How to register with the Croatian police

Every visitor to Croatia is required to register their stay with the police. If you stay in a hotel or an official apartment, the owner or caretaker handles this for you (which is why they ask for your passport).

Naturally, this isn’t enforced for people who are staying with friends or camping. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to get thrown in jail for not registering during a vacation.

However, it is critical to register with the police if you intend to stay longer than the tourist visa stay as defined by your nationality (usually 30 to 90 days). Registering with the police is the first step to attaining legal residency.

When should I register?

As soon as you arrive if you intend to stay longer that the 30 to 90 days.

Where do I go to register?

To register, go to the main police station in the city where you’ll be staying i.e. where your address of residence is. Upon arrival, ask for the desk that handles residency for internationals, which is called “Državljanstvo i Stranci”.

What do I need to bring with me?

If you are registered BEFORE your tourist visa is up, you’ll need to bring your passport 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 register you.

If you are registered AFTER your tourist stay is up, you’ll need to have already started your residence application process to be allowed to register.  This is why it is critical to register as soon as you arrive in Croatia.

Is there a form?

Yes. The police will provide you with a registration form to fill out. See below for the registration form.

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 supremely safe. You’ll need to provide this as your proof of address and proof of residency until you get your residence permit, even with the police. You’ll also need this document to open a bank account.

Croatia residency form

How often do I have to register?

Until you are approved for a 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.

You’ll also need to update your registration every time you change addresses.

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47 thoughts on “How to register with the Croatian police

  1. T Bilton
    January 31, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

    Hi Sara,

    I've got a bit of a unique situation that the Zagreb police auto translator can't solve.  I will be vising Croation for 2 weeks, hopping around 6 cities or so.  I'm not staying in a traditional hotel, rather I'm doing the airbnb route, so not a hotel but not exactly friends either.  Is it the householder's responsibility to register me, as if the holder were a hotel, or is it up to me to register in person?  And would that 8a form be the most appropriate one? I've seen several versions on the Zagreb police website.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 1, 2014 @ 8:36 am

      Hi T!

      When you check into your Airbnb apartment, the owner or manager will ask for your passport. Using that information, they will register you with the police on your behalf just as a hotel would. So no, you wouldn’t need the form or visit the police in person. They will handle it all for you. 

      Thanks for the great question, and enjoy your trip!

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Jessica Moretto
        March 15, 2017 @ 5:31 am

        Do you have to register in each city or just once?

        {reply}

        • Sara Expat in Croatia
          March 15, 2017 @ 10:16 am

          Hi Jessica,

          Thanks for reaching out! You need to register in the jurisdiction where you live. Your registration will need to be updated each time you change addresses. If you reside in Split, you would need to register in Split.

          Cheers,

          Sara

          {reply}

  2. TristanLedet
    December 17, 2014 @ 10:40 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on get a visa croatia. Regards

    {reply}

    • Daniel K
      March 12, 2015 @ 4:09 pm

      That is not always the case! Don't trust the host will do the registration for you.

      The first time me and my wife came to Zagreb we stayed on a flat rented through Airbnb. We explicitly asked the owner to make the registration for us and he requested a copy of our passports to do so. After a few weeks, we had to go to the police station to change our address to a permanent one, and discovered that he never registered us. The police was charging us with a 600 kunas fine because of that. We managed to skip the fine alleging it was the host's fault and giving his name and phone number so the police could confirm our story.

      {reply}

      • Expat in Croatia
        March 27, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

        HI Daniel,

        This is a good point. If you’re planning to stay in Croatia long term, always handle registration with the policija yourself to make sure everything is inline. This is not so important if you are only here for under 90 days. 

        Thanks for the input,

        Sara

        {reply}

  3. Erika Gilliland
    December 31, 2016 @ 7:18 am

    Hello! Is there a long-term travel visa available in Croatia? My husband and I are US citizens. We would like to stay in Croatia for about 6 months. We will not be working in the country and plan to rent an apartment for 6 months in Zadar.

    {reply}

    • Sara Expat in Croatia
      January 3, 2017 @ 10:52 am

      Hi Erika,

      Thank you for reaching out! You should be able to stay for 6 months legally IF 1) you pay for health insurance through HZZO for the 6 months in full 2) you rent a legal apartment and pay for the rent 6 months in full and 3) prove you have the funds to support yourself during this time, which means depositing funds into a Croatian bank account. You’ll need to be able to prove all of these items in addition to the regular requirements for residency. Before getting started, I recommend going to the police station in Zadar and asking them what you need to provide first, as the requirements can vary by whom you speak to and when you ask.

      Good luck!

      Sara

      {reply}

  4. Tebo
    March 12, 2017 @ 6:54 pm

    Hi, Sara. Thanks for your helpful posts! I've got one question. Would I have to register again if my address changes within those 90 days??

