When you move out of your apartment and leave Berlin, you must deregister your address. This process is called the Abmeldung. Here is how you do the Abmeldung in Berlin.

Who needs to deregister?

If you are moving somewhere else in Germany, you do not need to deregister your current address. It will be deregistered automatically when you register elsewhere. You only need to deregister if you leave Germany.

You must do your Abmeldung if:

  • You are moving out of Germany and will not have an address in Germany anymore.
  • You are leaving one residence, but you are not moving to a new address. For example, if you have two apartments and sell one of them, but still live in the other, you must deregister the apartment you sold.

You don't need to do your Abmeldung if:

  • You are temporarily moving out of Germany, but will return to the same address. For example, if you are studying abroad for a semester, you don't need to deregister.
  • You are moving to a new address in Germany. You only need to register your new address, and your old address will be deregistered automatically.

Why do you need to deregister?

Once you are deregistered, you don't need to pay health insurance anymore. If you forget to deregister, your health insurance will keep charging you until you prove that you have left Germany. This is why it's very important to deregister when you leave the country.

How to do the Abmeldung

The Abmeldung can be done in person, by mail or by email. It costs nothing. You only need to fill this form. You must do it maximum 14 days after moving out1. After you deregister, you will receive an Abmeldebescheinigung. This document confirms that your address is deregistered.

In person at the Bürgeramt

Here is how you can do your Abmeldung in person:

  1. Book an appointment for Abmeldung einer Wohnung. You can choose any Bürgeramt in Berlin.
  2. Fill the Abmeldung form
  3. Bring the Abmeldung form to your Bürgeramt appointment.

You will receive an Abmeldebescheinigung during your appointment. This is a simple procedure. You can do it alone, even if you don't speak German.

By registered mail

Here is how you can do your Abmeldung by mail:

  1. Fill the Abmeldung form
  2. Send it to one of these Bürgeramt locations by registered mail

Don't forget to write your future address on the form. They will send your Abmeldebescheinigung at this address.

By email

You can do your Abmeldung by email at any Bürgeramt. Find your local Bürgeramt in this list, and send them this message:

Title: Abmeldung einer Wohnung

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Hiermit möchte ich nach einem Auszug meine Wohnung abmelden. Beigefügt sind das ausgefüllte Formular "Abmeldung bei der Meldebehörde", sowie eine Kopie meines Personalausweises.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
[an image of your signature, and your name]

Attach this to your email:

  • The filled and signed Abmeldung form
  • A scan of your passport
  • An image of your signature, in the email message. It must look like the signature on the Abmeldung form. This is confirmed by a Bürgeramt employee.

Don't forget to write your new address in the form. They will send your Abmeldebescheinigung to that address, even if it's in another country.

How much does the Abmeldung cost?

The Abmeldung is free. You don't need to pay anything.

What happens when I deregister?

When you deregister, you don't live in Germany anymore. This has consequences.

Health insurance

When you deregister, you could lose your German health insurance1. German health insurance is for German residents. If you want to keep your health insurance, you probably should not deregister.

If you have private health insurance, you can ask for Anwartschaftsversicherung. You pay a little money every month while you are outside of Germany. When you return to Germany, you can get your old health insurance back1. It guarantees that you will get the same health insurance for the same price.

Social security

When you deregister, you could lose access to ALG I, ALG II, and other social services1. Those services are only for German residents.

Bank account

You can keep your German bank account. If the bank sends you a letter, and it can't be delivered, they could freeze your bank account1. If they freeze your bank account, you can't withdraw money, use your credit card, or make bank transfers.

Residence permit

There is no simple answer1.

You do not automatically lose your residence permit when you deregister your address1, 51.1.6.6. You only lose your residence permit if you leave Germany "not temporarily". This is decided case by case.

Your residence permit can also expire. If you leave Germany for more than 6 months (12 months in some cases), your residence permit expires1, 2. You can ask the Ausländerbehörde to leave for a longer period1, 51.1.5.

Without an address in Germany, you can't renew your residence permit1. You must have a rent contract and a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung to renew your German residence permit. If you lose your health insurance, it can also be a problem1, 2. You need valid health insurance to renew a residence permit.

Useful links:

Vehicles

You can't own a vehicle registered in Germany if you don't live in Germany1.

Other services

When you deregister, you can cancel your cellphone, internet and electricity contacts without penalties1.

You must also deregister your businesses in Germany1, or transfer them to another person.

What else do I need to do?

When you leave Germany, you should also inform your health insurer, the GEZ, your bank, your utility company, your internet service provider and any other services you use1. They will not be informed automatically.

Related guide: How to move out of an apartment in Germany

If you are leaving Germany, you must inform the GEZ. You will not get any more GEZ/Rundfunkbeitrag letters. You can deregister on the Rundfunkbeitrag website.

If you have a dog, you must deregister it at the Finanzamt, and at the Ordnungsamt to stop paying the dog tax.

If you lived in Germany for less than 5 years, you can get a refund for your pension payments1, 2, 3. You can get thousands of euros back1.

Useful resources