What is the Anmeldung and why do I need it?
‘Anmeldung’ means ‘registration’ in German. By law, both foreigners and Germans are required to register at the local Residence Registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of moving to a new residence in Germany. This is also required for any change of address.
You will then be given a confirmation certificate (Anmeldebestätigung) as proof of your registration. Make a copy (or several) of the Anmeldebestätigung as you will need it a lot during your first weeks in Germany. This serves as proof of your address and many institutions, such as banks, libraries etc., will ask for it.
Where to go
Simply using a search engine could get a little tricky since the registration office will be called either Einwohnermeldeamt, Bürgeramt, Bürgerbüro, KVR or Kundenzentrum depending on the region or city.
You can find out where to go by inserting your postcode under PLZ here.
Note that office and agency opening times vary, so check before you go. Either way, it is advisable to make an appointment online in order to avoid hour-long waiting times.
What to bring with you
To register, you will definitely need to present:
- Your passport, and visa if you have one
- A completed registration form (Anmeldeformular)
- The landlord confirmation letter (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)
Depending on your circumstances, the place you go and the person who will handle your case, you might also need:
- A copy of the lease or rental agreement
- Your marriage or child’s birth certificate (if your partner or child lives in Germany)
If you are not sure what documentation is necessary, or you’re struggling with the forms, you can give the respective Einwohnermeldeamt a call to check with them (if your German is sufficient), or get help from a registration service, such as myGermanExpert.com.
German tax ID
When registering in Germany, you apply at the same time for a Steuer-ID (German tax ID); you can’t have one without the other. It doesn't matter whether you work, study or are unemployed, you get a tax ID sent to your registered address after the registration. Give it to your employer, who will use it when deducting income and social security taxes.