If you are moving to a different address within Germany, there are a few steps you need to take. We’ve put together this helpful checklist so you can make sure you’ve got everything covered.
Change of address in Germany
When you move within Germany, you have to register your new address at the local citizens’ office (Bürgeramt) within two weeks of moving. Failure to do so could result in a fine. Being incorrectly registered could also affect your benefits, insurance and taxes.
Changing your address (anmelden or ummelden) is a relatively simple procedure, exactly the same as the one you followed when you first arrived in Germany.
Ummelden: Moving within the same municipality
If you are moving to an address that is covered by the same municipality, you need to let them know about your change of address. This is called an “Ummeldung”.
Anmelden: Moving to a different municipality
If you are moving to a new municipality, you only need to register at your new local citizens’ office. They will automatically inform your old municipality of your address change. As this process is essentially like registering for the first time, it is called an “Anmeldung”.
How to register your new address
You need to make an appointment with your local citizens’ office. This can be done in person, by phone or, increasingly, online. You will need to bring the following documents to your appointment:
- Valid ID, such as a passport (not a driving licence).
- Visa or residence permit (if applicable).
- Proof of residence certificate (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung). (If you are renting a house, this needs to be signed by your landlord; if you have bought a house, you can fill this out yourself).
Who to notify when you change address
If you are changing your address, there are several other authorities you also need to inform.
Renters: Let your landlord know
As soon as you have signed your new rental contract, if you are living in rented accommodation you need to inform your current landlord of your intention to move out. You must submit this in writing, at least three months before you intend to move. German tenancy agreements often specify that the outgoing tenant must re-paint and clean the property. Stick to what is stipulated in your contract to make sure you get your deposit back.
Utility companies: Inform or give notice
Before you move, you will also need to inform your utility companies, unless you’re living in a type of housing, such as shared accommodation, where all bills are handled by the landlord. When it comes to things like internet and phone line, it might be possible to keep your existing contracts. Otherwise, you will need to provide at least three months’ notice and select new utility companies for your new home.
Post office: Have your post redirected
Instead of having to inform a multitude of different organisations about your change of address, Deutsche Post offers two different services that take a lot of the stress out of moving.
The redirection (Nachsende) service from the Deutsche Post will automatically redirect all your letters to your new address for up to 24 months. Prices start at 19,90 euros for six months.
Moving announcement (Umzugsmitteilung)
Kill 20 birds with one stone by filling out a moving announcement (Umzugsmitteilung). This free service minimises bureaucratic fuss by informing your bank, health insurance company, pension provider and multiple other organisations about your change of address. All you need to do is fill out a form.
Do I need to notify the tax office if I move?
Unless your new home is very close to your old one, usually when you move, your competent tax office (Finanzamt) will change as well.
It is a good idea to inform your old tax office of your change of address. Otherwise, they may try to get in contact with you (for instance, requesting that you complete your annual tax return or, if you have your own business, informing you about changes to business taxes) without realising you have moved.
Local tax offices rarely communicate with each other, so your old tax office will not be aware that you have submitted your tax return elsewhere, and may fine you for late submission. Avoid confusion by letting them know, well in advance of moving.