Residence Registration in Germany


            For those planning to stay in Germany for a period of over three months, they are required to register at the local citizen’s offices. It is a legal requirement for all Germans or non-citizens to register in the local offices as it helps the government keep track of the population size and the places of residence.

The registration certificate is the most important document when relocating to Germany as it is needed in almost all legal processes from obtaining a residence permit, opening a bank account and even finding a job. After registration one also gets a tax id which is important as the employer needs it to determine the amount of income tax to be paid. The tax id also helps in getting a medical insurance cover and a pension plan.

            Registration in Germany is supposed to be done within the first 14 days of moving in and one is needed to enter their fixed area of residence which is usually rental premises, and therefore, is to be signed by the landlord. For those with no place to stay, it may be more difficult however, some proprietors of temporary residences agree to sign the form. One can either visit the German offices for registration or book an appointment online or through a phone call. For those planning to walk into the offices without an appointment you have to do so early in the morning, go pick your ticket and be ready to wait in a long queue. One may also have to wait for two weeks before getting an appointment. The appointment takes 10-15 minutes after which you are given a registration certificate and the tax id comes after 2-3 weeks.

The registration process is usually in German, and therefore, you can carry someone along with you to help you with the process. Registration forms can also be filled in advance or have a German speaking individual do the interview for you but with your authority which includes a signed letter. Some of the questions to be asked during the interview include which religion you belong to as one is required to pay church tax.

            Documents needed for registration include visa, completed registration form, proof of resident certificate, marriage certificate, and passport. The landlord of the rented residence is supposed to provide a copy of proof of registration certificate as a contract may not help. Registration is a necessity in the law and failing to do so or registering late would attract a fine of 1000 euros.

Giving the wrong details during registration is also punishable. When moving to Germany for a short period of less than three months in order to find work or school, you will still need a registration certificate and tax id.

After changing your address within Germany one will need to repeat the whole process within two weeks but not deregister. If planning to move out of Germany, one is allowed to deregister at the citizen’s offices within two weeks of moving out.