Anmeldung : the compulsory registration

Anmeldung in English : what is it ?

Anmeldung, from the german An/melden, to register, this is one of the most important administrative pre-requisite to an easy and fast settlement in Berlin or anywhere in Germany.

It is simply the fact of registering yourself as living at a specific address in Germany.

When doing so, you will be given the  “Anmeldungbescheinigung” , literally “Registration certificate”. Every German citizen or new comer in Germany is supposed to register within 14 days after moving in a new house or flat.

This little innocent piece of paper will be necessary in many aspects. You will be asked that paper if you want to open a bank account, set up an internet connection or simply obtain a tax number.

It’s obvious, to register your flat with the Anmeldung, you need to have found one. Now if you haven’t found your flat, don’t panic! A simple letter from a friend or from the people letting you stay at their place will be enough to register. Same goes in case of a sublet situation.

My advice if you are to stay in Berlin or in Germany for less than 4 months :

The Anmeldung may not be a necessary step if you plan to stay for a semester or less than 4 months. You can then be considered as a tourist for this period. However you won’t be able to open any internet or electricity contract, so make sure you can sort that out through other ways (like through a sublet for example). If you want a mobile phone, simply use a pre-paid offer from Blue, Lidl mobile or equivalent.

 

All you need to do the Anmeldung is :

  • Bring your ID
  • Bring your tenancy or sublet contract. If you are simply temporarily staying at a friend’s or a relative’s while looking for something more permanent, have them write and sign a letter stating that you are staying with them. Here is a draft you can use.
  • Bring a confirmation that you have moved in from your landlord (document below or here)
  • Fill in that form called “Anmeldung bei einer Meldebehörde” that you get at the entrance of any Bürgeramt or here
  • Go to the nearest Bürgeramt of you area (list below)
  • Have patience

Unless you have an appointment, you will have to wait between 1h and 2h before you can actually meet a city employee that will magically type in all the info you provided in da computer. It only lasts about 5min and voila ! You are done with the Anmeldung.

 

This might be what it feels like sometimes.

This might be what it feels like sometimes.

The Anmeldung is an administrative process that is normally compulsory as it’s how the German state tracks population. However; it won’t be the end of the world if you do it a bit later than required. It took for example for me almost 1 year to perform that.

How to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt fast

Booking an appointment is highly recommended to avoid lengthy waiting times (For Berlin, use this link and scroll down). However the demand for appointements is so high that the first available slot is usually weeks away. A tip to get an appointment in the next few days instead is to check the booking system at 8 a.m. This is when the whole system is refreshed and it often shows open slots when it didn’t a few minutes before (in Berlin anyway). Increase your chances by doing a city-wide search. Sometimes, you can even get something for the same day!

Et voila, you are on the fast track!

Notes

  • During the Anmeldung, you will also be able to notify that you need a tax card and number (Steuernummer), you will need that if you decide to find a job in Germany. For some reason, when I did my Anmeldung, I never received the said tax number. I had to go then to the Tax center (Finanzamt) to get it myself. You can find more information about the tax card (Lohnsteuerkarte) and the Finanzamt here.
  • Update February 2016 : The city has set-up a special phone number to get an express service if you are in a hurry to do your Anmeldung.
    Just call that new number to get an appointment asap : 030 – 9024 990 (07-20 Uhr).
  • If you are impatient like me or don’t want to spend 2 hours with loud kids, you can simply make an appointment through the website of your local Bürgeramt around 2 weeks in advance.
  • You have the possibility to let the administration know what your religion is. Be aware that if you do so, you will be eligible for an extra tax in case you decide to stay longer. I just choose to state that I was an atheist.

 

FAQ

  • “I am subletting a room. Do i really need to have the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung filled in by the landlord? Can the main tenant do it?”
    The german administration wants landlords to fill in that document to confirm that you moved in. This also makes sure that the landlord is aware of the sublet, which is required by law. Although i cannot recommend you to do it, it seems that some people have had the main tenant filled it in and gotten away with it. It seems that the Bürgeramt employees don’t care and don’t check. It’s up to you to take that risk.
  • “I am subletting a room but the main tenant doesn’t want me to register there. Why?”
    This probably means that they are not allowed to sub-rent their room. They maybe live in a WBS flat or they haven’t let the landlord know about it. This is a bad bet if you need to register to start working and stuff.
  • “Which Bürgerämter accept people without appointements? The next available appointment online or when i call is in 3 weeks, i need something sooner.”
    Each Bürgeramt seems to have its own policy regarding appointments. The best is maybe to call one to check with them. If they do accept walk-ins, go queue there 30min before opening time to make sure you have a ticket.
  • “Do i need to register at a Bürgeramt in the Bezirke where i live?”
    You can register at any Bürgeramt in Berlin. This is especially useful if you need to register fast. You can travel to a less popular Bezirke that has less traffic to get an appointement sooner.
  • “I need to register fast & i don’t have time to register or/and i’m afraid to do mistakes because of the language, can i send someone else to do it for me?”
    Absolutely. Someone can represent you and do all this for you provided this person has all the required documents together with your ID/Passport.

 

Anmeldung in Berlin : list of Bürgeramt per city district

Here is a complete list of all Bürgerämter to make an appointment with one of them. You can also scroll down to see some districts here after.

