The Anmeldung - How to register an address in Berlin

The Anmeldung - How to register an address in Berlin

A plain English guide to registering an address in Berlin. This is how you get a Meldebescheinigung and a tax ID.

Registering your address is the first thing you should do after moving to Berlin. It's the law. This process is called the Anmeldung.

When you register your address (the Anmeldung), you obtain a registration confirmation (Anmeldebestätigung or Meldebescheinigung) and a tax ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer). The certificate of registration proves that you live at a certain address, and the tax ID identifies you with the Finanzamt. This is important, because you need these documents to apply for a residence permit, to open a bank account, to set up an internet connection etc.

You are supposed to register within 14 days of your move-in date, but this rule is not enforced in Berlin. You must simply register within a reasonable time.

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

Step 1: Get a Bürgeramt appointment

The Bürgeramt offers many bureaucratic services to Berliners, including the Anmeldung. You must get an appointment for Anmeldung einer Wohnung. You can go to any Bürgeramt in Berlin, not just the one for your borough.

There are 3 ways to do register your address at the Bürgeramt:

  1. Dial 115 and ask for an appointment. The Bürgertelefon helps Berliners find appointments.
  2. Book an appointment online. It's the easiest way, especially if you don't speak German.
  3. Go without an appointment. Go to the Bürgeramt, get in line and wait until someone can see you. This used to be the only option, but this is not necessary anymore. The city hired more Bürgeramt employees, so you can easily find an appointment.

For more information, see our guide on how to get a Bürgeramt appointment in Berlin.

When you book an appointment, you will receive an appointment number (Vorgangsnummer). Don't lose that number!

Step 2: Gather the required documents

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

  • The Einzugsbestätigung des Wohnungsgebers (or Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, or Vermieterbescheinigung). You cannot complete the Anmeldung without this document.  Only the person who gives you the apartment (the Wohnungsgeber) can sign this document. The Wohnungsgeber is either the landlord if you rent the whole apartment, or the main tenant (Hauptmieter) if you are subletting1, 2A rent contract is not enough1, but some Bürgeramt employees accept it1.
  • The filled Anmeldung form. You can find an English translation of the Anmeldung form here.
  • A valid ID document, like a passport.

Step 3: Go to your Bürgeramt appointment

Go to the Bürgeramt on the date of the appointment. Bring the documents listed above, and if you can, a German-speaking friend. If you don't have any German-speaking friends, you can hire a relocation consultant to help you.

When you go to the Bürgeramt, you must sit in the waiting room until your number is called (the one you received when you booked the appointment). You will sit at a clerk's desk, hand your documents and receive your Anmeldebestätigung. This process takes less than 5 minutes.

A few days later, you should receive your tax number by mail1.

Letting someone do the Anmeldung for you

If you can't find time to go to the Bürgeramt, you can sign a power of attorney (Vollmacht) that authorizes someone else to do the Anmeldung for you. UmzugBerlin.org created a free power of attorney template for this.

A word about the church tax

When you register for the first time in Germany, you will be asked about which religion you are part of. Depending on your answer, you might have to pay an extra tax on your income: the church tax. This tax is 8% or 9% of your income tax, so a single person earning 50 000€ a year would pay 800 to 900€ in church tax.

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

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

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