The first appearance of Regionalligen was in 1963 when the Bundesliga was formed. They served as second tier of the league system until 1974, being then replaced by 2. Bundesliga North and South.
A new kind of Regionalligen have been reintroduced in 1994 as level 3 leagues to take account of the increased number of clubs after the German reunification. In 2008, 3. Liga was formed and Regionalligen therefore were shifted down to serve as fourth tier. They have been extended from three to five divisions starting with the 2012-13 season.