     

    {reply}

    • Sara Expat in Croatia
      March 15, 2017 @ 10:17 am

      Hi Tebo,

      Thanks for reaching out! You need to update your registration each time your address changes. If you are staying on a tourist visa for less than 90 days, it is not as crucial but still the law. If you are staying in vacation rentals, the manager of the apartment is supposed to register you on your behalf but not all do.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Ed
    August 10, 2017 @ 6:26 pm

    I will be arriving to Dubrovnik airport, then immediately driving to Montenegro for one night, and returning to Dubrovnik the following day for a few nights’ stay. Do I need to register upon landing in Dubrovnik? Or can I simply register when I return to Dubrovnik by car from Montenegro? Alternatively, is this something that the Dubrovnik hotel can work out in advance?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 11, 2017 @ 11:23 am

      Hi Ed,

      Your accommodation should handle your registration. If you are only going to Montenegro for 1 night, then it should be no problem to wait until your Dubrovnik hotel registers you.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  6. Re
    October 4, 2017 @ 8:02 pm

    Hello what do we have to bring and must we pay something? And if it is not done what are the sanctions
    Thank you

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 5, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

      Hi Remy,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      You’ll need to bring your passport and a certified property lease in Croatia. There is no fee to register your address. If you do not register your address AND intend to live in Croatia longer than 90 days, then you will be fined.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  7. nakib
    October 5, 2017 @ 8:30 pm

    Hi, Sara,
    this is M A Nakib , i’m an Indian but i live in malaysia and i already applied for Croatian student visa to china, but in my country also have Croatian embassy i submitted my all Malaysian document like bank statement and others, but my visa haven’t approved, because my study will start in Croatia from January, now i’m going back to India and spend sometimes with my parents before i go to Croatia,
    now my question is if my visa will approved where i have to send my passport and other document to Croatian embassy in India or China?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      November 20, 2017 @ 10:56 am

      Hi Nakib,

      You shouldn’t have to send your passport anywhere. If you are approved for a visa, then you will get a national ID card, which you must get in person.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  8. PS
    November 23, 2017 @ 11:59 pm

    Hello.
    Is there any way to get Croatia visa through the local police for the countries that don’t have Croatian embassy? Just for 15 t 30 days stay.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 18, 2017 @ 3:06 pm

      Hi PS,

      Are you from a country that is not allowed visa-free travel to Croatia? If so, I would contact the closest embassy or consulate to you, even if not in your country to get guidance on what you can do without traveling to an embassy.

      If you are allowed a tourist visa for 90 days, then a visa is not necessary for such a short trip.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  9. Josef Djordjevski
    December 5, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

    Sara, thank you for all the helpful information!

    But if you plan to stay longer than 90 days, and are staying with a friend for free, do you still need to have a “rental agreement” upon registration? Or can the friend just go to the police with you and say, “yup this person is staying with me for free”? Just curious if the friend I am staying with would get in trouble for letting me stay for free.

    -Joe

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      December 18, 2017 @ 2:55 pm

      Hi Josef,

      I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’m getting this question, so thank you! Best bet is to speak with the policija and see what they will require. If you do not have a notarized rental agreement, then you should take your friend to the policija with you and they should bring their own notarized rental contract or proof they own the apartment.

      They may require a rental agreement anyways. In which case, you can put an arbitrary amount of rent that you will pay to your friend and then not pay your friend. HOWEVER, if your friend does not own the apartment, registering at their address can cause problems with the real owner as the owner must pay taxes for each registered person living at the address. In this case, you would need to get the owner on board as well.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  10. Sofia
    January 13, 2018 @ 5:13 pm

    Hi Sara, nice source of information and well done on all your efforts.

    I think our situation falls into Josef’s story. We (French + UK citizens) are planning to stay with strangers as volunteers doing chores in their house in exchange for free accommodation. The idea is to have a foot on the ground while starting legal procedures to apply for long stay residency. So the people we are staying with are not friends and we are not paying any rent neither.

    I can see here the potential problem. We don’t have a rental address to justify long stay in the country, and we don’t have jobs neither because we don’t have a long stay permit yet. This is the cat chasing its own tail.

    I am starting to think about entering Croatia and not tell the authorities until we have found a job contract and only then rent a flat and apply for temporary stay. Could that work considering this will most likely take more than the 3 months allowed to be in the country visa-free?

    I’d appreciate your insight and friendly opinion.
    Thanks in advance
    Sofia

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 16, 2018 @ 12:01 pm

      Hi Sofia,

      If you are both EU citizens, then you don’t need to apply for residency or a visa. You only need to register your address and get health insurance. My recommendation is to ask who you are staying with if you can register at their address in exchange for paying the associated taxes.

