A step by step guide to register in Berlin

Marle

Aug 27 • 4 minute read

After arriving in your new home in Berlin, there are some bureaucratic hurdles you'll have to overcome to fully settle. No need to worry, although the word "bureaucracy" alone might tempt you to procrastinate: registering your new home in the city registration office in Berlin is a piece of cake. We’ll walk you through the registration process in Berlin and show you how to get it done in three easy steps.

Why do I have to register in Berlin?

Do you plan to stay in Berlin for longer than 3 months? Then one of your first trips in Berlin will take you to the Bürgeramt (city registration office) in your neighbourhood. At the Bürgeramt you have to register your new address with the registration office within 14 days of moving in.

The registration of your new address can be seen as the foundation of your new life in Berlin, or to put it in other words: without registration, sadly you don't officially live in Berlin. Once you register at the city registration office in Berlin, you will receive two essential documents to kickstart your new life:

  • Your registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung): This is an official confirmation that you are registered at a certain address in Berlin. This may sound redundant at first glance, but you'll need this document from time to time in the future. Make sure you keep it safe. For instance, you'll need your Meldebescheinigung to open a bank account, sign your internet contract or register at the gym. Are you an expat or student from a non-EU country? In this case, you need your Meldebescheinigung to apply for a visa at the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners' Registration Office) in Berlin!

  • Your Tax Identification Number (Steueridentifikationsnummer): Upon registration, this document will be sent to your new address. When you start your first employment or internship in Germany, you'll be asked to provide your tax ID. Your employer needs your tax ID to formally register you as his employee and must note the tax ID on your payslip.

Although you could start a new job without a tax ID, your salary will be taxed at a much higher rate. So, given the comparatively high tax rates in Germany, your net salary would then be fairly meager. So, as you can see: for this reason alone, it's worth getting your registration done as soon as possible.

Good to know: Even if you move within Berlin, you must register the address of your new flat within 2 weeks.

Three steps to register in Berlin (Anmeldung)

To register your accommodation in Berlin, really only takes three steps. You’re curious about which requirements you need to meet to complete your registration? Well, lucky you! We checked out how you can book an appointment in a Bürgeramt (city registration office) and gathered all the required documents for you! Ready? Let’s walk you through this easy process.

Step 1. Book an appointment at the Bürgeramt

On average, you'll have to wait around 3 to 6 weeks for an appointment; so it's advisable to book an appointment at the Bürgeramt even before moving into your new apartment. Feel free to book a spot at any Bürgeramt to speed up the process as this doesn’t necessarily have to happen in your neighbourhood in Berlin.

The best option is to register online at the Bürgeramt in Berlin: 1. Go to the official page for registering a place (Anmeldung einer Wohnung) in Berlin. 2. Then go to "Termin berlinweit suchen und buchen" to find an appointment at one of the 40 citizens' offices in Berlin. 3. Choose a blue marked (meaning: available) date and pick a time. 4. Fill in your personal data: Your first and last name (Ihr Vor- und Nachname) Your email address (Ihre E-Mail Adresse) Your telephone number or mobile number (Ihre Telefonnummer oder Mobilfunknummer) Comment (Anmerkung) Tick the box for General Terms of Use (Allgemeine Nutzungsbedingungen)

Ta-da, done! Wasn't that easy? Don’t forget to add a reminder to your agenda or calendar.

Step 2: Get the required documents to register your accommodation in Berlin

While you are waiting for your appointment at the citizens' office, you should already collect all the documents you’ll have to provide.

  • Proof of identity: identity card, passport, children's passport for German citizens; national passport, or passport replacement documents for foreign citizens. You'll need these for every person relocating with you.
  • Supplement to the registration form: Do you already have another flat in Germany that you do not want to give up? If so, you’ll need to decide which place will be your main residence.
  • Registration form (Anmeldeform): You can download the registration form from the registration office here under the section "Formulare". The form is only available in German and must also be completed in German. Just print it out, fill in the fields, and don't forget to sign it!
  • Civil status certificate: For your first registration in Berlin you might need to submit your civil status certificate (e.g. marriage, birth certificate).
  • Confirmation of move-in issued by the landlord: The landlord is required to confirm the move-in through a written and signed form, provided to to the person requesting their registration (you) within two weeks after moving in. This is a simple form in which your landlord allows you to register for the flat. The landlord must simply fill in your name and address. Bring the original version with you, as a photocopy won't count here!
  • If applicable, the declaration of consent of the absent guardian and his/her passport or identity card: Are you under the age of 18? Then the person legally responsible for you must provide a declaration of consent on your behalf.
  • Your residence permit: For non-EU citizens (with the exception of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) you must bring your residence permit with you.

Step 3: Go to your appointment at the Bürgeramt

Almost done! Just to make sure that everything goes smoothly, it's best to arrive a little earlier than arranged (you’re in in Germany now, after all). If you miss the call of your procedure number (Vorgangsnummer (it’s the number you’ve received upon booking your spot)), you'll have to make a new appointment.

Now that you have made it on time, all you have to do is wait your turn and present your documents to the employee. That's it!

Within the next 2 - 4 weeks, you will receive your tax ID and registration certificate. Pro tip: Make sure that your name is in the letterbox of your new house so you’ll actually receive your letters.

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