What is the Anmeldung and what do I need it for?
Every person permanently living in Germany must by law register with their local registration office. This process is called Anmeldung. It is also required for getting an internet or phone contract, registering a car, reporting income tax and more.
Who needs to register and when?
After moving to your new residence, you’ve generally got 2 weeks to book an Anmeldung appointment. You must register if:
You’re staying as a foreigner for more than 3 months (2 months in Berlin) or
You’ve moved to a new location as an existing German resident for more than 6 months.
This means that a foreigner must find a permanent residence in this 3 (or 2) month period. A permanent residence can also be a hotel, or a friend’s house with a sublease contract.
Exceeding these time limits may land you with a fine of up to €1000. Goodwill claims are frequently reported, however.
What does it cost?
In most cases the Anmeldung is free. However, since German federal states have their own process, there can be exceptions; such as Hamburg, which currently charges a fee of €12 per person or family.
What do I need?
For a successful Anmeldung you will need:
- The Anmeldung form for your city, completed in German
- A confirmation form from your landlord, known as Wohnungsgeberbestätigung or Vermieter-Bestätigung, also completed in German
- Your passport or German ID
- If present: your rental or sublease contract
- If required: your visa or residence permit
- If present: marriage certificate, birth certificates of your children, divorce papers
- Some cash for any processing fees. Note: Credit cards may not be accepted
What if I don’t speak German?
Good news! We’ve translated a copy of the Berlin Anmeldung form for your convenience. The forms of other cities may differ slightly, but require mostly the same information.
What do I do next?
1. Make an appointment at your registration office.
In most German states for the Anmeldung a visit at the responsible registration office (generally called Kundenzentrum or Bezirksamt), is compulsory. In most registration offices you can easily make an appointment online – just visit your city’s website.
Registration offices are often booked out for several months, especially in Germany’s bigger cities. Don’t worry too much though - simply booking within the 2 week time limit is sufficient. You can also choose any registration office in your city, so choosing an office a bit further out might make it easier to get an appointment.
2. Visit the registration office.
The visit at the registration office is a quick and relatively simple operation provided you made an appointment in advance. The registration officer will check your passport or ID and transfer both the completed forms into the system. You will then finally receive your Meldebestätigung, the confirmation of your residence.