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As a new resident to Düsseldorf, you’ll need to complete a number of tasks before and after your arrival. There are so many things to keep track of when you move to a new country. This guide will help you with the so-called Anmeldung.
What’s the ‘Anmeldung’? This is the fact of notifying your local authorities about where you are living in Düsseldorf. If you don’t have the ‘Anmeldung’, you can’t work or study in Germany, get a German tax ID, take out health insurance, or obtain a residence permit.
Here is all you need to know when registering your residence in Düsseldorf:
Step 1: Find accommodation in Düsseldorf
The first step to stay legally in Düsseldorf is to find a ‘permanent’ place to live as soon as possible. Make sure to find a place that allows the ‘Anmeldung’. This is very important because you will not be able to register your new address if your landlord doesn’t want to hand you over the ‘Wohnungsgeberbestätigung’, which is a letter confirming that you are legally allowed to rent out the place.
Bear in mind that you can’t live in Germany for more than 3 months without having an officially registered address unless you are a tourist.
Step 2: Anmeldung (Bürgerbüro Registration)
If you want to live in Düsseldorf, you must register your new residence at the so-called Bürgerbüro (local registration office). This is achieved by submitting (in person) a registration form (in German: ‘Anmeldeformular’) to your Bürgerbüro (also called ‘Einwohnermeldeamt’, which it’s the citizen’s office at the Bürgerbüro). The registration is required for any change of address.
If you need some help, you can find translated forms (incl. a registration pack) at mygermanexpert.com. Once you’re on the site, you can basically fill out the Anmeldung form in English, then receive the final PDF form with all your answers translated into German.
At the Bürgerbüro, the German official will hand you over a proof of registration called ‘Meldebescheinigung’ which is needed for many official matters, such as signing up for an internet provider or joining a Krankenkasse (health insurance provider). Don’t lose it!
Note: Registration Deadline
In Germany, the Anmeldung must be done within 14 days of moving to your new German residence. You don’t have to go to a Bürgerbüro in your district because the registration process is not district-based, but city-based. On the Düsseldorf city website, you will find the locations & opening hours of all local registration offices in Düsseldorf.
Also, all of Germany has decided to make the Anmeldung available by appointment only. That’s the rule! Saying so, it’s still sometimes possible to get registered in Düsseldorf by directly showing up at your registration office without having an appointment. Some offices are more flexible than others, but if you want to be safe… book an appointment on this website.
As of November 2015, you have to provide the Bürgerbüro official with a written confirmation filled out and signed either by your landlord or by the main tenant (in case of an authorized sublet). That ‘Landlord Letter’ is necessary to certify that you have actually moved into the place you want to register. The so-called ‘Wohnungsgeberbestätigung’ is mandatory; if you don’t have it, you cannot register!
Additional documents to bring with you for registering in Düsseldorf:
- the completed ‘Anmeldeformular‘ in German*
- a valid ID or passport;
- your visa (if you have one)
- a rental agreement (optional)
- your marriage certificate (if your spouse or partner is also registering in Germany)
- your child’s birth certificate (if your child is also registering in Germany) (which can simply be translated online)
[* Your answers on the Anmeldung form must appear in German for legal reasons.]
Obtaining Your Tax ID Number
You do not have to do anything in order to obtain a German tax ID. You just have to register your new residence in Germany, then the tax office will mail you the so-called ‘Steuer-ID‘ to your registered German address within 2-3 weeks. Just make sure to have your full name on the letterbox!
Important: The ‘Steuer-ID‘ is not to be confused with the ‘Steuernummer‘, which is a tax number needed for freelancing in Germany.
Extra Taxes to Consider
- TV & Radio License
Once registered at the Bürgerbüro, you will be mailed some documents necessary to pay the German TV license (“Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio”). This license is compulsory, no matter what, and will cost you 17,98€ per month and per residence.
- Church Tax
On the Anmeldung form, you will have to mention your religion (or not!!!). Everyone in Germany who is officially registered as Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish has to pay that tax, which is 8 to 9 percent of your annual income tax and is deducted each month from your salary. Bear in mind that if you decide to not pay this tax, you will be excluded from receiving communion, confession, and getting married in a church in Germany. You also have the option to deregister from church taxes if you would like.
I hope this guide will help you to answer all the questions you might have about the city registration. Good luck with your new life in Düsseldorf!
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