Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about the Federal Portal
Accessing government services online
The Federal Portal provides you with centralised access to all federal, state and local government services. The topics are organised by different personal and business matters.
You can find a service by entering a keyword in the search field or by searching the topic areas, “All Personal Matters” and “All Business Matters”.
Submitting an application
You can use the Federal Portal to submit applications and forms online. This service supplements the services offered in person by government offices.
Verifying your identity online
In some cases, you must prove your identity to submit an application online. Depending on the assurance level of the service in question, this verification may take place through BundID or ELSTER.
Welche Informationen benötigen Sie?
The Federal Portal provides information on the administrative services offered by Germany’s federal, state and local governments. It also allows you to perform many government transactions online. As part of the implementation of the Online Access Act (Onlinezugangsgesetz, OZG), the number of online administrative services is continually growing.
You can even find services offered by the EU or other national authorities under the section on assistance and problem-solving services.
Your search will provide results for relevant government services. If a service offers the option to submit applications online via the Federal Portal, it will be labelled accordingly.
You can open the online form for your application by clicking on “Open form” at the bottom of the relevant page.
Once you have selected a service, you will find the competent office and the “Contact point” in the service description.
Assistance and problem-solving services, also known as support services, are services aimed at helping citizens and businesses in the EU to secure their rights in various fields. They help users with information requests and enquiries, provide advice and respond to questions regarding online procedures.
These services are offered via a Single Digital Gateway (SDG) in line with EU Regulation 2018/1724.
- Points of single contact
- Product Contact Points
- Product Contact Points for Construction
- National assistance centres for professional qualifications
- National contact points for cross-border healthcare
- European network of employment services (EURES)
- Online dispute resolution (ODR)
- Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers
The Act to Improve Online Access to Administrative Services, also known as the Online Access Act (Onlinezugangsgesetz, OZG), requires the German administration to make all of its services available in digital format. The Act obliges the federal, state and local authorities to make their administrative services available online and to merge their individual administrative portals into a joint network. The aim is to offer individuals and businesses simple, user-friendly and accessible administrative services.
Searching the Federal Portal
The Federal Portal provides access to administrative services offered by the federal, state and local governments. You can choose between the following search methods:
- If you opt for a keyword search, enter your search term in the “What are you looking for?” field on any of the portal’s pages. A list of the results will be displayed for you.
- If you opt to search by topic area, you will find these divided into personal matters and business matters for organisations and companies. You can then look for the topic you want based on your individual situation, and you will find the relevant administrative services.
You can find descriptions of all administrative services offered by the federal, state and local governments. The information is provided by the responsible offices themselves. This means that you can access first-hand information from a range of different offices, knowing that it comes from trustworthy sources.
Please note that the portal only provides a description for those services that are listed in the public administration’s catalogue of services. This means that numerous topics and keywords do not yet have a description. We are currently working to improve this.
At “service.bund.de”, you can find invitations to tender and job vacancies advertised by federal, state and local administrations. These are updated on a daily basis.
Find out more at service.bund.de
You have the following options:
- If you have a specific search term in mind, then you can search for keywords related to your situation or problem in the “What are you looking for?” field.
- If you only want to browse, you can look through our topic areas. If you are searching as an individual, you will find relevant services in the “All Personal Matters” section. If you are searching for business purposes, the services under “All Business Matters” will be of interest to you.
In both sections you will find a selection of administrative services for your situation.
Submitting an Application
There are various ways to prove your identity when submitting online applications and forms to authorities.
BundID, previously known as the Federal User Account, provides a secure method of authentication to private individuals.
You can use this method via the online ID function (of your national identity card, electronic residence permit or eID card for EU citizens), an eIDAS-compliant eID from your home country within the EU, an ELSTER certificate, or a username and password.
The ELSTER business account allows organisations such as businesses, associations and government institutions to identify themselves by means of their ELSTER certificates.
The term “assurance level” refers to the trustworthiness of the identification provided by a person or organisation (proof of identity). In line with the eIDAS Regulation (EU) No 910/2014, electronic proof of identity is classified according to three assurance levels:
Depending on the application you are submitting, a higher assurance level may be required. In the Federal Portal, online applications are labelled with the assurance level they require. You will automatically be taken to a page where your proof of identity can be checked.
Applications that can be submitted anonymously are labelled “No login necessary”. If you wish to receive online responses from authorities in such cases and would like to save your details so that future applications are pre-filled automatically, please use the BundID login option “username/password”.
You can find information about the data, identification and documents required, as well as other advice, under the description of the relevant service.
The description can be found by entering a keyword in the “What are you looking for?” field. Alternatively, you can search through our topic areas: “All Personal Matters” for individuals and “All Business Matters” for organisations and businesses.
When completing the form for your online application, you have the option to upload files with copies of the required documents in a separate section within the form. It is possible to upload up to 20 files (max. 5 MB each) in the following formats: DOC, JPEG, PDF and PNG.
You can usually send the completed form for your online application directly through the Federal Portal. In some cases, it is possible to print out the form and send it by post.
Support and Contact
- If you have questions about the Federal Portal, or are having difficulty finding what you’re looking for, please contact us via the “Support” form.
- To let us know what you think of the Federal Portal, feel free to take part in our survey under “Feedback”. We welcome your ideas, criticisms and suggested changes so that we can gradually improve the Federal Portal.
- Please feel free to call our Federal Portal Service Team. You can reach us on +49 (0)30 2598 - 4402, Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 19:00.
- Do you have questions about the Federal Portal?
If you are unsure of something, or you cannot find what you are looking for, please use our contact form titled “Support”.
You can also contact our Service Team by telephone. You can reach us on +49 (0)30 2598 - 4402, Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 19:00.
- Do you have questions regarding your online application?
Please contact the office which is processing your application. You will find the office’s contact details under “Contact point” in the service description.
- Do you have questions about BundID (the Federal User Account)?
If so, please visit the BundID website. The website has a comprehensive support section.
You can also contact the responsible office directly.
- Do you have questions about the ELSTER business account?
The “Mein Unternehmenskonto” website has a support section with extensive information on specialist and technical questions as well as contact details.
- Do you have questions about general administrative topics?
Please contact the government service telephone number 115 for general questions. This number provides reliable answers to your questions about the public administration and can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 to18:00.
Feel free to use our “Feedback” form.
Our main goal is to constantly make the portal more user-friendly.
We look forward to hearing your ideas, criticisms and suggested changes so that we can continue to improve the Federal Portal.
You will find the contact details of the office responsible for your online application under “Contact point” in the service description.
The government service telephone number 115 is a central point of contact for the public administration and your first port of call for general questions. It can provide quick and reliable answers to your questions Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 18:00.