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.

 

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

406 Comments

  • Reply Sebastian 28/04/2017 at 08:57

    Hello thank you for the excellent information i just have one doubt, can I register the address of for example Frankfurt in an office of Munich or it has to be in the same city of the address? In my case i need to register because I want to buy a car in Munich (from a friend) and drive it to Frankfurt and for the buy they ask for me to be registered. Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/04/2017 at 09:56

      Hi Sebastian. I’m not i understand the question but you need to register in the same city than where you adress is.

  • Reply Julie 19/04/2017 at 11:10

    I lived in Munich 3 years ago and registered there. I never de-registered when I left after 4 months. I’ll be moving to Berlin next week. Do I still need to do the whole Anmeldung process again?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/04/2017 at 12:23

      Hi Julie. Yes, you need to “ummelden” everytime you change houses. Process is the same as described in the post.

  • Reply Andrej 16/04/2017 at 13:52

    Hey, you guys were really helpful the last time, recommended this site to all my friends in Berlin. Now I’m back with another question.

    I was in Germany (Berlin) until 10 March. The last place that I stayed in was a student dormitory for a month, and in the document it said specifically that I would be anmelded there from 10 February up until 10 March. Even though I thought I would be automatically de-registered after that date, the lady at the Burgeramt said not to forget and come to de-register beacuse a lot of extra work will come up for them if I fail to do this.

    …fast forward to March and I failed to book a ‘Termin’ in order to deregister because I had too much stuff to do before leaving. Basically, I left Germany without going to de-register at the Burgeramt. Now I found out that I can actually de-register (Abmeldung) even by post, from my own country which I plan to do right away.

    My question is, is it dangerous if I de-register so late (more than a month after leaving)? I of course plan on going back to Germany, specifically September and I am a little scared this would cause problems when coming back.

    Thank you in advance,

    Andrej

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/04/2017 at 10:42

      Hi Andrej. I could only recommend you to do this as fast as possible, better late than never. I don’t think it would cause problems for you in September.

  • Reply Gustavo 12/04/2017 at 19:00

    Hi, great forum, helped me a lot! So i have 2 small questions, I got the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung and the anmeldung paper, but I dont know what do I have to fill, or what does the landlord have to fill, because he is not sure either. An the other thing is that the landlord doesnt live in germany, so is it okay that he scans the document with his signature and send it to me via email? Thanks!!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/04/2017 at 09:55

      Hi Gustavo. As mentioned in the post, Wohnungsgeberbestätigung is for your landlord and the other is for you. A scanned document is totally fine.

  • Reply Valentina Alvarez 10/04/2017 at 21:47

    Thank you so much for this forum. I have a question, My tenant was very helpful and fill up the forms for me. However he told me that we should say I am a guest because despite he has allowance to subrent, he said it would take ages to ask te permission. I will be in Berlin just for the summer, but I want to work. So he fill up the form and put into muy Anmeldung form that I was his guest (which means I am not paying) and the he marked the tax box> Nebenwohnung. Is that ok? would they give me the almendung? And other thing, I WILL be moving into his place in 10 days (appears in the forms) can I go earlier to do my Anmeldung? Many many thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/04/2017 at 10:52

      Hi Valentina, if the main tenant has permission to subrent, it shouldn’t be a problem to have the landlord sign the confirmation as well. Pretending that you are a non-paying guest won’t matter much for the Bürgeramt, they just want all the right papers.

  • Reply Tabari 10/04/2017 at 11:22

    Hi,

    I’ve just transferred to my company’s office in Frankfurt and they’ve put me up in a hotel for a couple of weeks – while I register, open a bank account, and find a place to live. Is it possible to register and provide a hotel as the initial address? Everything I’m seeing states you need a letter from a landlord.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 10/04/2017 at 16:56

      Hi Tabari. Ask the manager at the hotel if they are willing to let you know register but it is not likely they will let you.

  • Reply Milad 01/04/2017 at 12:05

    Hi everyone,

    I am living in a sublet flat and would like to register my address. I am also concerned about the form to be signed by landlord. Because the landlord doesn’t know and it is not allowed to sublet the flat. However, I have a contract with my friend who sublet the flat to me. I know there are already some comments on this issue but I would really appreciate if you please help me specifically and let me know any possible way to register myself.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/04/2017 at 15:48

      Hi Milad. As mentioned in the article and in the comments, your situation is not regular. Some people are getting away with having the main tenant fill the paper instead of the landlord, but that’s not legal.

  • Reply Alex S. 31/03/2017 at 14:42

    I have been offered a short two month sublet in Berlin and I am allowed to register the Anmeldung at the flat. However, one person online said that now the Bürgeramt is cracking down on short term sublets and will not grant the freelance visa if you have a short term sublet. Does anyone know if this is true? Any advice is appreciated!

