Navigation and service

Which services are available by calling 115?

By calling 115 citizens and businesses get answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning public administration. Information on individual procedures (e.g. pension approval certificates) or information including individual personal data cannot be obtained by calling 115. For these questions and for ongoing administrative procedures citizens must contact the competent official or call the number of the responsible authority. These telephone numbers continue to be valid.

Where can I reach 115?

115 cannot be reached throughout Germany yet. The aim of 115 is to become available throughout Germany. The number of participating municipalities increases steadily. At the moment, 115 cannot be contacted from abroad.

What are the advantages of 115?

The goal of 115 is for 115 service centre staff to be able to answer callers’ questions at the first point of contact. If the 115 service centre staff are unable to answer a question, they will refer it to the relevant service centre or staff of the relevant government office, which will then contact the caller with the answer, either by telephone, e-mail or fax, depending on the caller’s preference, at no extra charge. In this way, calling 115 can save not only having to visit government offices, but also having to make repeated phone calls to find the right office to deal with a query.

How will 115 benefit the general public?

Nation-wide, there are an estimated 20.000 government offices at federal, state and local level, with countless telephone numbers. 115 is intended to solve the problem of having to search for the right number. By calling one easy-to-remember telephone number, the public will be able to get answers to their questions about government services. For example,the Meier family will soon be moving from Berlin to Hamburg. Their car will have to be registered in Hamburg and a new school will have to be found for the children. In addition, Mr and Mrs Meier both need to renew their national ID cards. Managing these tasks would typically require figuring out which government offices are responsible and looking up numerous telephone numbers, addresses and opening hours. One call to 115 can provide answers to all these questions. The Meier family may still have to appear in person at the relevant government offices, but with the help of 115, they will know exactly where and when to go and what documents to take with them.

How long will I have to wait before my call is answered?

75% of calls will be picked up within 30 seconds by 115 service centre staff.

When can I phone 115?

The 115 number is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Who will I speak to when I call 115?

115 builds on existing structures: No new, central service centre is being created. Instead, existing federal, state and local government telephone service centres are being linked to form a network. When you dial 115 in one of the participating regions, your call will be answered by staff at your local 115 service centre. The 115 service is not organized like a bureaucracy; instead, it strives to put service first: 115 service centre staff are trained to regard callers as their clients and to provide them with competent assistance.

In order to provide consistent information to answer callers’ questions, 115 service centre staff can rely on a knowledge management system containing comprehensive information on the most requested government services. This knowledge management system is constantly being updated and expanded based on information provided by the participating public administrations.

Is the 115 service available to people with hearing impairments?

Accessibility and participation by people with disabilities are very important issues for the 115. The 115 provides access for people with hearing impairments. This service has been set up in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

The latest information about the 115 and access for people with hearing impairments you will find here.

Click on for more information and a video about the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs sign language telephone.

Where did the idea for 115 come from?

The idea for 115 originated at the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel’s IT summit in December 2006 and was developed by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the state of Hesse together with the pilot regions. 115 is a good example of how public administration at every level is working together throughout Germany, starting at local level and extending on up through the state and federal levels. Participants are assessing the experience from the pilot operation in order to continually improve service. As a result, 115 is also an expression of a comprehensive process of modernization. 115 is helping to modernize public administration, reduce bureaucracy and better meet public needs. Telephone service centres at local level are the backbone of 115, as they are the public’s first point of contact with the 115 cooperation. This system offers a platform for further structural innovations.

What kinds of questions can I ask 115?

Some examples of questions that can be answered directly by 115 service centre staff:

  • I am moving from Cologne to Bonn. Where I can register my new address?
  • I just bought a new car. When is the car licensing office open?
  • How long will I receive child benefit payments?
  • How do I register a business?
  • How do I apply for a wage tax card?
  • What documents do I need in order to get married?

© 115 - 2018 Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community