      Regarding health insurance, you can trade in your UK and France state policies for a Croatia policy at HZZO.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  11. Cate
    February 10, 2018 @ 1:17 am

    Hi Sara,
    I’ve been using your blog as a resource during my Croatia trip and it has been so helpful! I find myself in an unfortunate situation – I miscounted my days in Croatia and my husband and I are leaving on day 95. (I am typing this on day 93)

    It was obviously so stupid, and I started counting from the wrong week. I am terrified, what happens when we get to the airport? Is there anything I could do preemptively?? My husband and I have been here visiting his sister who was born here – I’m American and he is Canadian with a US green card. (His parents were both born in Croatia) I’ve done some internet research and all the message boards with similar circumstances basically say we are in serious trouble. Any advice?

    Thanks so much

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      February 10, 2018 @ 11:12 am

      Hi Cate,

      Thanks for the question!

      I’ve only ever heard of fines for people who plan on staying longer than 90 days but don’t register with the police. I’m curious what this “serious trouble” you’ve heard about on the message boards. If they give you any trouble, I would recommend being honest about the miscalculation. Sincerity goes a long way here. In my experience, unless you’ve really done something bad, most authorities will want to avoid additional paperwork so will let you go with a stern warning.

      For the future, if your husband has Croatian parents, I recommend he gets his Croatian passport. It will open up your options for traveling in Croatia.

      If it’s not too much trouble, please share your experience after you get to the other side of your travels. Interested to know if they do indeed hassle you on your way out.

      Good luck and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

      Regards,
      Sara

      {reply}

  12. Cate
    February 10, 2018 @ 1:56 pm

    Ive read things like $500-$1500 fine, destined/missing flight, and a several year ban. We is definitely getting his passport on our our next trip, we have some work to do in locating his mom’s birth certificate.

    I will report back, thank you for the reply!

    {reply}

  13. Iuliia
    March 12, 2018 @ 9:56 pm

    Hello! First of all thanks for this kind of topic!
    I have a question about registering each time I change my address in Croatia. My trip plan:
    Day 1 – stay at my friends place (she probably will not register me, so i gues it is better to pay one night in the hostel for registration). Day 2-4 travel through small croatian islands and sleeping outside (so no registration). Day 5 maybe stay one night in hostel. Day 6 – fly away.

    1. Will there be problems with registration on day 5 because of missing registration on days 2-4? Will smb make me pay fine for those 3 unregistered days?
    2. If during the whole trip i would be registeres only for 1 night (on the 1st day), will i have problems in the airport when getting on board to fly away?

    I am russian, tourist visa, don’t plan to stay longer than 90 days.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 13, 2018 @ 5:31 pm

      Hi Luliia,

      Thanks for the question!

      If you’re only here 6 days, I would not be too concerned with being registered for each day. I’ve had a number of friends stay with me from abroad and they were never registered. What is most important is that you are not here longer than 90 days. If you were here more than a couple weeks, then it would be a bit more critical. Of course, it never hurts to register for every day, but I don’t think it’ll be necessary in your situation.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Iuliia
        March 13, 2018 @ 9:26 pm

        Thank you very much!!!

        {reply}

  14. David
    April 25, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

    I here conflicting remarks. I own a property in Croatia and visit periodically throughout the year for no more that 4 weeks. Do I have register at the police office?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 30, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

      Hi David,

      I am assuming that you do not hold a residence permit. Generally, yes, you should register with the police. Anyone who is not a resident with a permit must register. However, I think it unlikely you will get zapped because you didn’t register. Your best bet is to ask the MUP in your local jurisdiction in Croatia to be sure.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  15. Jack
    June 20, 2018 @ 12:10 am

    Hi,

    My wife and I have a friend of a friend lending us their apartment for 80 days in Zagreb. She is an older widower and dont want to bother her with the police or the taxes involved. How bad of an idea is it to simply not register and go ok about our trip claiming ignorance of the law?

    Thanks for the help!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 23, 2018 @ 1:52 pm

      Hi Jack,

      If you are staying less than 90 days, then you do not need to register your address or pay associated taxes. You “should” register with the police, but you could get away with not doing this as long as you are comfortable knowing that you are not doing something that the government requires. They are primarily concerned with people that are here beyond the 90 days.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  16. Kaylene
    June 23, 2018 @ 1:47 am

    Hi Sara,

    I am entering Croatia later in the year as a tourist so I am under the 90 days. In some places I am only staying overnight (arriving late and leaving early travelling by bus). I am concerned that if the owner of the apartment takes my passport to register me, I will not get it back in time. Am I able to show them my passport and then give them a photo copy of it so they don’t have to take my passport away. I am also frightened to let my passport out of my sight. How safe is it to let them take my passport away?

