Anmeldung : the compulsory registration

Update 11.04.2020: Due to the current Corona situation, the Anmeldung can often not be processed in person. Most cities in Germany won’t accept to do this via email/post/phone (eg: Berlin), but some will do (eg: Düsseldorf, Bremen). You will need to contact your local Bürgeramt in your own district and see what ways they offer. Requests will be handled on a case by case basis, and probably only urgent ones will be processed. Good luck!

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.

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 SiB.

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!

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.
  • Berlin 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 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 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 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. See the next question.

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 for other cities in 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/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

942 Comments

  • Reply felicia 12/09/2020 at 17:00

    Hi, thanks for the great article! I found it very helpful! However, I do have a question: I found a room in a WG, however the landlord told me that Anmeldung is not possible because the previous tenant who has now lived in a different place are still registered as one of the tenant of that apartment. What should I do? Is anmeldung mandatory? And what if I don’t have an Anmeldung?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/09/2020 at 12:53

      Hey Felicia. If you have a signed contract with the landlord, it’s illegal for them not to provide you with the necessary documents to register.

  • Reply AE 12/09/2020 at 10:27

    Hello! Apologies if you’ve already answered this in the many comments. I’m wondering what to put in the “Gemeindekennzahl” section if this is my first residence in Germany (coming from US). Should I put my US address? If so, what about the ‘letze bisherige Wohning im Inland War” section?
    And for the ‘Tag des Auszugs’ — I have been staying on a friend’s couch in the interim (not registered).. should I put the date of arrival to Germany or can I just put the day I’m moving into my new place here…?
    Many thanks!!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/09/2020 at 13:31

      Leave those fields empty for now.

  • Reply Gilad Jaffe 11/09/2020 at 17:02

    Hi Bastien,

    Thank you for the very helpful website, I have a question. I am moving to Berlin now, can I register for the Anmeldung with the address of the hotel I will be staying at?

    Thank you,

    Gilad Jaffe

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/09/2020 at 13:29

      Hey Gilad. In theory, that is possible if the hotel manager would agree to it, fill in the document and you can receive letters there.

  • Reply Anthony 10/09/2020 at 09:28

    Hey Bastien,

    I have a question about the Anmeldung.

    The websites I’ve read tell me I have to complete the Anmeldung “in Berlin” and then apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the Berlin Office.

    Is it possible to complete the Anmeldung process for a residence in Cologne? And then travel to Berlin and apply for the Working Holiday Visa? Or is it possible for an AUSTRALIAN to apply at any immigration office for the working holiday visa?

    Would appreciate any clarity.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/09/2020 at 13:50

      Hey Anthony. You can apply for the Working holiday visa from any German mission abroad, which is probably the preferred option atm, even though you can do it after entering the country. I actually don’t know if the Berlin office is the only one that can deliver working holiday visas for Australian citizens. In doubt, you can call this hotline.

  • Reply Ariel 03/09/2020 at 11:31

    Hi, I will be staying in Berlin for 3 months, so I am not necessarily forced to do the Anmeldung. Anyway, I was thinking of contracting liability insurance and opening a bank account and the Anmeldung might come in handy. The thing is, I have a travel insurance from my credit card for the period here. I have read that it is mandatory to get a local private or public health insurance if I do the Anmeldung. Is this true? In that case, maybe it is better not to anmelden, right?

    Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 07/09/2020 at 13:14

      Hey Ariel. If you are staying for only 3 months and you don’t need any residence permit to stay here during that time, then one could argue you are just a tourist staying a little while longer. Registering at the Bürgeramt does not make local health insurance compulsory no.

  • Reply Abeer Arora 31/08/2020 at 17:17

    Hi, thanks for the informative article!
    Is it true that you don’t need to submit the form “Anmeldung bei einer Meldebehörde” again if you are getting the Anmeldung for the second time? That is, on moving to a new place within the city.
    Thanks.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/09/2020 at 11:22

      Hey Abeer. No, you need to notify your local Meldebehörde about your move, even if it’s within the same city.

  • Reply Francesco Daniele D'Ostuni 31/08/2020 at 15:58

    Hi Bastien! This is a tricky question but maybe you can give me a tips anyway. I moved to Berlin 2 weeks ago, I already signed in for a subletting room so I just have to go to an office to register for Anmeldung. There is a little problem, I lost my passport and the only other document is my italian driving licence.
    I still want to go to a bürgeramnt office with the police report document that explain I lost my passport with report number, a photocopy of my passport and my valid id driver licence followed by the room contract and the anmeldung form.
    I also asked to police if I should attach any other document that proof my identity but they said it should be enough.
    I believe that mine it’s a very singular case but somehow it is possible. What’s your opinion?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/09/2020 at 11:21

      Hey Francesco. I think it should be enough as well yes.

