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 Appmeldung, which lets you do exactly that for Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. Disclaimer: Appmeldung was built by the guy behind SiB.

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

806 Comments

  • Reply Kris 12/07/2019 at 17:26

    Hi!

    I’m from Belgium and about to start a 6-month internship in Berlin. The owner of the room I’m looking at is telling me I can’t have an Anmeldung there, but my internship is within the Erasmus+ program. Do I need one anyway?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/07/2019 at 22:03

      Hey Kris. I don’t see any connection between those 2 things. You need to register regardless of the reason you live in Germany.

      • Reply Kris 14/07/2019 at 17:56

        Ah, I thought that maybe because it’s only for 6 months that it wouldn’t be necessary!

  • Reply Thor 12/07/2019 at 12:39

    Just a note to add to this that it’s not usually possible to register at a friends place or at an Airbnb/hotel/Hostel. Cheers!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/07/2019 at 21:58

      Hey Thor. Thanks for contributing. Care to quote a source? Where is this coming from? I get the airbnb/hotel/hostel, but why not at a friends place. I want to update my post if it’s really so.

  • Reply ernst K Elstermann 10/07/2019 at 13:03

    This is a really helpful article thanks! Can anyone tell me what documentation I would need to register at the rathaus if I have a place and am lucky enough to live there rent free.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/07/2019 at 21:49

      Hey Ernst. If there is no official lease contract, a simple letter from your host would do. You still need a confirmation from the landlord though.

  • Reply Roxy 03/07/2019 at 13:50

    Thanks for this super helpful article! Do you receive your registration certificate at your appointment?

    Or do you have to wait for that in the post too?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/07/2019 at 09:22

      Hey. You get it on the spot.

  • Reply Olivia 27/06/2019 at 19:31

    Hi there, quick question maybe you can help me with. My partner and I have found and signed for an apartment together, and move in 1st Aug. We would like to do the Anmeldung together, and also update the address on our personal ausweiß…do we need to book 4 consecutive termins to get all this done in one visit? Ive heard we can anmeldung together if we book two termins, but not sure about also changing the address on ausweiß. 4 termins seems excessive?
    Many thanks,
    Olivia

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/06/2019 at 22:16

      Hey Olivia, i can’t speak for the Ausweis adress. You can use one Termin to register everybody moving at the same adress.

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