3 Feb 2012


As promised, here is the article on this basic and very important document:

What is it?

It shows where you live, i.e. your official address in Germany. Normally, if you are visiting someone here or getting a visit, you need to have this document, if you encounter a stubborn official. I would say that if you are staying more than just a couple of weeks, it would make sense to go and get one from the Einwohnermeldeamt. This is not applicable when you are just touring the country and you are moving from place to place in hotels or whatever.

Where to get it?

You can get the Meldebescheinigung from the Einwohnermeldeamt. This is normally part of the town administration, called the Bürgeramt. It makes sense to check the working hours of your local Bürgeramt, as they are often very restricted! The German officials, or Beamten, don't like to work so much ;)

How to get it?

You need to go personally to the Einwohnermeldeamt and bring your passport or ID card. Just say you are new in town and would like to get a Meldebescheinigung. They will make a copy of the passport and give you a couple of pages to fill out. You need to write your address, sex, religion (needed for the Kirchensteuer, if applicable; I will cover this church tax in a separate article), etc.
It saves time if you print and fill out their forms as much as you can even before you go to the Einwohnermeldeamt. Normally, the needed forms are online on the website of the Bürgeramt. It helps if you speak a little German to orient yourself around!

What do I need it for?

This document is needed for almost everything you could imagine, as it certifies your official address in Germany.

You would need it for:

- opening a bank account
- registering a car and getting the licence plates (will be covered as a separate topic)
- getting a job
- getting a job permit (depending where you come from; will be covered)
- getting into the health insurance system (will be covered)
- etc...


There are official fees for this document, depending on the town you are in. They vary between 5 and 10 Euro. Last time I needed a Meldebescheinigung for a friend, they did not charge me, though!

Questions? Just post a comment and I will try to answer it!

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