  • Reply Shawn 29/03/2017 at 20:18

    Thank you for providing such a great overview of the process Bastien. Quick question: If I am just staying with a friend upon my arrival while looking for long term accomodation, do you think the drafted example letter you provided along with the Anmeldung form will suffice or would I still require the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung to be filled out as well? Thanks again!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/03/2017 at 09:51

      Hi Shawn. Your case is similar to a sublet in a way. You would still need to landlord to know in theory and fill in that document. Refer to FAQs.

  • Reply james 29/03/2017 at 18:42

    Hi, can some one help, I have a child with a German lady but she lives with her parents, the parents refuse me to use the house to register. Can I use different house to register and use it to process my stay? Help, I need your advice .

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/03/2017 at 09:50

      Hi James. If i understand you correctly, it seems that you want to register where you don’t live. This is not recommended. You should register where you live.

  • Reply Elle 29/03/2017 at 03:50

    Hey, thanks for this great resource!
    I am in a bind as I have been staying in cheap room in a large WG which I like, but I’ve been told it won’t be possible to register there. Apparently there is a limit to how many can register from one apartment? The landlord is terrible and wants any excuse to end the contract so he can raise the rent, so getting a document signed by him would be out of the question anyway. I’d like to keep living here, I like my housemates and its the only affordable place available to me, but I need to anmeldung soon so I can work. Is there some other way??

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/03/2017 at 09:55

      Hi Elle. If you have a tenancy contract, the landlord has to fill in the move-in confirmation by law within 2 weeks. It can punished by a 1000€ fine otherwise. I have never heard of such a limitation. My research didn’t uncover anything about this but maybe someone else can help you further.

  • Reply Seb 27/03/2017 at 13:44

    Would there be an issue if I registered early?

    I am not starting my job in Berlin for another 6-8 weeks but would like to get this started so I can get a bank account set up ASAP?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/03/2017 at 19:08

      Hi Seb. You can register as soon as you have found a place to stay, it’s not really link to your job situation. If you need information on bank accounts, maybe this will help.

  • Reply Violeta 23/03/2017 at 19:29

    Ahoy there,

    Firstly, thank you very much for all the useful information and help! It truly saved me during my first move in Berlin.
    Quick question – I moving into an apartment, found it through an agency and will most likely never meet the landlord per se. In this case, would a rent contract do the job for an Anmeldung, or would I still need that confirmation from the landlord?

    Thank you very much in advance! 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/03/2017 at 22:25

      Hi Violeta. Glad the blog could help. 🙂 . You can ask this document to the agency, they should provide one to you.

  • Reply Steven Stiefer 22/03/2017 at 21:44

    If you KNOW you’re moving to Berlin, the best thing to do is go online and register for your appointment. They have them set for 2 months out from the current day. Also, I didn’t need any of those things to open my bank account. I went with N26, and it was a smooth process.

  • Reply fenella 21/03/2017 at 16:57

    Hi,

    I’m moving to Berlin in April and I’ve already secured a job (yay!). It seems there are a lot of papers/certificates/rules, but am I right in thinking this is the correct order to go about things:

    1. First you need to find a Flat/room
    2. Then you can get your Anmeldung
    3. Then you can open a Bank account

    Will they not need a Bank Account/Anmeldung to check me before I move into the room/apartment? And won’t renting require a SCUFA, which requires a German bank account? I’m prepared to do all these things (and all your information has been so helpful!) but I’m still not clear on what order I should go about all these things.

    Thanks,
    Fenella

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 22/03/2017 at 09:21

      Hi Fenella. This evil circle of doom you are describing is a well-known issue for new comers in Germany as discussed in this post. There is no straightforward solution to this but you can find some tips on this post. You can also try to start with a WG first.

  • Reply Theo 20/03/2017 at 11:43

    Hello,
    Thanks very much for these useful informations 🙂
    If my friend who owns her own flat says that she host me using your sample letter, won’t they ask for a proof that she owns her flat? Because otherwise anyone can write such a letter…?!
    Cheers and thanks very much again!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/03/2017 at 20:04

      Hello Theo. You can ask her to fill in all the documents listed in the post. That won’t be an issue.

  • Reply Karo 16/03/2017 at 17:36

    Hi there!
    What a useful post I read when I arrived first to Berlin! Thank you 🙂
    I have a lil tricky situation at the moment, I arrived to Berlin on November 2016, I registered myself at my friends place and then moved to a new place on January 2017. Since I moved to my new place I haven’t changed my registration (I just forgot tbh) and next week I will have to do it. Do you think I will get into trouble for this? Should I keep an actual date of moving into the new room or I should mention March, let’s say?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/03/2017 at 09:22

      Hi Karo. No, there won’t be any consequences to be registering a bit late. If you are nervous, you can indeed put a more recent move-in date on the form.

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