Anmeldung : the compulsory residence registration – simply explained.

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.

anmeldung germany english

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?

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.

This is maybe what the whole experience might feel like…

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:

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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/or 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 (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.

I am staying at friend’s before finding something more permanent, can i register with them for now?

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.

Which Bürgeramt accept people without appointements? The next available appointment 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. You may also want to go to less busy offices. Read onto the next question for more details.

Do i need to register at a Bürgeramt in the Bezirk 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. You’d need to check about that for other cities than Berlin.

Is there a maximum amount of people that can register in a single living space?

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.

I need to register fast & i don’t have time to register or 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 and a Vollmacht (a procuration) for this person.

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

1,022 Comments

  • Reply Sam 20/01/2021 at 09:40

    Thanks so much for the info! I am moving into a new flat with my partner, and the landlord has given us the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung. Unfortunately we’re finding it hard to find an anmeldung appointment that suits us both (different working shifts). Do you know if we can have separate anmeldung appointments even though both of our names are on the same Wohnungsgeberbestätigung? Thanks again

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 20/01/2021 at 11:51

      Hey Sam. Yes no problem.

  • Reply AyA 12/01/2021 at 11:50

    Hi, thanks for the informative article!
    If I’m moving to a shared apartment where the current roommates are already registered, do I need them to show up with me to the appointment/provide their IDs/sign something?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/01/2021 at 14:58

      Hey Aya. No, it’s not needed. Just you and your ID, with the rest of the documentation mentioned in the post.

  • Reply Nicia Ribeiro 07/01/2021 at 14:54

    Hello,
    Happy New Year. Hope you are all well.
    I recently started a new job in Berlin (1st of Jan). I secured an apartment already but it is unfortunately not ready yet (under construction delays due to covid). It will be ready in March (1st week). My initial thought would be to stay at friends’ houses while my apartment is not ready to move in and I would like to know what the implications of that are for me getting my Tax ID and registration. Is this doable in your opinion? most airbnbs and temporary accommodations do not allow address registration. also some temporary accommodations force a minimum 3 month stay which isn’t doable for me as I will be paying rent at my new accommodation.
    Thank you for your help

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/01/2021 at 13:45

      Hey Nicia. Yes that would be ok, provided it’s possible at your friend’s place.

  • Reply Essie 05/01/2021 at 12:06

    Hello, I moved to Berlin in December from the UK and registered before the end of the transition period. The landlord gave me the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, but we hadn’t yet signed a contract. Anyway, shortly after registering, the landlord asked for more money than we had verbally agreed and, to cut a long story short, the whole situation became rather unpleasant. As of the beginning of January, I am no longer renting the apartment. My question is this: can the landlord deregister me, and thus invalidate my registration that I did in time for the end of the Brexit transition period? I sincerely hope not! Thanks so much.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 05/01/2021 at 13:37

      Hey Essie. It is a possibility that they notify the authorities that you no longer live there, yes. Hard to tell if they would take the steps to do it though. However, I don’t know whether or not that would invalidate your residence registration as a whole. Since the whole Brexit thing is unprecedented, I also don’t know who could tell you for sure, even at the Bürgeramt. Best is to find something ASAP for the short term, even if too expensive/inconvenient, and register there again. Worst case scenario in case of disputes, make sure you keep copies of email conversations with the landlord to support your case (if it ever comes to that). Good luck with it all.

      • Reply Essie 05/01/2021 at 15:41

        Thank you very much.

  • Reply Rahim 31/12/2020 at 17:11

    Hi,
    I am moving in an apartment along with my friend. Do we need to book 2 separate appointments for anmeldung ? or one appointment on anyone’s name is fine and we can both get registered ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/01/2021 at 13:58

      Hey Rahim. One appointment is enough. just mention you need to register 2 people.

  • Reply Yogesh 29/12/2020 at 14:04

    Hey, thanks a lot for the informative article. I am living in Berlin for the last 2 years with my wife. I signed a contract for another apartment and now going to move soon. Also, I have taken an appointment for registration, now my wife is not in Germany for some months and her name is mentioned in the apartment contract. Do I need to register my wife as well? if yes how do I have to do it?
    Cheers,
    Yogesh

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2020 at 15:57

      Hey Yogesh. You can represent your wife when register her as well during the appointment as mentioned in the last question here.

  • Reply Valmir 28/12/2020 at 15:29

    Hi,

    I need some help with the Anmeldung process if possible.

    I moved to Dortmund from Albania with a working visa. The head office of the company is in Dortmund but my working place is in Kamen.

    I want to know where to make Anmelgund process?

    Because I have heard that for the first time I should do Anmeldung in the place where I have visa (Dortmund).

    For the moment I leave to my friend’s house.

    Best regards!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2020 at 15:55

      Hey Valmir. You need to register residence at your current address. Your employer’s office is not relevant here.

  • Reply Sam 27/12/2020 at 16:47

    Hi. It’s a wonderful article of valuable information.
    I am from non-eu country. I hold a residence permit. My spouse and my kid will join me soon under family reunion visa. My question is: for their Anmeldung, can I provide Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, as the main tenant? Or must the main house owner provide it still? It is not a sub-lease, is it?
    Please clarify for Berlin and also for Cologne and Bonn City, of possible.

    Thanks
    Sam

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2020 at 15:53

      Hey Sam. As mentioned in the post, the landlord is suppose to fill this in by law as they must be aware of who is living on their property at all times. this is valid nationwide.

