Criminal record certificate

General information

The criminal record certificate (Strafregisterbescheinigung) is a document containing either all of a person's registered convictions in the Crime Register, and/or information that there are no such convictions. Only the person who filed the application can be issued the document

Applicants for jobs in various sectors, including security and surveillance, will need to provide a copy of their current criminal record certificate as part of their job application. In most cases, the certificate must not be more than three months old

Since 1st January 2014, citizens have also been able to apply for a special criminal record certificate for children and youth welfare (Strafregisterbescheinigung Kinder- und Jugendfürsorge). This special certificate can be applied for and issued if:  

  • it is necessary in order to check the person's suitability for professional or organised voluntary activities involving regular direct contact with children, and
  • this requirement has been confirmedGerman text  by the person's (future or current) employer, or by the (future or current) relevant representative of the voluntary organisation concerned

Since 1st July 2020, citizens have also been able to apply for a special criminal record certificate for care and support (Strafregisterbescheinigung Pflege und Betreuung). This special certificate can be applied for and issued if:  

  • it is necessary to check a person's suitability for professional or organised voluntary activities primarily concerned with the provision of care for vulnerable individuals and 
  • this requirement has been confirmedGerman text  by the person's (future or current) employer, or by the relevant (future or current) representative of the voluntary organisation concerned. 

The special criminal record certificate for children and youth welfare and the special criminal record certificate for care and support respectively detail convictions for offences committed against sexual integrity and self-esteem, as well as any associated entries in the register of offences, such as court orders banning the individual from engaging in certain activities. 

Nationals of other EU member states who request a criminal record certificate and/or a special criminal record certificate for children and youth welfare and/or a special criminal record certificate for care and support can ask for relevant information from the register of offences in other EU member states to be forwarded to the Austrian authorities and then added to their Austrian criminal record certificate by the Criminal Records Office at Vienna State Police Department.

Competent authority

Tip

If you require a simple criminal record certificate, you can apply for it online (→ BMI)German text  . Note that you cannot apply online for the special criminal record certificates such as the special criminal record certificate children and youth welfare or the special criminal record certificate for care and support because those certificates can only be issued following confirmation from the employer and/or organisation requesting them. To apply online for a criminal record certificate, you will need a Citizen Card, which is also available as a Mobile Phone Signature Handy-Signatur

How to apply for a special criminal record certificate and/or special criminal record certificate for children and youth welfare and/or the special criminal record certificate for care and support:

  • If you live in a city where there is a state police department (Landespolizeidirektion) or police department( Landespolizeikommisariat), go to the state police department or police department
  • If you live in a city without a state police department or in a city or municipality without a police department, apply to the mayor
    • If you live in the chartered urban districts of Krems or Waidhofen/Ybbs, you should apply to the municipal executive
    • If you live in the chartered urban district of Rust, apply to the state police department of Burgenland, which is the safety authority of the first instance for the municipality (Gemeinde) of Rust 
  • If you are applying from outside Austria, apply to your local Austrian representation authority (→ BMEIA) 

You can apply for a criminal record certificate at any competent autjhority in the area where you are currently resident, regardless of the location of your primary residence. You can only apply for and collect criminal record certificates during opening hours (Parteienverkehrszeiten), which often differ from the office hours(Amtsstunden). Please check the opening hours for the relevant authority in advance. To see the contact details for individual authorities, click on the links above (e.g. "state police department" or "mayor") and enter the relevant postcode or the name of the municipality. If more than one office appears under the same postcode, you will be prompted to select the right one. 

The applicant must appear in person at the responsible authority at least once except when applying online using their citizen card (e-signature), either when they submit their application or when they collect their certificate, in order to verify their identity. This means that you can arrange for someone else to submit your application or to collect your certificate on your behalf. Individuals submitting applications or collecting certificates on behalf of someone else will need to show they are legally legally authorised to do so. As a rule, applicants represented by their solicitors are not generally required to appear in person, provided that the authorised solicitor submits a copy of the applicant's official photo ID along with the application.

Procedure

The applicant must appear in person at the responsible authority at least once except when applying online using their citizen card (e-signature), either when they submit their application or when they collect their certificate, in order to verify their identity. This means that you can arrange for someone else to submit your application or to collect your certificate on your behalf. Individuals submitting applications or collecting certificates on behalf of someone else will need to show they are legally authorised to do so. 

