Certified Translation of Criminal Record Certificates
- Certified Translation of a Criminal Record Certificate issued in Germany (Führungszeugnis)
- Certified Translation of a Criminal Record Certificate issued abroad
As a sworn translator for the language combinations Spanish-German and English-German, appointed by the Regional Court of Berlin, I carry out certified translations of criminal record certificates (Führungszeugnis): Spanish-German, German-Spanish or English-German, German-English.
1. Certified Translation of a Criminal Record Certificate issued in Germany (Führungszeugnis) (German-Spanish / German-English)
The Führungszeugnis (colloquially: Polizeiliches Führungszeugnis) provides information on possible criminal records. The German Führungszeugnis is frequently required by employers when it comes to job applications or for the conclusion of contracts, as well as by authorities for different purposes. It is often a requirement for visa applications, too. Please do not confuse the Führungszeugnis with the Leumundszeugnis, which provides information on breaches of certain professions’ ethical responsibilities, issued for instance by medical councils.
In Germany, the criminal record certificate is issued by the Federal Office of Justice (BfJ) in Bonn. Applications should preferably be made at the resident registration office (Meldebehörde) in charge of your municipality; in Berlin, you can apply for it at all citizen’s offices (Bürgeramt). In addition, you can place your application online through the official BfJ internet platform, provided that you hold an electronic identitiy card or equivalent (Personalausweis, Aufenthaltstitel) and a card reader.
Persons who hold, instead or besides the German citizenship, the nationality of another EU country will obtain a European Criminal Record Certificate (Europäisches Führungszeugnis), which also includes information on possible criminal records of their country of origin.
Besides the (regular) simple criminal records certificate, you can also apply for an extended criminal records certificate (Erweitertes Führungszeugnis) for certain purposes. In addition, there is a difference between a Führungszeugnis for private purposes (e.g. for employers), sent to the applicant, and a “behördliches Führungszeugnis” (Führungszeugnis zur Vorlage bei einer Behörde), which is sent directly to the corresponding authority.
If you wish to use your German criminal record certificate abroad, an authentication (Überbeglaubigung des BfJ) might also be required depending on the country and, in addition, the apostille, or the final authentication for the consular legalisation (Endbeglaubigung für die Legalisation) carried out by the Federal Office of Administration (BVA) in Cologne.
Please ask the competent consulate of the country requesting your criminal record certificate which kind of authentication is required. If you order the corresponding authentication or apostille already when placing your application of the Führungszeugnis, you will save time for additional deliveries.
2. Certified Translation of a Criminal Record Certificate issued abroad (English-German)
In English-speaking countries you will find, for instance, the following documents:
- Barangay Clearance (Philippines)
- Criminal Record Check / ACRO Police Certificate / Subject Access Disclosure / Disclosure Scotland (United Kingdom)
- Garda Police Certificate (Ireland)
- Identity History Summary (United States)
- National Police Checks / National Police Clearance Certificate (Australia)
- Police Character Certificate (Pakistan)
- Police Clearance Certificate – PCC (India)
- Police Reference Check / Criminal Record Check (Canada)
Apostilles for Criminal Record Certificates
Please note: For the international recognition of your Führungszeugnis and its certified translation, you might require in addition an apostille (Apostille); or the authentication (Vorbeglaubigung) and, afterwards, the consular legalisation. In Berlin, the apostilles for my translations are issued by the Regional Court of Berlin. Please ask the respective authority in the country where you are required to submit your certified translation beforehand as to whether you need to provide the apostille or not. I would be pleased to obtain the latter on your behalf for my translations carried out in Berlin.