  • Reply Tara 23/12/2020 at 22:30

    Hi, There is a 6week gap between when I move out of one apartment and into another. The main tenant at the first apartment does not want me to keep my anmeldung for the 6 week gap after I move out because she is worried there will be too many people registered at her place (a new tenant is moving in as soon as I leave). Would it be a bad idea for me to just do an admeldung and then do another anmeldung when I move into the new flat 6 weeks later? (I recently got a residency permit but have not yet registered for my tax number. I don’t need to apply for a job or internet contract or anything).
    Thank you for you inputs!

    • Reply Tara 23/12/2020 at 22:31

      Sorry, not admeldung, abmeldung*

      • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/12/2020 at 09:30

        Hey Tara. It looks like you already know what your options are in your case, I can’t advise you on what to do.

  • Reply chfakht 16/12/2020 at 10:54

    Hi,
    I am living in Germany but I had to leave my previous room since contract ended and I only found a sublease without contract !
    Does anybody knows what is the maximum time you can stay without anmeldung before they fine you ?
    Of course I am looking for long term rent and then I will be sure to do the anmeldung.
    Thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/12/2020 at 14:12

      Hey Chfakht. As mentioned in the post, the law states you should register within 14 days. So in theory, a fine can be applied from that point in time. In practice, fines are rarely applied that strictly.

  • Reply Hina 14/12/2020 at 04:12

    Hi great information.
    I am main tenant, contract is on my name. I am subletting the apartment. Printed an online sublet contract and filled it. I also have permission from the landlord in email for sublet.
    Do I need to give wohnungsgeberbestätigung for Anmeldung? If yes where I get that.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/12/2020 at 13:52

      Hey Hina. Yes, the landlord stills need to provide that document, even if it is a sublet. Look in the post, there is an example for that.

  • Reply AC 12/12/2020 at 17:08

    Hello! I’ve been in Berlin 18 months now. I’ve got anmeldung at my current address and am planning to move out into a temporary sublet for 3-6 months. I am not sure if I will be able to keep my anmeldung at the flat (the person who has the lease is still holding the lease). If it’s a case of me losing my anmeldung here, will it be okay to not have one for 3-6 months until I move into my own apartment with a lease. My visa is not an issue (it’s valid until 2022), I have a steuer ID and job, bank acc, cellphone contract, health insurance etc so for the short time I don’t think anything should come up with insists of seeing my anmeldung. I realise it’s not ideal but unfortunately the reality sometimes of subletting in Berlin.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/12/2020 at 13:49

      Hey AC. You described your situation perfectly, it looks like you know the law and know the possible consequences.

  • Reply Michelle 11/12/2020 at 10:33

    Hey. Very good information on your post. Hope you can help me. My spouse is a German citizen who is living in Berlin and I’ll be moving to Germany to live with him of course. He already has his anmeldung for that apartment since he was single. So when I go to Burgeramt for my Anmeldung, first and foremost must I include his name both on the wohnungsgeberbestätigung and the anmeldung form? Because it might be a bit of problem to add his name as the move in date for me and him are different. And say I don’t add his name him and get my anmeldung, when i go to the ausländerbehörde to apply for my residence permit, must he also bring his anmeldung together with mine to prove that we indeed stay together at the same address? Hope to hear answers from you. Thank you.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/12/2020 at 17:32

      Hey Michelle. You don’t need his name on the wohnungsgeberbestätigung and the Anmeldung forms. Why would it matter if your move in dates are different? Also which type of visa/residence permit are you talking about?

  • Reply Coralee Long 30/11/2020 at 07:23

    I came to Germany on a 3 month Tourist visa so I did not register myself. I was supposed to return to my home country (South Africa) after my stay, so that I could apply for my spousal visa in order to join my husband who got a job in Germany. However, due to the pandemic, I was unable to return to South Africa, and my Schengen visa became excerpt until Sept 30. During that time, I managed to appeal to the Meldeamt to try issue my Spousal visa from Germany, as I could not do this in South Africa. They finally agreed and I received my residence permit card. Once I received the card, I registered myself and got a tax number. My question is…my husband has been paying higher tax since January, because he was not on the system as being married (due to me having to get my residence permit). Now that I’m finally on the system, and we’re in the correct tax brackets, can he claim back the tax? Someone asked why I didn’t register sooner, and this could affect him claiming back tax. But we were under the impression that I could only register myself once I had a valid visa and was on the German system. Similarly, surely they could not have changed my husband‘s tax bracket before I, as his wife was on the system (ie. got my residence permit and then registered with the Meldeamt)?

  • Reply Julia V 26/11/2020 at 17:07

    Hi, thanks for the great article!
    I came to Germany from the U.S. a month ago to study at a music conservatory here. Yesterday I got registered for my Anmeldebestätigung at the Bürgeramt. I had thought this constituted a residence permit, but now I am not so sure. Do I now need to apply for a student visa/residence permit?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/11/2020 at 10:14

      Hey Julia. Super confused about your comment… Did anybody in your conservatory or back home told you anything about this? As a US citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter the country and can stay while without one, but you do need to apply for a student visa if you are to stay longer. Is there something i’m missing?

    • Reply Phil 05/12/2020 at 12:36

      Hi Julia, It sounds like you’ve got a registration with the city of Berlin (Anmeldung) telling them that you are living in an apartment (this is not a visa). You also need to have a student/residency visa with the German state, if you are staying longer than as a tourist.
      Hope that helps.

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