Why do I need to register my address?
Registering an address is mandatory by law if you stay longer than 6 months in Germany source and must be done 14 days after moving into your new place. Please note that it says 14 days after moving into the new flat but not 14 days after signing the rental agrement so make sure to add the right date in the registration form. Your old address will be deregistered automatically.
You will be issued a Meldebescheinigung which I recommend to keep with you at all times. Please note that German ID cards have the resident address printed on it. Many service providers when you want to sign a contract or even the police will look for a German address on your ID. That's when it is an advantage to have the Meldebescheinigung ready.
Step 1: Get the confirmation of residence from your landlord
You need a confirmation of residence from your landlord. This is called Wohnungsgeberbestätigung. Download a template here. It is your right to get this document from the landlord. Inform the Bürgeramt if the landlord refuses to issue this document.
The main tenant can issue a confirmation of residence in some circumstances but there is no guarantee this gets accepted at the Bezirksamt. The confirmation of residence for a sublet should include the following data:
- name of the main tenant
- address and exact location of the flat (floor, part of the building)
- your name, names of all your family members who move into the flat
- name of the owner of the flat
Step 2: Get an appointment at the Bürgeramt
Google for Meldeangelegenheiten or Anmeldung einer Wohnung for your place of residence.
- Make an appointment online for Berlin here.
- Make an appointment online for Hamburg here.
- Make an appointment online for Munich here.
- Make an appointment online for Frankfurt here.
You get a confirmation mail with a number called Vorgangsnummer. Don't lose that number.
Some Bürgerämter accept registration without appointment. In this case you might have to wait in front of the door half an hour before the opening times to secure a slot for the same day.
Step 3: Get the required documents
You need the following documents:
- ID or passport
- Visa if you are required to have one to live in Germany
- Birth certificates and/or marriage certificate
- The filled form called Anmeldeformular. You can download the Anmeldeformular for Berlin here or use Appmeldung. Note that you have to pay church tax if you affirm affiliation to one of these 9 religious groups which are subject to church tax. Remember that you might be subject to a fine if the date of moving into the flat is more than 14 days older than the date of your appointment at the Bürgeramt.
- Confirmation of residence (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)
- A letter of acceptance from the other parent in case a minor child is moving in with you. You find the Berlin form Einverständniserklärung des Sorgeberechtigten here
- Vehicle papers in case you have a car. This costs around 11.- Euro.
Step 4: Go to the Bürgeramt
Take all your documents and the number from the confirmation mail and go to the Bürgeramt. Some of the clerks speak English but English is not guaranteed. It is recommended that you bring a German speaking person with you if necessary.
The registration is free but registering a vehicle to your new adress costs around 11.- Euro.
The registration takes 15 minutes but there might be waiting times of one or several hours depending on the day and the Bürgeramt.
I am living in a sublet or with a friend. How do I get a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung?
The landlord must consent in written that subletting is permitted otherwise you and the main tenant could get evicted. Simply ask the landlord to fill out the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung for you. You might get away with presenting a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung from the main tenant at the Bezirksamt in case you cannot contact the landlord but there is no guarantee this will work.
Can I make an appointment at any Bürgeramt to register?
You can register at any Bürgeramt in Berlin and in most big cities for registering an address in that city.
Do I need to deregister / abmelden my old address?
No. Your former German address will be deregistered automatically once you register a new address.
Can I register online?
No, you can only book an appointment online.
Do I have to show up in person?
No, you can give another person a written authorization (Vollmacht) and let that person register for you.
Can I speak English at the Bezirksamt?
Some staff speaks English but some don't and they don't have to speak English so there is no guarantee that this will work in English. Documents are generally in German only.