Who knew that one of your first encounters with German bureaucracy could be so terrifying? This step is so essential to landing on both your feet. It’s however not so easy when arriving here without help, German skills or proper context.
This small guide is explaining how to do the Anmeldung in English in Germany. It also aims at giving you tips to save time, stress & money. And if everything fails, you can always ask a question in the comments.
- What is the Anmeldung in Germany?
- All you need to do the Anmeldung is :
- FAQ about the Anmeldung in Germany
- Anmeldung in Berlin : list of Bürgeramt per city district
What is the Anmeldung in Germany?
The Anmeldung is Germany is registering your current residence with the local authorities, living at a specific address. This is one the most important administrative steps for anybody moving to Germany. Anmeldung comes from “An/melden“, to register in German.
When doing so, you will be given the “Meldebescheinigung“, a residence registration certificate. This innocent piece of paper will be necessary in many aspects of your life in this country. You will be asked for this if you want to sign-up for health insurance, open a bank account, set up an internet connection or simply obtain a tax number and start working.
Update Jan 2021: Corona is still here to stay folks, the Anmeldung can often not be processed in person. Some cities in Germany will accept to do this via email/post/phone but other might not. You will need to contact your local Bürgeramt in your own district and see what ways they offer. Good luck!
All you need to do the Anmeldung is :
- Bring your ID card or passport with you.
- If relevant, bring your current residence permit/visa with you.
- 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 the landlord, the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” (document below or here).
- Fill in that form called “Anmeldung bei einer Meldebehörde” that you get at any Bürgeramt’s website or use Appmeldung instead to fill it in easily in English.
- If you are married/in a partnership, they will also want see a relevant marriage certificate, translated in German.
- 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 compulsory as it’s how the German authorities tracks population. However; it won’t be the end of the world if you do it a bit later than required, especially in bigger cities, where waiting times are longer.
If you are to stay in Berlin or in Germany for less than 3 months :
The Anmeldung may not be a necessary step if you plan to stay for less than 3 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.
Bürgeramt, Bürgerbüro, Rathaus, or Kundezentrum?
This post was originally meant to be read by Berliners only, thus only the term Bürgeramt was used here. However, since people from everywhere in Germany are reading this, it’s worthwhile to say that it’s called differently in other parts of the country. So check the local lingo. 🙂 Those terms can be used interchangeably in this post.
Filling-in the Anmeldung forms in English, is that possible?
If you really don’t know any German and don’t know anybody who can help, this simple task can be hard to achieve. There are so many things to think about when moving to Germany, so it’s sometimes nice to take a little shortcut! To make your life easier, you can turn to Appmeldung, which lets you do exactly that for Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. Disclaimer: Appmeldung was built by the guy behind this blog.
How to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt, fast?
Booking an appointment is highly recommended to avoid lengthy waiting times:
- Book an appointment in Berlin here.
- Book an appointment in Munich here
- Book an appointment in Frankfurt here.
- Book an appointment in Hamburg here.
- Book an appointment in Stuttgart here.
- Book an appointment in Dortmund here.
- Book an appointment Düsseldorf here.
- For any other city try to Google, “Meldebehörde Anmeldung City Termin”
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. 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!
Things to to know before your appointment for the Anmeldung
- During your appointment for the Anmeldung, you will also be able to notify the authorities that you need a tax ID (Steuernummer). You will need that if you decide to find a job in Germany. For some reason, when I did it myself, 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 ID and the Finanzamt here.
- You have the possibility to let the authorities 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. More about info church tax in Germany this way.
FAQ about the Anmeldung in Germany
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/or don’t check. It’s up to you to take that risk.
This probably means that they are not allowed to sub-rent their room. They maybe live in a WBS flat (where rent is subsidized by the city) 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.
It’s obvious, to register your flat with the Anmeldung, you need to have found one. But for many of us, we haven’t found one yet. A simple letter from a friend letting you stay at their place will be enough to register. Same goes in case of a sublet situation. Bear in mind that in theory, the landlord should always be aware of who is living in the place, providing a written confirmation that you have moved in there.
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. You may also want to go to less busy offices. Read onto the next question for more details.
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 appointment sooner. You’d need to check about that for other cities than Berlin.
It depends on a few factors and on where you live. In Berlin, the law says that for each adult person, there should be at least 9 sqm, and for kids only 6 sqm. In Bavaria, that is 10 sqm per person over 6 years old, 6 sqm per person under 6 years old.
Absolutely. Someone can represent you and do all this for you provided this person has all the required documents together with your ID/Passport and a Vollmacht (a procuration) for this person.
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