As a rule, applicants represented by their solicitors are not generally required to appear in person, provided that the authorised solicitor submits a copy of the applicant's government-issued photographic ID along with the application. 

Required documents

  • Official phtot ID card (proof of identity). Nationals of other EU member states requesting that data be retrieved from the member state concerned must present proof of their citizenship/s – e.g. a passport or national ID card) 
  • Any previous names must be stated in the application. Evidence of these previous names must be submitted in the form of, e.g. a  birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, adoption certificate. 
  • If someone else is submitting your application or collecting your certificate, they must present proof of legal authorisation to do so. 
  • If you are applying for a special criminal record certificate for children and youth welfare or a criminal record certificate for care and support, you must also provide a completed confirmation, filled in and signed by your (current or future) employer or the organisation that has asked you to obtain the certificate. 

If the applicant's identity cannot be reliably established on the basis of their official phtot ID card, for example if the surname on their application does not match their ID because they have changed their surname and their ID has not yet been updated, they must also provide suitable evidence of their change of name (marriage certificate, confirmation of change of name, etc.). Any academic titles not included on an applicant's government-issued photo ID must be evidenced by providing a copy of the relevant degree certificate or academic transcript. 

Costs and fees

The fee for applying for and issuing a criminal record certificate is usually 30.70 Euro for applications using the standard procedure or 25 Euro for electronic applications. The breakdown of fees is as follows: 

For the application 

  • Standard procedure: 14.30 Euro
  • Electronic applications using a citizen card (e.g. Mobile Phone Signature (Handy-Signatur): 8.60 Euro

For issuing a criminal record certificate 

  • Certificate fee: 14.30 Euro
    The certificate fee will be waived if the criminal record certificate is being obtained solely in order to present it to a specific office (natural person or legal entity, such as an employer or a authority). In this case, the certificate costs 16.40 Euro (and 10.70 Euro for electronic applications using a citizen card, e.g. mobile phone signature). 
  • Federal administration fee: 2.10 Euro

Further information

If you have applied for the certificate in person and online, the certificate can be sent to you upon request. Certificates are usually delivered by official government post (RSa-Brief (in person). However, applicants can also request their certificates be sent out in the standard post. 

If the criminal record certificate, special criminal record certificate for children and youth welfare and/or special criminal record certificate for care and support shows no convictions, the certificate issued will be bilingual (German and English). 

At the police departments in Vienna, criminal record certificates are usually issued on the spot, provided that all documents required to establish the applicant's identity are provided when the application is submitted, and that no arrest warrants, or alerts to determine whereabouts, etc. have been issued in relation to the applicant. In the case that the certificate is issued on the spot, it is not therefore possible for the applicant to arrange for a third party to represent them. 

Provided all the relevant requirements are met, various other authorities throughout Austria can and do issue criminal record certificates within a few minutes. However, if the municipality to which the application is submitted does not have direct access to the register of criminal offences, it may take around 10 days for the certificate to be issued. Applications made to Austrian representations abroad may also take longer to process. 

Advice

Criminal convictions that are not subject to restricted divulgence (Beschränkter Auskunft) will appear in a criminal record certificate, which may be problematic for individuals applying for a new job. You can ask for a criminal conviction to be subjected to restricted divulgence by petitioning for a pardon. There are usually no formal requirements for such pardons; they can simply be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Justice (→ BMJ). However, as a minimum, they should set out why the offence should be restricted (e.g. the genuine prospect of obtaining a specific job) and a justification as to why the pardon should be granted (e.g. particularly positive behaviour since the offence was committed or following release from custody). To avoid any queries, you should provide all the following information, specifically: 

  •  Full name 
  • Date of birth and place of birth 
  • Address 
  • Court, reference and date of the decision(s) you wish to have pardoned. 

Generally speaking, applications for pardons will only be considered after half the expiration period (Tilgungsfrist) for the offence has elapsed. There is no legal entitlement to such pardons. 

Legal basis

Strafregistergesetz 1968 (especially Sections 10, 10a, 11)

Link to form

Certified translation
Last update: 1 February 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior