After you moved to Berlin and found a place to live, you must register your address. This is called the Anmeldung.

When you do your Anmeldung, you receive a registration certificate (Anmeldebestätigung or Meldebescheinigung) and a tax ID (Steuer-ID). You need the registration certificate to open a bank account, get a cellphone contract, get an internet contract, etc1. Your employer needs your tax ID as soon as possible to calculate your income tax.

Coronavirus update: Can you do your Anmeldung in Berlin during Coronavirus?

If you already registered at this address but lost your Anmeldebestätigung, you can request a new one from the Bürgeramt.

Step 1: Get a Bürgeramt appointment

Get an appointment for Anmeldung einer Wohnung. You can get an appointment at any Bürgeramt in Berlin, not just the one near you. Your appointment must be after you move in. You can't do your Anmeldung before you move in1.

Do not go to the Bürgeramt without an appointment. This is not possible anymore.

There are 2 ways to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt:

  1. Dial 115 and ask for an appointment. The Bürgertelefon helps Berliners find appointments.
  2. Book an appointment online. If you don't speak German, this is easier.

Related guide: how to get a Bürgeramt appointment in Berlin

When you book an appointment, you receive an appointment number (Vorgangsnummer). Don't lose that number! If you lose it, you can call 115 to get it back1. They can also find your appointment number at the reception.

Step 2: Gather the required documents

Before you visit the Bürgeramt, you must have the following documents:

  • The Wohnungsgeberbestätigung (Vermieterbescheinigung or Einzugsbestätigung des Wohnungsgebers). You can't complete the Anmeldung without this document. Only the person who gives you the apartment (the Wohnungsgeber) can sign this document. The landlord can sign this letter. If you are renting a room or a sublet, the main tenant (Hauptmieter) can also sign the letter, with the permission of the landlord1, 2. You must have a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung. A rent contract is not enough1, but it's sometimes accepted by the Bürgeramt1.
  • The filled Anmeldung form. You can find an English translation here. Appmeldung, sorted.berlin and Amty can also help you fill this form.
  • A valid ID document, like your passport. Bring your original passport, not a photocopy.
  • Your vehicle papers. If you have a vehicle registered at your old address, bring your Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil 1. They will put a sticker with your new address on your vehicle papers. This will cost you 10.80€.

Registering your address is free, but updating your vehicle papers costs 10.80€ per vehicle.

Step 3: Go to your Bürgeramt appointment

Go to the Bürgeramt on the date of the appointment. Bring the documents listed above.

Bring a German-speaking friend if you can. Some of the employees speak English, but not all of them. If you don't have any German-speaking friends, you can hire a relocation consultant or a translator to help you. I recommend Red Tape Translation.

When you go to the Bürgeramt, go in the waiting room, and wait until your appointment number is called (you received that number when you booked your appointment). You will sit at a clerk's desk, give your documents and receive your Anmeldebestätigung. You will also get a sticker with your new address on your Zulassungsbescheinigung. The Anmeldung takes around 10 minutes.

The employee will give you the Anmeldebestätigung during your appointment. A few days later, you will receive your tax ID by mail1. You can get your tax ID faster by going to the Finanzamt.

Do I need to register my address?

Yes. If you say at an address for more than 6 months1, you must register that address. It's the law.

When you do your Anmeldung, you receive a registration certificate (Anmeldebestätigung or Meldebescheinigung) and a tax ID (Steuer-ID). You need the certificate of registration to open a bank account, get a cellphone contract, get an internet contract, etc1. Your employer needs your tax ID as soon as possible to calculate your income tax. Your health insurer also needs your registration certificate and tax ID as soon as possible.

Do I need to register within 14 days?

You should register within 14 days of your move-in date1, but this rule is not enforced in Berlin1, 2, 3. It's hard to get an appointment in only 14 days. If you take a few weeks to register, you will not get fined. Just register as soon as you can1.

Do I need to deregister my old address?

No, you only need to register your new address. Your old address will be deregistered automatically. You only need to do deregister (Abmeldung) if you leave Germany.

Related guide: The Abmeldung - How to deregister in Berlin

Can someone do the Anmeldung for me?

Yes. If you don't have time go to the Bürgeramt, someone else can go for you. You must give them a signed power of attorney letter (Vollmacht). Use this power of attorney template. The signatures on your passport, on the Anmeldung form and on the Vollmacht must look the same. They must bring show your original passport, not a photocopy.

