Here is all you need to know when registering your address in Germany:
The first step to live 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). Here is an apartment listing site for Germany to help you out.
If you want to live in Germany, you have to do your Bürgeramt registration. This is achieved by submitting an Anmeldung form (Anmeldeformular) to your local registration office called Bürgeramt (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 Anmeldebestätigung which is needed for many official matters, such as opening a bank account or registering with a German health insurance.
In all Germany, the Anmeldung 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//owner/renter (if sublet) to prove that you've have actually moved into the place you want to register. The Landlord Confirmation Letter is called "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung". You can download it here (in case the landlord doesn’t hand it to you on his/her own accord).
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 with you:
- a valid ID or passport
- (if applicable) your marriage certificate and/or your child’s birth certificate (translated in German)
When leaving the country, you need to deregister your German address, this is called the Abmeldung.
Once you’ve done your Anmeldung, the tax office (Finanzamt) will send you the tax ID to your registered German address automatically within 2-3 weeks. The tax ID is important for the purposes of taxation, government benefits and health care. Find more details about the German tax ID in here.
In case you’ve lost it, you would need to apply for a tax ID online. Be aware that the processing time could be up to 3 months!
Don't confuse that tax ID (Steuer-ID) with the so called Steuernummer.
The Steuernummer is a tax number for freelancers and needs to be requested at your local Finanzamt.
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 17,98€ per month and per residence. Once you receive the bill (see image below), you have 1 week to pay before getting a fine. You can decide on your payment intervals when you apply for the license (i.e. monthly, quarterly, twice a year or yearly).
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:
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 a church in Germany.
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.
All of Germany has recently decided to make all the Bürgerämter available only by appointment.
When the day of your appointment comes, you just need to show up at your chosen Bürgerämt with a complete Anmeldung form, a signed letter from the landlord (or main renter in case of a sublet) and a valid ID or passport. 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....).
We advise you to check the following websites for further details:
You can also try and go to berlin.de early in the morning & hit "refresh" from time to time. You might find appointments available for the same day/week due to recent cancellations.
In all Germany, 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!
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! :-)