When you move out of your apartment and leave Germany, you must deregister your address. This is called the Abmeldung.

This guide shows you how to do your Abmeldung in Berlin.

Who needs to deregister?

You must do your Abmeldung if:

  • You move out of Germany and will not have an address in Germany.
  • 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 temporarily move out of Germany, but will return to the same address. For example, if you study in another country for a semester, you don't need to deregister.
  • You move 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?

After you deregister, you don't need to pay for German health insurance. 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.

After you deregister, you can also cancel your electricity contract, your mobile phone contract and other contracts. You might need a deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) to do this.

Moving outCancelling your contracts

How to do the Abmeldung

You can do your Abmeldung in person, by mail or by email. It's free.

You can deregister 7 days before you move out. You must do it maximum 14 days after you move out1. After you deregister, you get an Abmeldebescheinigung. This document confirms that your address is deregistered. If you deregister by email or by post, they sometimes send it to your new address1, 2.

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. Sometimes, there are no appointments available. Check again every few minutes, and you will find one.
  2. Fill the Abmeldung form
  3. Go to your appointment. Bring the Abmeldung form with you. You can do it alone, even if you don't speak German. It takes around 10 minutes.

During your appointment, you will get an Abmeldebescheinigung.

By registered mail

Send these documents by registered mail to any Bürgeramt in Berlin:

Don't forget to write your new address in the form. If you use a German address, and your name is not on the mailbox, use "c/o" on the address form. You will get an Abmeldebescheinigung at this address around 4 weeks later1. It will be sent by regular post, not registered mail. Some Bürgeramt locations don't send an Abmeldebescheinigung to addresses in other countries. If you need this document, it's better if you deregister in person.

By email

You can deregister by email1, 2, 3, but it's not a good idea. You might not get a confirmation email1 or an Abmeldebescheinigung1. They don't always send your Abmeldebescheinigung to another country. It's better if you deregister in person.

You can deregister by email at any Bürgeramt, but they all have different rules:

    To deregister by email, send this message to the Bürgeramt:

    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 copy of your passport
    • An image of your signature, in the email message. It must look like the signature on the Abmeldung form1.

    Don't forget to write your new address in the form. If you use a German address, and your name is not on the mailbox, use "c/o" on the address form. You will get an Abmeldebescheinigung at this address around 4 weeks later1. It will be sent by regular post, not registered mail. Some Bürgeramt locations don't send an Abmeldebescheinigung to addresses in other countries. If you need this document, it's better if you deregister in person.

    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 only 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 might 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. Some people have different experiences, so there are exceptions to this.

    Other services

    When you deregister, you can cancel your cellphone, internet and electricity contacts without penalties1. You might have to show them your Abmeldebescheinigung to cancel your contract.

    If you own a business in Germany, you might also need deregister it1, or transfer it 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.

    How to move out of an apartment ➞

    If you are leaving Germany, you must tell 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.

    In 2 years, you can get a refund for your pension payments1, 2, 3. You can get thousands of euros back1.

    Useful resources