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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- “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. Full service providers like Amtio can also represent you and makes this process much faster (only a few days!) & less stressful against a fee.
Anmeldung in Berlin : list of Bürgeramt per city district
If you don’t live in another city than Berlin, simply enter your postal code on this page to find out where to go.
Yorckstr. 4 – 11, 10965 Berlin, Main Entrance, 3rd Floor
Schlesische Str. 27 A, 10997 Berlin
Frankfurter Allee 35/37, 10247 Berlin, Entrance B
Bürgeramt Rathaus Neukölln
12043 Berlin – Neukölln