    Many thanks,

    Kaylene

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      June 23, 2018 @ 1:48 pm

      Hi Kaylene,

      Nobody should ever take your passport out of your sight. They can take a photo to register you later, but don’t let them take it.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Tj
        March 10, 2019 @ 8:38 pm

        Hi Sara,
        If we booked our apartment or room through booking.com, will we be registered automatically? We’re US citizens and will be in Dubrovnik for only 4 nights. Do we just show the apartment owner our passports or give a copy? We don’t want the owner to take our passports to the police station to register us and give back after.

        Thank you.
        Tj

        {reply}

        • Expat in Croatia
          March 19, 2019 @ 11:02 am

          Hi TJ,

          If you book through booking.com, whomever you booked with will register you on your behalf. They will ask for your passport details on arrival for registration. They only need your name, birthday, type of ID (passport) and passport number. They don’t need to take your passport for any reason. Due to recent privacy laws, they are not even allowed to make a copy of your passport.

          Regards,

          Sara

          {reply}

  17. Bal kumar Basnet
    January 29, 2019 @ 4:43 pm

    Hi , it,s me Bal Kumar Basnet From nepal.nowadays i livening in cyprus as a student.And i have TR in cyprus .I want visit in Croatia .I need visa for entry croatia.Because i have Cypriot document .I want stay 180 in Croatia.what is the registration process for long term Stay in Croatia.I want to lived in Capital city of croatia some times i go to different city for visit for more than 3 or 4 days I have to registration there which place i visit there than i went another place same process .And what is process EU Blue Card? How to get the EU Blue Card? I Hope somebody help me and give me best idea .I m waiting for best idea ani help.

    {reply}

  18. Thalita Rogers
    March 13, 2019 @ 8:31 am

    I live here under a work and live residence permit.
    I moved to my boyfriends now, but I’ll onlh stay here for 2 months and then move back to my country (we are getting married in those two months). Should I register this new address or it isn’t that needed?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 19, 2019 @ 10:50 am

      Hi Thalita,

      You are supposed to register your current address. BUT, if you are only going to be there 2 months and then are leaving Croatia for good, then I wouldn’t bother with it. If you are leaving Croatia, then you should notify the police when you leave.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  19. Emmanuel
    April 25, 2019 @ 1:19 pm

    Hi Sara,
    I am about to apply for Croatia tourist visa from Dubai. I am African and I have to present a proof of accommodation. Will an airbnb confirmation suffice as proof of accommodation?
    Many thanks.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 27, 2019 @ 11:58 am

      Hi Emmanuel,

      Yes, that should suffice.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  20. ella
    July 28, 2019 @ 3:09 pm

    Hi and thanks for great website, although part of EU just wanted to ask about something, we are registered and hold temporary residency cards, but have changed addresses since doing so in the last two weeks. We will renew with our new address which is permanent and our daughters who has bought a property but will not be paying any rental or anything like that.
    You mention changing addresses every time you move so is this different form from registration of residency or would we have to go through whole thing again or is change of address different ?
    thanks for all your wonderful help again

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 7, 2019 @ 1:29 pm

      Hi Ella,

      Good question!

      Registering your address is not the same as applying for residency. You must change your address with the police every time you move, so they know where to contact you and to update your ID. Since you are not renting, your daughter will need to accompany you to the police station so she can prove that she owns the property where you’ll be residing.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  21. Diana
    August 20, 2019 @ 10:15 pm

    Hi there, my daughter entered and registered with the police in Zadar on July 5, 2019. She then traveled to Zagreb and the Airbnb registered her there for a short 4 day stay. After that she left for Germany for 3 days then flew back to Zagreb, and bussed back to Zadar. She did not re-register upon entry in Zagreb, nor upon returning to Zadar. She again left from Zagreb by bus to Amsterdam and is now returning to Zagreb again by bus and got a Croatian re-entry stamp in her passport today. I’m unclear which registration is still valid? Is it the original one that she did in Zadar upon entering Croatia? Did she need to do a new one each time she left Croatia and returned? Should she just register with the police in Zagreb within 3 days and the 90-day period will start again? She needs to stay until at least December because she is starting school in Zagreb in a week. She has not applied for residency yet because we are hoping in the meantime that she will get her citizenship papers before the 90 days are up. But, we are unclear when the 90 days are valid — is it from the original entry or from the very latest entry date? Will she get a fine for not registering each time she left and re-entered? Sorry this is so long, it’s just hard to explain! Thanks!

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 22, 2019 @ 2:07 pm

      Hi Diana,

      As a non-resident, non-Croatian, she can be in Croatia for 90 days within a 180 day period. It is unlikely she’ll be fined for not being registered for the whole time. That being said, if she is planning to stay long term then she needs to get on the radar of the police. She shouldn’t wait for her citizenship because there is no telling how long that will take. She should go to the police station in the city where she plans to attend university and start a student residence permit application: https://www.expatincroatia.com/study-gain-student-residence-croatia/ She must have some kind of active residence permit to go past the 90 days.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

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