Here is a list of laws which apply to children.

Starting at the age of 7, a child is responsible for the damage he/she causes to others. Limited criminal responsibility begins at 14 years and any crime committed by a 14 year old can be tried in juvenile court.

Car Seats

Children are only allowed to travel in the front seat of a car if they are 12 years of age or older. They have to be at least 1.50m (59.06 inches) in height and at least 36kg in weight. By law, children under 12 years of age, below 35 kg in weight and under 1.50 m tall must be strapped into an appropriate car seat at all times whilst riding in a vehicle. Car seats must meet the European Safety Regulations (ECE R44)

If a child is in a car seat but not properly strapped in, you will be fined € 40. The fine is multiplied by the number of children. If the child has no car seat and is secured with only a standard seat belt, you will also be fined € 40, and in addition to this receive one point against your driving licence. (With 12 points you lose your licence). 


Children and adolescents under 16 years are not allowed in restaurants, discos, etc. between 05.00 and 23.00 hours unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or person acting with parental authority.

  • 16 - 17 years allowed without parents up until 24.00.
  • 16 - 17 years need accompaniment between 24.00 - 05.00 hours.


Children and adolescents under 16 years can only attend public dance events if accompanied by parent or custodial person/guardian. Where dance events are sponsored by a youth welfare body, for artistic participation or folklore programmes, persons 13 years and under can be present until 22.00 while 14 and 15 year olds until 24.00.


Age 18 and over only in nightclubs.


From the age of 14, adolescents can drink wine and beer only if they are in the company of their parents. Drinking of other alcoholic beverages (including sugared alcohol containing beverages) is strictly for age 18 and over.


Tobacco products must not be sold to persons under 18 years old nor is smoking allowed in any public places.


Parents or guardians must always accompany children under 6 to the cinema. Children are allowed to watch a film alone without their parents being present:

  • 6 - 13 years until 20.00
  • 14 - 15 years until 22.00
  • 16 - 17 years until 24.00
  • 18 years - no restrictions

For example, if a 13 year old goes with friends to see a film that finishes at 20.05, they must be accompanied by a parent or person with parental authority. 


The rights to require a driving license for the following are:

Age Vehicle
15 years Motorised bikes up to a speed of 25 km/h
16 years Mopeds up to 50 km/h and light motorcycles up to 80 km/h
17 years Probationary age for supervised driving
18 years Cars (Class 3) and motorbikes up to 20KW (class 1a)
20 years Motorbikes (class 1), provided the person has had a license 1a for at least 2 years
21 years Lorries/trucks (class 2)


Children aged 14 and over and in full-time education can only undertake the following work:

  • Delivery of newspapers and free flyers
  • On a private property, they can
  • Undertake household and garden tasks
  • Do deliveries (of age appropriate goods)
  • Babysit and supervise other people in the household
  • Care for pets
  • Undertake shopping (with exception of tobacco and alcohol)
  • On farms, they can
  • Help with harvesting
  • Help sell homegrown goods
  • Care for animals
  • Assist with sport activities and events
  • Assist with activities for non-profit organisations (e.g. church, charities).
    There are further regulations relating to the maximum weight children and adolescents over 14 years can carry and the use of machinery.
    Full-time employment can be started at 16 years of age, but night shifts are not permitted until this person attains 18 years.


Supervision of children

No formal laws could be found relating to how long you can legally leave a child aged 6 and over alone unsupervised. It is down to your personal judgment.

Physical punishment

All physical punishment to a child is illegal in Germany.

Related Links