If you don’t live in another city than Berlin, simply enter your postal code on this page to find out where to go.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg:

Bürgeramt 1
Yorckstr. 4 – 11, 10965 Berlin, Main Entrance, 3rd Floor
website

Bürgeramt 2
Schlesische Str. 27 A, 10997 Berlin
website

Bürgeramt 3
Frankfurter Allee 35/37, 10247 Berlin, Entrance B
website

Neukölln

Bürgeramt Rathaus Neukölln
Karl-Marx-Str. 83
12043 Berlin – Neukölln
website

Mitte

Bürgeramt 1
Mathilde-Jacob-Platz 1
10551 Berlin
website

Bürgeramt 2
Karl-Marx-Allee 31
10178 Berlin
website

Bürgeramt 3
Müllerstr. 147
13353 Berlin
website

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Rathaus Charlottenburg
Otto-Suhr-Allee 100,
10585 Berlin.
website

Hohenzollerndamm
Hohenzollerndamm 177,
10713 Berlin.
website

Heerstr.
Heerstr. 12,
14052 Berlin.
website

497 Comments

  • Reply Md Saiful Islam 11/10/2017 at 19:00

    Hello I am a student of SRH Berlin. I am doing my classes from Potsdam to Berlin which takes around 30 minutes. I am living with my friend. I have done my anmeldung in Potsdam Burgeramt office. I need to know for residence permit where should I apply. I can apply in Berlin foreign registration office or I have to apply in Potsdam.
    Best regards

  • Reply David 09/10/2017 at 22:19

    Hi,

    today, I succesfully did my anmeldung (thanks to your tips). But at home I realized that on the document I received is wrong house number. What is the easiest way to resolve this? Do I need to go to burgeramt again and ask for a change? I am afraid that this way I wont receive my tax-id, which I need for the work.

    David

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/10/2017 at 10:53

      Hi David. There is no magic way to do this, you need to go again to fix this.

  • Reply Curtis 09/10/2017 at 09:47

    Well after reading on multiple website and keeping your website as main info, I was prepared to be waiting for hour to do my regsitration (Anmeldung) without an appointment ( or termin as they call it here) and being annoyed along the way.

    As adviced I just arrived 10 minutes before opening of the Burgeramt 08.00 AM and showed up at the informationdesk. The lady just wanted to know if I had the bestätigung des Wohnungsgebers (confirmationletter of your landlord/renter) and had to wait in the waitingroom until my waitingnumber she gave me showed up…at 08.24 AM and to my big surprise my turn was just a few mintues later…which I almost missed because I did not pa attention because I thought I would have to wait for 2 hours….haha……… so relieved.

    I was registered promptly, they took a copy of my passport and they kept my confirmationletter of the landlord which i don’t need anymore) and she said I would receive my steuernummer in 2 weeks… well I almost want to believe her about the Steuernummer, because everything went surprisingly smoothly… so I advice you show up 15 minute before openingtime and you are one of the first to show up without a reservation (termin they call it here) it still can go very swiftly.

    Good luck y’all!

    • Reply Julia 20/10/2017 at 15:39

      Hi, can you please mention which Burgeramt was it?

  • Reply Dominik Grzebka 03/10/2017 at 11:20

    Good stuff, thank you for that article.
    I have a question, as I can’t seem to find any info on that in google.
    We found a nice flat in Berlin, but our future Vermieter says she can’t give us Anmeldung, because she and her partner are only renting the flat to us for 3 months, after which they are coming back (we just rent the flat for 3 months to get started in Berlin) and they don’t want to de-register themselves. She wasn’t however sure if this is how it works herself…
    Now my question is: is it not possible to register additional 2 people, on top of the originally 2 registered in a flat (e.g. is there some ‘limit’?) Also, is there any cost for the Vermieter related to us registering there?
    I appreciate any advice!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/10/2017 at 16:33

      Hi Dominik. To my knowledge, there is no such limitations. Also, there aren’t any costs.

  • Reply Chloe 30/09/2017 at 19:38

    Hello,
    Thanks so much for this very useful information. If I send somebody to register on my behalf, do I need to sign a letter that confirms that they can act on my behalf? If yes, do you know if there is a template I can use.
    Thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/10/2017 at 14:32

      Hi Chloe, this is a good question. Although it is not specified on the Berlin portal, it is a good idea. I dont’ know any templates though.

  • Reply Ana 27/09/2017 at 14:48

    It might be useful to add that for those in a hurry, the website where you apply for an appointment updates the cancellations around 8am, and at that time you can find plenty of available appointments even for the same day or couple of days. When I did my Anmeldung, I checked the website around 8am, found an appointment at 11am on the same day and registered hassle free.

    • Reply Diana 03/10/2017 at 12:14

      Hey Ana, how long ago was this? Is this recent? Would that still be the case? Dankee!

  • Reply Samir Abdo 23/09/2017 at 23:37

    Thank you for the informative article. Is the letter from the “Hauptmieter” enough or does he also need to fill out the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”. Is a “Mietvertrag” required? The reason I’m asking is that a friend that recently registered was asked to provide the lease. Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/09/2017 at 11:18

      Hi Samir, please the read the post again, the answer is in the FAQs. thanks.

  • Reply Irem 13/09/2017 at 20:33

    Great article, thank you for enlightening us.
    Our situation is; we are going to rent a place as untermieterins. and the Untermietvertrag will contain my friend’s name only not mine. This is the problem. However we will be living together. So for Anmeldung, is the letter that I’ll get from the HauptmieterIn enough and valid? Do I also have to get a letter from the landlord as well?

    Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/09/2017 at 09:52

      Hi Irem, as mentioned many times before; in theory, you have to have an authorization of the landlord but in practice, people get a letter from the Hauptmieter and get away with it.

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