If this is your first Anmeldung in Berlin, you must do it in person1. They often refuse to let someone else do your Anmeldung, even with a power of attorney letter.

There are also services that do the Anmeldung for you. Red Tape Translation and c/o Germany can go to the Bürgeramt and register the address for you. If you don't speak German, or you don't have time to go to the Bürgeramt, this is a good solution.

Can the landlord refuse to let me register?

No. The landlord can't refuse to let you register1. Registering your address is a right. There are two reasons why people don't want to let you register your address:

  • The landlord doesn't know that you live there
    The tenant sublets the apartment without the landlord's permission. This is not legal. If the landlord finds out, they can end the lease, and kick you out. You will have 3 months to move out1, 2. The main tenant will also have to move out. There are some exceptions:
    • The landlord can't refuse to let the tenant sublet a room, unless the apartment is too small. You still need to ask for permission. The landlord can charge more rent when you sublet an apartment1, 2, 3, 4.
    • The landlord can refuse to let the tenant sublet the entire apartment.
  • The landlord doesn't want to let you register there
    This is illegal. The landlord must let you register your address1. If you tell the Bürgeramt, they will force the landlord to let you register1, 2, 3.

Can I do my Anmeldung if my name is not on the mailbox?

Yes, but you must add "c/o" to your address when you register1. If you don't do this, you won't receive mail from the government, and you won't receive your tax ID.

If your name is not on the lease, landlords sometimes refuse to put your name on the mailbox1. When your name is not on the mailbox, you must write your address like this everywhere:

[name of person on the mailbox]
c/o [your name]

Musterstraße 123
10115 Berlin

Some people say that it's not possible to register with "c/o" anymore1, but many of our readers did it in 2020. I confirm that it is possible.

Related guide: How to address a letter in Germany

Can I do my Anmeldung at a hotel or AirBnB?

Generally, no. Most hotels, hostels and AirBnBs won't let you register your address there. They are not forced to let you register, unless they let you stay for more than 6 months1.

Can I do my Anmeldung later?

Yes. After you move in, you have 14 days to register, but many people take longer. You will not get a fine, even if you wait a few weeks to register1, 2, 3. Just register as soon as possible.

Can I do my Anmeldung by post or email?

Yes, until December 31, 2020. In Berlin, you can do your Anmeldung by post or email until December 31, 2020. This is because of Coronavirus. Normally, you must do the Anmeldung in person.

If you never registered in Berlin before, you can't do your Anmeldung by post or email. You can only register by post or email if you move from another address in Berlin.1

You must mail or email your documents to the Bürgeramt in your new district. For example, if you move to Pankow, you must send your documents to the Pankow Bürgeramt1. Use the list of Bürgeramt locations to find the correct contact information.

The Bürgeramt can take a few days or a few weeks to reply1.

Related guide: Can you do your Anmeldung during Coronavirus?

Can I get a job without my Anmeldung?

Yes. When you do your Anmeldung, you get a tax ID. Your employer needs your tax ID to calculate your income tax. If you don't have a tax ID, your employer will take more income tax from your salary1, 2, 3. You will only get that money back when you file a tax declaration1, 2. Many employers do not know this. They think you can't start working without a tax ID.

Do I need to speak German to do my Anmeldung?

Probably. Some Bürgeramt employees speak English, but many don't. The Anmeldung is very simple, but if you can, bring a German speaker with you.

If you need a translator, Red Tape Translation and c/o Germany can go to the Bürgeramt with you. If this is your first Anmeldung and you don't speak German, this is a good solution.

Do I have to pay church tax?

It depends. When you register for the first time, they ask you what your religion is. Depending on your answer, you might have to pay an extra tax: the church tax. This tax is 8% or 9% of your income tax, and it's taken directly from your paycheque. A single person earning 50 000€ a year would pay 800 to 900€ per year in church tax.

If you were baptised in your home country, they might collect church tax even if you registered as an atheist. Watch your paycheques for unexpected church tax payments, just in case.

Settle in Berlin wrote a guide on how to stop paying church tax.

How much does the Anmeldung cost?

Registering your address is free, but updating your vehicle papers costs 10.80€ per vehicle.

How can I do the Ummeldung?

The Ummeldung and the Anmeldung are the same thing. "Anmeldung" means "address registration" in general. "Ummeldung" means "address change".

What's next?

After you have found an apartment, moved in and registered your address, here is what you should do: