“Anmeldung” or Registration of Residence in Germany
17 Aug 2021
If you are staying in Germany for longer than 90 days, you must register your residence. This is one of the most important administrative steps for anyone relocating to Germany. You are required to register your present address with German local authorities within two weeks of your arrival in Germany. When you do you will receive a printed and officially stamped “Meldebescheinigung” (certificate of residence registration).
The registration is free of cost!
The Meldebescheinigung, or the certificate of residence registration, is an essential document that is required if you want to open a bank account, apply for health insurance, set up an internet connection, obtain a tax ID number for the purpose of employment, or any other purpose for which you need to provide evidence of residence.
How can you find a registration office in your city?
You can search on the internet for Einwohnermeldeamt + name of your city.
Documents required for the Anmeldung/registration of residence in Germany
- Wohnungsgeberbestätigung - this is a document that your landlord should provide when you sign a contract to rent an apartment. It confirms that you are the tenant of the apartment at the address stated. You will have to present this document in order to register your residence.
- Sublet contract - if you are subletting a room or apartment, or staying temporarily with friends or relatives while looking for a place to stay, you have to present a statement in writing from your friends or relatives stating that you are staying with them.
- Anmeldung bei einer Meldebehörde (application form) - you have to fill in this form with your personal details, document details, and address, and submit it when you have your appointment. You can find the form online, for example, here, or you can take one from the registration office. The form is also available in English, so don’t worry if you don’t speak German yet.
- Your passport or a valid ID. Note that driving licenses won't work in that case!
How to book an appointment for Anmeldung/registration in Germany?
Appointments can be booked online on the website of your local authority (some links are available below). Sometimes it is difficult to make an appointment as the slots may be booked out. It is worth regularly checking as cancelled appointments may become available at short notice. If no appointments are available, you cannot be held responsible for not having registered within two weeks. If you are having difficulty finding an appointment, it is worth writing an e-mail to the office to request one. In smaller towns, it may be possible to go directly to a registration office and get your registration done. However, to avoid long queues and cancellations, it is always advisable to book an appointment in advance. We have listed some of the official websites of cities in Germany where you could book an appointment for the registration.
- Appointments in Berlin
- Appointments in Munich
- Appointments in Frankfurt
- Appointments in Hamburg
- Appointments in Stuttgart
- Appointments in Dortmund
- Appointments in Düsseldorf
When you book an appointment, you will be given an appointment ID, which you will need to remember when you go to the registration office. Remember, there may be several offices in a city, so make sure you note down the right address.
Attending your appointment
When you have booked an appointment, make sure you reach the registration office on time, preferably about 15 mins early. Bear in mind that not all employees at such offices speak English. Hence, if you are not entirely confident about your German language skills it is best to bring someone with you who can translate from German to English. In the office, you typically wait in a waiting room. When your appointment number appears on the screen, go to your assigned place and your registration will be done in a few minutes. You will be given your official Meldebescheinigung (certificate of registration) straight away.
Once you have your certificate, you can use it in all kinds of situations that require proof of address, such as opening a bank account, signing up for health insurance, or presenting it to your potential employer when applying for a job. In general, it is an essential document for anyone who intends to stay in Germany for longer than just a short visit.
Important: This document is very important and has to be kept safely. It is a good idea to keep it together with your passport, as you will often need both at the same time. German ID cards include their holders’ address, so for people living in Germany who do not have a German ID card, the equivalent is a passport and Meldebescheinigung.
If you move to a new address, you are obliged to re-register within two weeks of moving. This involves going through the same process.
Speaking of moving - see our article on how to find an accommodation in Germany!
Challenges that might occur
Apparently in smaller cities the language barrier can be an issue. In some offices the Anmeldung can only be done in German. We suggest you try to get an appointment in English if possible. Otherwise, you could ask a German colleague or neighbour to accompany you to the appointment in case the officer asked questions.
Generally, you do not have to speak a lot during the appointment. If you have your documents ready and correctly filled out, language should not be a problem. But it always depends on the officer responsible for you.
Maybe that’s another motivation for you to brush up on your German. See these 7 tips and tricks to learn German!
We hope this article is helpful to do your registration in Germany! If you have any further questions, please comment below, join our New2 FORUM to exchange with others or write directly to us at [email protected]!
Written by: Sanchari Banerjee
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