Moving to Germany comes with a lot of responsibilities and bureaucracy that you’ll need to take care of if you don’t have a relocation agent on your side running these things in the background for you.  There are multiple things that need to be done, but let’s start with the very first one, and maybe the most important, registering your address. 

If you have moved to Germany and need to register your address, you will need to complete a process called Anmeldung (registration). This can be done at your local citizen’s office, Bürgeramt or Bürgerbüro. This process is time sensitive and will have to be done within the first 14 days of your arrival, if you’re planning on staying above 3 months in the country.

Why is this process important?

The Anmeldung is the first step to your settling in process in Germany, and accessing other important services like getting a bank account, an internet connection provider contract, a mobile phone contract, etc. You also need the Anmeldung to get your residence permit and your tax ID. 

Right after completing your Anmeldung, you will receive a registration confirmation called Meldebescheinigung or Anmeldebestätigung, which you will be asked for when trying to set up any of the above mentioned services. About two weeks after your Anmeldung, you will receive your tax ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer) via postal mail. As soon as you get your tax ID, you should give it to your employer, so the taxes deducted from your salary are calculated correctly.

If you do not hand the tax ID to your employer, you will be taxed at 42%, the highest income tax rate in the German tax system. In case you end up paying too much tax at the beginning of your stay in Germany, you can claim it back at the end of the year with a tax return.

If for any reason you need your tax ID faster after registering, you can go to the tax office (Finanzamt) in person. Bring your passport and Anmeldebestätigung with you and ask for your Steuer-ID, and they will be able to give it to you right away. 

If you need to learn where the tax office is in your city, you can look it up on Federal Central Tax Office’s page

What do you need to do in this process?

To register your address in Germany, you will need to follow these easy steps:

  1. Find your local registration office in the city where you are living. You need to get an appointment at a Bürgeramt in your city to register your apartment (Anmeldung einer Wohnung). You can do so in person, via phone, or online. Booking an appointment online is by far the easiest and most efficient way, especially if your German is limited. 

Here are the website links for the biggest cities in Germany:

If you’re not living in a big city, the easiest way to look for this office (Einwohnermeldeamt) is to use the search option on the Deutsche Post website.

Bonus tip: families only need one appointment; non-married couples however will need 2 separate appointments. 

  1. Gather the required documents. 

As stated above, if you’re a family, with or without children, only one person will need to attend the appointment, but in either case here is the list of documents you will need:

  • Passport;
  • The confirmation letter from your landlord (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) or the proof of ownership of your property. Usually your landlord will fill it in for you, since they are very much aware it is an important document for new tenants. 
  • The filled in Anmeldung form. You will find that most cities come with a different format for it, but it essentially does the same thing. Here are the links for the form in the biggest cities of Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich (in German & English <3 all our love for Munich), Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart.  

The lovely people from Sorted.Berlin have a tool that can be used free of charge to fill in the form. You can insert all your data in English. 😉 

  • Your temporary visa (for Non-EU residents);
  • Your marriage certificate (if that’s the case); You will need to bring the original, as well as a certified translation. The translation is not necessary if the marriage certificate is in a multilingual format.
  • All original documents for the rest of your family, as well as official translations. We’re talking about birth certificates and passports. 
  1. Attend your appointment and submit your documents. 

The process is as straightforward as that usually. All you have to do is show up on time for your appointment, submit your documents to the clerk worker and get through with it. However, sometimes the clerk workers might have additional questions, which are asked in German. 

They are not allowed to ask them in English, as they may be liable for any misunderstanding or false expression. This is the moment to take your German speaking friend or colleague with you, or rely on your relocation agent if you’ve booked one already. 

In return you will receive the Meldebescheinigung

And that’s it! You’re done! 

Is there any repercussion for not registering on time? 

By law, there is a fine of up to 1000 euros for not registering in time. In reality, most offices are a lot more forgiving than this, especially if you have a good reason. 

You will need to go through this process again if you move within Germany. When you move within Germany, even within your same house or neighbourhood, you must re-register and inform the authorities of your new address. The process is exactly the same as for Anmeldung, except that you check Ummeldung for the appointment. 

And if you were thinking about it already, you guessed it right. You also have to de-register at the end of your stay. The earliest you can do this is in the last week of your stay in Germany, or you can ask your relocation agent to do it for you. You will again need a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, this time confirming that you are moving out. 

Now we appreciate that this process may seem a little more complicated than it is needed, especially when things are “running wild” in all other aspects of your life. Hence why we created our services! 😉 To support people focus on the things that really matter, such as life quality,  instead of bureaucracy details. 

Until next time, schönen Tag noch!