Frequently asked questions (FAQ) - General

  • General

  • Which excerpt do I need?

    • Excerpt from the Swiss criminal records:

      The excerpt from the Swiss criminal records provides the following information:
      • All convictions relating to indictable and summary offences committed as an adult, until the expiry of certain periods of time.
      • The excerpt from the Swiss criminal records corresponds to the former "criminal records excerpt"; its contents remain unchanged.

      An excerpt from the Swiss criminal records may be ordered for any purpose

      Special excerpt from the Swiss criminal records:

      The special excerpt from the Swiss criminal records provides only the following information: Convictions comprising a judgment imposing a ban prohibiting the exercising of a profession, a judgment prohibiting certain activities from being undertaken, a judgment prohibiting contact, or a judgment prohibiting the individual from visiting certain locations for the purposes of the protection of minors or other persons requiring special protection, or patients in a healthcare setting, insofar as said prohibitions remain in force.

      A special excerpt from the Swiss criminal records may only be ordered for specific purposes:
      • When the special excerpt from the Swiss criminal records is necessary for a professional or a non-work related organised activity involving regular contact with minors or other persons requiring special protection, or direct contact with patients in a healthcare setting.
      • Special confirmation from the employer, organisation or licensing authority is required to obtain the special excerpt from the Swiss criminal records.

  • How long is the electronic criminal records available for download?

    • The link for obtaining a digital private excerpt is valid for only 60 days from the date on which it is sent. After this 60-day period, the digital private excerpt can no longer be downloaded. You may order another excerpt at any time, but will have to pay the charge again.

  • What is the purpose of the receipt?

    • You can download the electronic receipt for the amount you paid for your order of the excerpt from the Swiss criminal records or special excerpt from the Swiss criminal records.

  • Verifying criminal records excerpts

  • How can I verify a digitally signed electronic excerpt?

    • A digitally signed electronic criminal records excerpt is a PDF document, to which an electronic cryptographical seal (qualified digital signature) has been applied. A digital signature must not be confused with a scanned signature made by hand on a document!

      A qualified digital signature is a secure proof of the origin, the validity and the integrity of a digitally signed electronic document. Integrity means that it is easily visible if an electronic document has been modified after being signed.

      The qualified signatures are attached on electronic criminal records excerpts according to the Swiss Digital Signature Law (ZertES, SR/RS 943.03). The signatures are attached using certified signature cards, which have been handed out to a clearly identified and authorized person – the Head of the Swiss Criminal Records.
      The signature certificates used by the Swiss Criminal Records contain the declaration Roger Dolder, head of Criminal Records.
      The signatures also contain a certified timestamp, which proves at what point in time the signature has been attached. It is thus possible to prove, that the certificate was valid at that point in time, even if the certificate is not valid anymore at the time when the document's signature is validated.

      Since the validation of signatures is fairly complex and not altogether straightforward, the Swiss Criminal Records is providing an easy-to-use online validation service. All you have to do is to upload the document. The service will tell you immediately if the criminal records excerpt is valid and trustworthy or not. You can even create a validation report to document that you have validated the criminal records excerpt.

      Proceed to the validation service

  • Verifying a paper criminal records excerpt

    • You may verify the correctness of the contents of an excerpt from criminal records containing no sentence(s) issued on original paper (or a copy thereof) or issued as printed, digitally signed electronic criminal records excerpt. All you have to do is enter a very few features of the criminal records excerpt; however, verification of criminal records excerpts is possible only if criminal records excerpts have been issued within the past six months.

      Criminal records excerpts containing sentences may not be verified this way.

      If you wish to have verified an criminal records excerpt containing sentences, please contact this address:

      Bundesamt für Justiz
      Schweizerisches Strafregister
      Bundesrain 20
      3003 Bern
      Technical Helpline:
      ++41 58 465-0198
      (Monday through Friday 10.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.)

  • Information on data protection

  • What will happen with my data?

    • Communication of data

      All personal data required for ordering and payment is coded.

      Access to personal data

      Your personal data is only accessible for the purpose of ordering an excerpt from the Swiss criminal records. It is not accessible to third persons.

      Online payment security

      Credit card data is stored neither by the Swiss Criminal Records Unit nor by the Swiss Post.

      When is the data stored?

      The data is stored only at the end of the ordering procedure. If you cancel the order or close the browser, all the information is erased. You will then be required to repeat the procedure.

      Copy on your computer

      During the ordering procedure, you can save a copy of the order form on your computer.

  • General technical questions

  • What browser/operating systems can be used?

  • The automatic filling-in of boxes (e.g. place) doesn't work.

    • Certain boxes are filled in ahead for greater ease of handling and accuracy. For example after you enter the zip code a drop list of place names appears.

      This functions only if the security settings in your browsers have not been set too high. In Internet Explorer select “Extras/Internet options/Security/Set level” and click on “Activate” under “Enable ActiveX Controls and Plugins”

      In the event that you cannot change the setting (e.g. because of internal company security restrictions) you have to use another browser, such as Firefox, to ensure that the boxes are correctly filled out.

  • I have technical problems with the order process via internet or with the online payment.

    • In the heading bar, you will see the transaction number (TAN). This number is used to identify your details and reproduce them.

      If you need technical support you can send us
      an or you can write or phone us:

      Federal Office of Justice
      Swiss Criminal Records Section
      Service for Private Individuals
      Bundesrain 20
      3003 Berne
      Technical Helpline:
      Phone: ++41 58 465-0198
      (Monday through Friday 10.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.)

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