronic form.

(4) The execution of a court decision on detention shall not be grounds for registration requirements pursuant to Section 17 or 28 if the person concerned is registered at a residence in Germany. For a person who is not registered at a residence in Germany and whose stay is longer than three months, the management of the detention facility shall report the person’s admittance, transfer and release to the registration authority responsible for the site of the detention facility within two weeks; the person concerned shall be informed. The information sent to the registration authority shall contain the data to be included on the registration form as far as they are known to the detention facility. This information shall take the place of registration pursuant to Section 23 (1).

Table of contents (Federal Act on Registration)

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