  • Reply Jim 30/08/2020 at 14:36

    Hi Bastien! Thanks for this super helpful information. A follow-up question:

    I’ve been living in Berlin for nearly three years now on an EU Blue Card. I have an Anmeldung, registered at the hotel I was staying at when I first arrived here, but I never updated it when I moved (incredibly stupid, I now know; I thought you only had to register when you entered the city, and not whenever you moved). Now that I’m about to apply for permanent residence, I want to get all this is in order / am concerned about this mistake affecting my application. What would you anticipate the consequences of this being, and is there any way of going about this that might mitigate them? I’m totally happy to pay any fines, I would just be very sad if this would prevent me from attaining permanent residence here.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/09/2020 at 10:02

      Hey Jim. I can’t say for sure but i don’t think the consequences would be so dire. I’d double check with this official public hotline about residence applications in Germany.

  • Reply Bea 28/08/2020 at 15:12

    Hello thank you for this amazing post!
    I will be living in a single apartment at a student dorm. My boyfriend will temporarily live with me till he finds an apartment. Can he register at my student dorm if I write a letter as you suggested or do we need to have the approval from the dormitory as well?

    Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/09/2020 at 09:52

      Hey Bea. Yes, you’d need approval for him as well.

  • Reply isabella iancu 25/08/2020 at 17:01

    How long it takes to obtain one in nurnberg, due to corona slowing things down right now.
    Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/08/2020 at 10:44

      Hey Isabella. You could try calling your local office to ask, or resort to a local Facebook group perhaps?

  • Reply Athhul 24/08/2020 at 03:27

    Hi there, my visa is about to expire in a week and i still cant find any appointments near weeks . what should i do in this situation ?
    they let me to register with an expired visa?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 24/08/2020 at 12:50

      Hey Athhul. Should not your get an extension for your visa first?

  • Reply Andy D. 14/08/2020 at 17:32

    Hello,
    This website is amazing, Thank you for the amazing content.
    I am willing to hire a renting agency to get a 1 month flat, then do my Anmeldung with that , then move to more cheap place (Airbnb, …).
    Would be there any problems doing this ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/08/2020 at 13:49

      Hey Andy. Not that i can think of right now, no.

  • Reply ELENI BAGAKI 09/08/2020 at 09:12

    Hi!
    I have a question. I found a flatshare, my flatmate who is the main tenant is happy to give me the Anmeldung but she doesn’t want to have the landlord involved. So, can I register with just the form called “Anmeldung bei einer Meldebehörde”and without necessarily submitting the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”?
    Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 11/08/2020 at 20:37

      Hey Eleni. The Beamter/in will ask for it so i doubt it will fly. If your contract is legit with the main tenant, then the landlord has to provide a confirmation by law.

  • Reply Lily 05/08/2020 at 10:50

    Hi Bastien, thanks for the great article:) Very informative. I just moved to Germany to work in Berlin but I’m staying with my boyfriend in Leipzig for the first two weeks. I’m moving to an Airbnb in Berlin afterwards for another two weeks to start work and hope to have found a permanent apartment by then. Do you have advise on whether I should use his address to register in Leipzig? Do you think this might cause problems for me later or can I just simply re-register or change my address to Berlin once I’ve settled in an apartment there?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 06/08/2020 at 22:56

      Hey Lily. Apart from additional torments and time wasted with the German administration, i don’t see any issues no. You can do an “Ummeldung” once you have found something more permanent in Berlin.

  • Reply Michał 31/07/2020 at 17:31

    Hi Bastien,
    I’ve searched the web but didn’t found any answer to this. How do you think, if my first name contains a letter which is not in basic Latin (this is: “Ł”) or in German set of letters, would I be angemeldet as Michal, Michał or maybe it’s possible to be just Michael? Thank you in advance for hint 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/08/2020 at 21:53

      Hey Michał. This is no legal advice but i think you would probably be ok using the latin letter “l” instead of “ł”. In the end, the Beamter-in will decide.

  • Reply Adam 25/07/2020 at 11:46

    Hi!

    Thanks for the great article :). I have a question, I am coming from Switzerland to Germany in August and exporting my unemployment insurance for 3 months which I will receive from the Swiss authorities as I very recently lost my job. They allow you to export for 3 months to look for work elsewhere in the EU and after you can either quit the unemployment insurance and remain in Germany (start new Job/business etc) or return to Switzerland.

    My question is since I will be in Germany 3 months and if I do not find a job in that time I would like to stay in Germany and start a business here. Can you see any reason why I would not be allowed to do the Anmeldung when I arrive in August? reason I ask is that I am British and worry that if I do not do the Anmeldung they may not let me do it later after the 3 months period in November if another Covid 19 lockdown happens as before I understood they would only accept appointments from people with a new job in Germany if not mistaken and a Business may not count… Since I am British and Brexit I must be registered in Germany no later than December 31st to have the right to remain after the transition period without going through a lengthy visa process.

    Sorry for the long question 🙂
    Many thanks,
    Adam

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 01/08/2020 at 21:32

      Hey Adam. It’s a great question. I couldn’t find any mention of this rule regarding the appointments online. Do you have a source? I find it hard to believe because you may need to register in Germany without having a job. What about students? What about spouses, children? So on.

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