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Registering in Germany: Anmeldung Guide

The Anmeldung Guide

(New Anmeldung law as from 01.11.2015 - Amendment: 01.11.2016)

Last update: January 2017

This Anmeldung Guide was written to help foreigners start their life in Germany. The Anmeldung is the most important step when relocating to Germany. Here are 8 things you should know about the Anmeldung to start off well in Germany.


Place to Live
The first step to live & work legally in Germany is to find an accommodation as soon as possible. In fact, you cannot live in Germany more than 3 months without having an officially registered address. 

There are some exceptions: the Anmeldung may not be a necessary step if you plan to stay in Germany as a tourist for a few months, but bear in mind that you will not be able to open a bank account and get any electricity or internet contract without registering your residency.

In brief, who is obliged to register at the Bürgeramt?
* People who intend to live in Germany for more than three months;

* People who want to work or study in Germany;

* People who want to sign any kind of contract in Germany (open a bank account, register with a German health insurance, get an electricity or internet contract, and so on).

Bürgeramt / Bürgerbüro Registration
If you plan on: living in Germany for more than 3 months / working in Germany / attending a College/University in Germany, you have to do your Bürgeramt registration. This is achieved by submitting in person an Anmeldung form (Anmeldeformular) to your local registration office called Bürgeramt or Bürgerbüro or even Kundenzentrum (also called Einwohnermeldeamt, which it's the citizens office at the Bürgeramt). This is required for any change of address. 

At the Bürgeramt you will receive a proof of registration (see image below) called either Meldebestätigung, Anmeldebestätigung or Meldeschein, which is needed for many official matters, such as opening a bank account or registering with a German health insurance. 

Bürgeramt Registration
Copy of a Proof of Registration

The Bürgeramt registration needs to be done within 14 days of relocating to your new German address. Everyone living in Germany, even if temporarily, has the obligation to register/re-register at one of the many Bürgerämter.

As of November 2015, you also need to provide the Bürgeramt official with a written confirmation completed & signed by your landlord (or by the main renter for sublets) or by the rental agency to prove that you've have actually moved into the place you want to register. The document is called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung". You can download it here below:

>>Landlord/Sublessor Confirmation Form<<
[This form was updated due to the new amendment in law from 01.11.2016]

That letter above must be shown to the Bürgeramt official no later than 2 weeks after your registered at the Bürgeramt. The landlord is obliged to cooperate and can notify the authorities himself/herself. If this isn't the case, he/she might get a fine up to 1,000€.

If you have not found a permanent residence yet, it is often possible to register with your hotel, hostel or work address. Ask your hotel or HR department for further details. 

Additional documents to bring? 

  • Valid ID or passport (incl. visa, if applicable).
  • Rental agreement (not always mandatory). In case you are subletting the place, the "Landlord Letter" (see link above) is enough and might be signed by the main renter if authorized by the landlord/owner. 
  • If applicable, you will also need to bring your marriage certificate and/or your child's birth certificate if your spouse/partner/children live in Germany (translated in German).
  • A POA (Power of Attorney) completed & signed by you in case you send someone else to register on your behalf. Download a copy in here.

Important: When you leave the country, you need to de-register your German address, this is called the "Abmeldung". This process could be done by email (most of the time).

>> Bürgeramt Checklist: click here <<

Tax ID (IdNr.)
Once you've done your Anmeldung, the federal tax authority will send your tax ID (also called Identification number) to your registered German address automatically within 2-3 weeks. If you cannot wait, you can directly try to go to your local Finanzamt (check your registered address ZIP code) and request it, but it's not sure they will already have it in their system!

The tax ID is important for the purposes of taxation, government benefits and health care
Your future employer might request you that unique number. Some employers would directly contact the German tax authority to get that number. Most companies are doing their best to accommodate the needs of their new employees who start their new life in Germany, so they will usually wait for your tax ID (max. 3 months) and not tax you at the full rate.

