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-requisites for anybody moving anywhere in Germany.

It is simply the fact of registering residence, living at a specific address in Germany.

When doing so, you will be given the “Meldebescheinigung“, 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 of your life in this country. 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. But for many of us, we haven’t found one yet! Don’t panic just 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.

My advice 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 a semester or 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.

All you need to do the Anmeldung is :

  • Bring your ID card or passport
  • 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 the entrance of any Bürgeramt or here.
  • If you are married/in a partnership, they will also want see a relevant 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.

This is maybe what the whole experience might feel like…

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 do it.

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 this rough translation.

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 appointment 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

704 Comments

  • Reply Amir 17/01/2019 at 21:31

    Hello Bastien,
    Thank you VERY much for this really helpful and informative article (as well as the website as a whole).
    A small question of clarification – if I am going to be registered under the address of a family member with whom I am staying (not renting), do I still need to fill in the form of the landlord (the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”), or is it enough to just bring the letter that I am staying with them ?
    Many thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/01/2019 at 23:22

      Hey Amir. You need both forms, as mentioned in the post.

  • Reply SUE 16/01/2019 at 17:50

    Hi,
    I am moving to Berlin and will need to anmeldung when i arrive, My german isnt so good get and dont think i would be able to speak to someone in the office and ask about tax number, is there english . speakers there too or just german?
    thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/01/2019 at 23:17

      Hey Sue. The workers can often speak English but prefer not too, in case they make a mistake or things get lost in translation.

  • Reply teddd 11/01/2019 at 12:05

    From what movie does that gif come from ? 🙂

  • Reply Heidi Kärkkäinen 08/01/2019 at 08:56

    Hi! First of all thank you SO much of your site! It helped tremendously when I moved to Berlin two years ago 🙂

    Now I have a question, to which you maybe have some input: I would need to get my Anmeldung translated into English just in case, so would you happen to have any idea how could I do it? Have you heard anybody doing that? I mean asking from an Amt is probably the best bet but I have also read some people asking in some Facebook groups for professional translations, although probably for school certificates only AND from English to German and not the other way around… I am going to the States this Spring and some officials might want to look at my Anmeldung and also understand something of it as well.

    Thank you so much in any case!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/01/2019 at 14:15

      Hey Heidi. That’s an unusual request for sure. I’m sure you could ask for a custom certified translation via platforms like Lingoking for example.

  • Reply Fady 05/01/2019 at 22:18

    Hello i want to ask about something, i have been in berlin for almost five months and I registered in a place for the first 2 months then i changed it for several times but without re-registration and i leaving Germany in 2 weeks, is there any problem for me ?!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/01/2019 at 13:52

      Hey Fady. In theory, there could be a fine for doing an “Ummeldung” everytime you move, but i have yet to hear about any application of this law.

  • Reply André 04/01/2019 at 13:06

    Hi there,

    I’ve lived in Berlin for a while and did my registration so I have an IdNr. or SteuerNr. Then I moved away for bit so I did my abmeldung. Now I would like to return, so doing my anmeldung again, is there something I need to be aware of? Do I need to write my old IdNr. down somewhere or is still in their system?
    Would appreiate some help. Thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/01/2019 at 12:24

      Hey André. I believe that their keep record of your IdNr. for a few years before they erase, if at all. I would simply ask the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern in that case or even simply request that they send it to you again via this form, a week or two after your anmeldung.

      • Reply André 13/01/2019 at 19:08

        Great, thanks!

  • Reply tania 04/01/2019 at 05:22

    Hi i am tania,

    is it ok if i already abmeldung but i will fly to home (asia) from zurich instead of from germany ?

    thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/01/2019 at 12:21

      Hey Tania. Er yes, i don’t see anything against it…

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