The Abmeldung - How to deregister in Berlin

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

This guide explains why and how to do your Abmeldung in Berlin.

Who needs to deregister

You must do your Abmeldung if:

  • You move out of Germany, and you will not return to your current address.
  • You leave one of multiple homes. For example, if you have two registered apartments, and you sell one of them.

You don’t need to do your Abmeldung if:

  • You temporarily move out of Germany, and you will return to the same address later. For example, if you study in another country for a semester.
  • You move to another address in Germany. When you register your new address, your old address is automatically deregistered.
  • You have not registered your address.

Why you must deregister

When you do your Abmeldung, you officially stop living at your old address. You get a deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung) that confirms this.

You can use this certificate to:

How to do your Abmeldung

You can deregister your address in person, by post or by email. It’s free.

You can deregister 7 days before you move out. You must deregister maximum 14 days after you move out.1

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 address.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 filled Abmeldung form
    • Your passport or national ID
    • If you deregister late, a proof of your move-out date25

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:

  • The filled and signed Abmeldung form
  • A copy of your passport
  • If you deregister late, a proof of your move-out date25

Write your new address on the form. If you use a German address, and your name is not on the mailbox, use “c/o” or “bei” on the address form.

How to mail a letter — from your computer, without a printer

You will get an Abmeldebescheinigung at this address around 4 to 12 weeks later.3 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. It’s better if you deregister in person. If you already left Germany, you can pay someone to deregister you.

By email

You can deregister by email,4 but it’s not a good idea. You might not get a confirmation email or an Abmeldebescheinigung.3 They might not send your Abmeldebescheinigung to another country. They send it by regular post, not registered mail. It’s better if you deregister in person. If you already left Germany, you can pay someone to deregister you.

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 form.14
  • A proof of your move-out date, if you deregister late25

Write your new address in the form. If you use a German address, and your name is not on the mailbox, use “c/o” or “bei” on the address form.

You will get an Abmeldebescheinigung at this address around 4 weeks later.3 It will be sent by regular post, not registered mail. Some Bürgeramt locations only send the Abmeldebescheinigung to German addresses.

If you really need the Abmeldebescheinigung need this document, deregister in person.

Pay someone to do it

Deregistration.de can do your Abmeldung for you. They will receive your Abmeldebescheinigung and forward it to you. This is a good option if you already left Germany.

They also help you cancel your TV tax, your health insurance, and your other contracts.

It’s a little expensive, but it lets you focus on other problems.

What happens when you deregister

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

Health insurance

When you deregister, you can lose your German health insurance.15 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 back.16 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, Bürgergeld, Kindergeld and other social services.17 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 account.18 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 answer.19

You do not automatically lose your residence permit when you deregister your address.23 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 expires.20 You can ask the Ausländerbehörde to leave for a longer period.24

Without an address in Germany, you can’t renew your residence permit.21 You must have a lease and a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung to renew your German residence permit. If you lose your health insurance, it can also be a problem.22 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 Germany.15 Some people had a different experience, so there are exceptions to this.

Other services

When you deregister, you get an Abmeldebescheinigung. You can use this certificate to end your cellphone, internet and electricity contracts without fees.17

If you own a business in Germany, you might also need to deregister your business,17 or transfer it to another person.

If you already moved out

If you already left Germany, you can do your Abmeldung by email or by mail.26 It works.

What to do next

How to move out of an apartment ➞

How to change your address ➞

2 years after you leave Germany, you can get a refund for your public pension payments. You can get thousands of euros back.

This calculator tells you if you can get a pension refund, and how much you can get back.

How to get a pension refund ➞

Sources and footnotes
  1. buergeramt-termine.de 

  2. Oliver at SympatMe (April 2023), facebook.com, reddit.com 

  3. reddit.com 

  4. reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com 

  5. Screenshot 

  6. Screenshot 

  7. Screenshot 

  8. Reader email (May 2023) 

  9. Screenshot, Screenshot, facebook.com 

  10. Screenshot 

  11. Screenshot 

  12. reddit.com, buergeramt-termine.de, Screenshot, Screenshot, Screenshot, Screenshot 

  13. Screenshot 

  14. Screenshot 

  15. wirelesslife.de 

  16. Finanztip 

  17. wirelesslife.de 

  18. reddit.com/r/germany 

  19. facebook.com 

  20. gesetze-im-internet.de, berlin.de 

  21. gesetze-im-internet.de 

  22. gesetze-im-internet.de, gesetze-im-internet.de 

  23. frag-einen-anwalt.de, Bundesministerium des Innern, section 51.1.6.6 

  24. vulkaneifel.de, Bundesministerium des Innern, section 51.1.5 

  25. Oliver at SympatMe (April 2023) 

  26. Reddit 

  27. Multiple complaints (September 2023)