Do not confuse that "IdNr." with the so called "Steuernummer"! The "Steuernummer" needs to be requested from the Finanzamt if you intend to work as a freelancer. 

In case you've lost your tax ID (Steuer-ID), you can apply for it online (processing time could be up to 3 weeks!) 

TV License (Broadcast Receiving License)
Once registered at the Bürgeramt, you will get by post at your registered address some documents necessary to pay the German TV license (formerly GEZ, currently "Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio"). 

This license is mandatory, even if you do not have any TV or radio, and costs 17,50€ per month and per residence (17,98€ until 31.03.2015). Once you receive the bill (see image below), you have 1 week to pay. You can decide on your payment intervals when you apply for the license (i.e. monthly, quarterly, twice a year or yearly).

German TV License
Example of a letter for the TV License

Be careful as fake letters are circulating! The official letter must contain your surname. Find below an example of FAKE letter:

Fake TV License Letter
Example of a fake TV License Letter

Church Tax
While filling out your Anmeldung form, you will have to state your religion on it. All people in Germany who are officially registered as Catholic, Protestant or Jews pay a religious tax on their annual income tax bill. 

If you do not want to pay the so called Kirchensteuer, you will have to state it in your form! The Church tax, which is 8 to 9 percent of the annual income tax, would be automatically deducted each month from your payslip.

Please consider that if you decide to not pay this religious tax, you will, for instance, not be allowed to receive communion, confession or get married in church.

Welcome Money for Students in Berlin

Recent Update: Starting from February 2016, by decision of the Senate of Berlin, there will be no more "welcome money" for students enrolled at a German public University.

Where to register? 
Do I need an Appointment?
Almost all of Germany has recently decided to make all the registration offices available only by appointment.

When the day of your appointment comes, you just need to show up at your chosen Bürgeramt with a complete Anmeldung form, a signed letter from the landlord (or main renter for sublets), a valid ID or passport and a lease/sublet contract (not always mandatory). If applicable, make sure to also bring all translated documents proving your civil status (married, divorced, with children,...) and other documents related to the people registering at the same address (wife, partner, child....). 

Search for your local citizens office by inserting your postcode here.

We advise you to check the following websites for further details:
>>Appointment for Berlin<<

Tips for Berlin:
 Call this number 030 90 24 990 (Monday to Friday, from 7am to 8pm) and you will manage to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt within a few weeks!

2) [Doesn't always work] You can still go to the Bürgeramt, wait in line, and get an appointment for the same day! Typical case: Go to your local Bürgeramt at 7.45 am, wait in line for 1 hour, and get an appointment for 2:00 pm. 

3) If you need a Bürgeramt appointment, go to first thing in the morning & hit the "refresh" button from time to time. You might find appointments available for the same day/week due to cancellations over last night and new appointments added for that week.

There is usually no need of taking an appointment if you're moving in a small town. Appointments are usually mandatory for big German cities!

>>Here is a Map of Germany with a List of Bürgerämter (incl. Timetable)<<

When to register?
You have to do your Anmeldung within 14 days of relocating to your new German address.

Booking an appointment is enough to meet the deadline!

Then there is the rest: residence permit, bank account, health insurance, find a job, German courses... but this is another story! ;-)

If you want to complete your Anmeldung Form in English, Italian, French or Spanish:

>>Anmeldung Form in Various Languages<<


Fill in the Anmeldung form in your language on our website.

Once you've completed all the process (it takes 10 min.), you'll receive 2 emails.

In the first email, you'll get a PDF form: this is the Anmeldung form containing all your answers which were automatically translated into German and adapted to the form. You just need to print it & sign it. 

You'll also get a second email which includes an 'Info Pack', the 'Landlord Letter' (also for sublets), a 'Bürgeramt Directory' and a 'Letter of Presentation' (for the Bürgeramt official). This is all you'll need to know to register your new address in Germany.

Good Luck with your new life in Germany! :-)