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A country like Serbia obligates you to register your stay within 24h. Now how to understand that if you move constantly and do not stay in a place where they do it for you.

Do you have to register every 24h in a place you actually are? Do you have to register only once after crossing the border? Or you do not have to register at all, as you do not stay more than 24h in one place? If you stay less than 24h in that country (transit e.g.) do you still need to register?

How does the registration look in practice? Do you have to specify how long are you staying? What to do if that changes (shorter or longer)?

Do airlines (or other firms beside hotels, campings, etc.) do the registration for you?

And if you stay in a hotel, should you always get a confirmation of your registration? Does it have to be an official paper or a receipt from the hotel suffices?

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How long do you intend to stay? –  Karlson Mar 18 '13 at 1:59
    
I've never been to Serbia, but I was in nearby Macedonia with similar rules. When we got out accomodation (we rented an apartment for 2 nights), the owner just asked the details and filled in the forms. We only had to do that once at the start (even though we were there for ~ 3 days)/ –  Rory Mar 18 '13 at 17:42
    
Oops I never registered when I hitchhiked to Niš and stayed a few days. –  hippietrail Mar 19 '13 at 2:40
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Just an FYI ... we hid a major snag at the Serbian - Hungarian Border (car) when we didn't register ourselves (because we didn't know to) and we faced: detention, a 300 Euro fine, and being put on a travel bock for 2 years. In the end we didn't have to face any of that, but we were certainly threatened with it. We thought it was an old fashioned communist shakedown but evidently it's not. –  ProfVersaggi May 7 '13 at 11:06
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Correct, it does not answer the direct question, however it is timely, relevant and useful in that it contests the current and largely distributed belief that the Serbian Authorities are prone to simply ignore such legal provisions on the books. While we might find them 'silly', they are evidently being taken very seriously by the Serbian Border guards even to this day. –  ProfVersaggi May 7 '13 at 12:21

2 Answers 2

From the National Organization of Tourism in Serbia:

REGISTRATION OF FOREIGNERS

Serbian organizations and individuals providing accommodation to foreigners against payment, as well as locals hosting visiting foreigners, must register the foreigner’s stay with the local police station within 24 hours of the commencement of the accommodation arrangement, or of the foreign visitor’s arrival.

A foreigner not using official accommodation nor staying with a private individual must register his or her stay and change of address with the local police station within 24 hours of arriving at the place of residency or of the change of address. A place of residency is where a foreigner intends to stay for more than 24 hours.

So the way I read it is that any place you stay you or the person/organization providing you with accommodation in Serbia will have to register with local police within 24 hours if your stay at that location is longer then 24 hours. So with that in mind: Airlines will not provide you with registration unless they let you stay on their property in Serbia. You can probably register ahead of time using the form @Dirty-flow linked in his answer but according to the law you will need to register yourself in 24 hours or if someone provide you with accommodation they will need to do this in 12.

You can read Article 75 of the law regarding foreigners from the Ministry of Interior's site.

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Does it mean you do not have to register if you stay in a place less than 24h? –  mithy Mar 18 '13 at 21:30
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@mithy If I understand the law correctly that is the case. –  Karlson Mar 18 '13 at 22:04

You have to register yourself if you stay longer than 24h. I found some information on the US Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA):

If you are staying in a private home, you must register with the local police station with authority over the area where you are staying within 24 hours of arriving in Serbia. If you do not register, you may be subject to fines, jail, or deportation. If you do not register you may also have difficulty with the airport police when you try to leave the country. If you are staying in a hotel or other public place such as a hostel, motel, or private campground, it is customary for property management to register you with the police

I also found a registration form, but as you can see, it's only in serbian, french and russian. They require information about birthday, birthplace, nationality, passport number, visa, how long you're allowed to stay in Serbia, when and where you entered the country, adress where you stay.

registration form

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