Everything you need to know about registering your address in Germany
When relocating to Germany or staying for business trips longer than three months, you may encounter the unpleasantries of the German bureaucratic system.
The Einwohnermeldeamt, or the Resident’s Registration Office, will be the first exposure to this system for many. At this office, you must register your new address within 7-14 days of arriving in Germany. We recommend getting this done as soon as possible, as you will face many limitations in the country without this confirmation paper.
Relocation to a new country is stressful enough for even the most seasoned business travellers. We’ve created this guide to prepare you and ensure you won’t have to make a second trip to the Einwohnermeldeamt.
1.Should I register my address to live in Germany?
Is your stay in Germany less than 3 months? If so, you’re considered a long term tourist and do not have to register your address.
Are you going to stay in Germany longer than 3 months? If you do intend to stay in Germany for over 3 months, you’re legally required to register your address within 14 days of moving in.
Registration of address is the most important thing you have to do after your move to Germany.
Whether your trip lasts longer than 3 months or you’re settling in Germany for good, your family and you must register your address with the local authorities of the German city where you will live. This is not just a requirement for expats. Even German citizens have to register their address with the city every time they move.
2. Where should you register your German address
Once you find a home, make an appointment with the Bürgeramt, While it does seem like a hassle to have to physically wait at the Bürgeramt instead of just registering online, you’ll soon learn that this may be one of the simplest steps of German bureaucracy, and it’s also free of charge.
Once you register your address, you will receive an Anmeldbescheinigung or registration certificate. This document is crucial for almost everything you do to settle down comfortably in Germany. You will need it to start a bank account, take out health insurance, apply for a resident permit, and more.
In addition, a tax id or steuerliche Identifikationsnummer will be sent to your new home address by the Federal Tax Office once you complete registration
3. Documents required to register your address in Germany
It’s important to go prepared to your registration appointment if you don’t want to end up making a second trip. Documents required may vary by city, but most registration offices ask for the following.
5. What to do if you haven't found accommodation in the first 2 weeks
It’s important to note that you cannot list a hotel when registering your address in Germany, as you need to submit a proper tenancy or sublet contract from a landlord. For longer trips that last more than a month, a furnished apartment is both a comfortable and practical choice.
However, if you have not found accommodation before your trip to Germany or within the first 14 days, we’ve created a smart and easy solution to find temporary accommodation completely online. With Homelike, it is super easy to find temporary furnished accommodation with everything you need including utilities and WiFi. The last thing you need when you move to a new city is the stress of registering for utilities and other services.
6. What happens if you don't register your address
Everyone residing in Germany is required to register their place of residence with the city authorities. If you fail to register your address, provide incorrect detauls or delay registration, you may be fined up to 1000 Euros.
7. What to do if you move to a new address
Any time you move to a new address in Germany, you must go to the Einwohnermeldeamt and register your new address. This is known as the Ummeldung. Thankfully, the process is the same and since you’ve already completed the process once, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
8. What to do about your address if you move out of Germany
When your trip ends or you move abroad, you will need to go back to the registration office one last time to deregister your address—this is known as an Abmeldung.
This process is absolutely necessary, especially if you need to cancel contracts like phone, internet, gym membership, or the Rundfunkbeitrag.