Every visitor and long-term resident in Croatia is required to register their presence with the police (referred to as “MUP”). Registering involves submitting your passport information and address of where you are staying.
If you are a tourist staying in a hotel or apartment accommodation, the owner or caretaker is supposed to handle this for you (which is why they ask for your passport). While it is required that everyone register, it is common for people who are staying with friends or camping not to register. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to get thrown in jail for not registering during a vacation.
If you intend to live in Croatia long term and therefore plan to exceed the allowed tourist visa duration defined by your nationality (usually 30 to 90 days), then it is critical that you register your address with the police as soon as possible BEFORE your tourist visa expires. You can check how long you can be in Croatia as a tourist for your nationality here.
Registering your address with the police is the first step to attaining legal residency.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- When you should register with the police
- Where you can register
- What you need to bring
- Required form for address registration
- How often you need to register your address
- How to change your address
- What to do if you have two addresses
When should I register my address with Croatian police?
As soon as you arrive in Croatia. If staying in tourist accommodation, the owner or caretaker should register on your behalf.
If you plan to stay long term, you need to register your address as soon as you have an official address at least 8 days before the expiration of your tourist visa. That being said, you should register your long-term address as early in your tourist visa as possible to prevent any issues with the police.
Where do I go to register?
To register your address in Croatia, go to the closest administrative police station to your residence. Upon arrival at MUP, ask for the desk that handles residency for internationals, which is called “Državljanstvo i Stranci”.
If your accommodation is registering you, they will do so using an online system called eVisitor.
What do I need to bring with me?
To register as a tourist, you only need to bring your passport or EU ID card and the address of where you are staying. Again, it’s unlikely you need to do this as your accommodation will take care of it.
To register a long-term stay BEFORE your tourist visa is up, you’ll need to bring your passport or EU ID card, your OIB and a notarized copy of your lease. If your lease isn’t notarized, your landlord (or whomever is renting to you) may need to join you at the police station to complete the registration. If your landlord does join you at the police station, you will still need a rental contract to show the police. It just doesn’t need to be notarized in this case.
If you are registering an address AFTER your tourist stay is up, your temporary residence application should already be in motion. If you go to the police after your tourist stay is up and have not yet registered an address or started a residency application, you will most likely be told to leave the country at a minimum and fined at a maximum.
Is there a form?
Yes. The police will provide you with a registration form to fill out. You can also download this form here.
Once you fill out the form and provide your documents, the police officer will give you a stamped copy of the registration form back for your records. Keep this safe and make copies. You’ll need to provide this as your proof of address and proof you are in the residency process until you get your residence permit. The police may even ask for you to provide it on future visits. You’ll also need this document to open a bank account if you do not yet have a residency card.
Be truthful when completing this form. If you give a false statement, you can be fined between 500 and 5.000 kuna.
How often do I have to register my address?
Until you are approved for your first temporary residence permit, you’ll need to update your registration every 90 to 180 days. The length may vary depending on the type of residence permit you are applying for and your nationality. European nationals are given preference.
After you gain residence, you only need to update your address when you change residences. The process to change your address with the police is the same as when you register your address for the first time.
What if I have two addresses?
In Croatia, it is possible to have 2 addresses on file with the Croatian police. The two types of addresses are:
- Prebivalište – Your permanent address, where you get communication from the government
- Boravište – A temporary or occasional address where you may live for 3 or more months, which may include:
- Where you are staying while you’re away at school
- Where you are staying abroad
- Where you are staying while doing temporary work in another city
- A summer home
You are required to register both with the government. However, it is not uncommon to only register the prebivalište.
If you are planning to stay long term and have registered your address with the police already, then your next step is to apply for temporary residence. Here are all of the options for temporary residence along with instructions on how to apply. You can also have an expat-vetted lawyer take care of the residency application for you. Contact us for a referral.