Tips for moving in and to Germany

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Whoever moves into an apartment in Germany must register themselves in the municipality of the respective town. For this, it is very useful to be informed about some regulations. Here are some tips to get the administrational things done quickly:

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Checklist for new residents

  • Get your passport registered
    Where? Foreigner registration office ("Auslandsamt") in the Town Hall; be informed on which documents you will need; depending on your concerns, you might need a photo of yours, written confirmations of your landlord, employer or health insurance.
    Ensure that the photo for your passport is properly edited to meet official guidelines, you can use an easy and free photo editor for that purpose, which typically require a neutral expression, clear visibility of facial features, and no digital alterations.
  • Car/motorcycle registrations: Motor vehicle ("KFZ") registration
    • For relocation inside your county ("Landkreis"): Further information at the central information desk in the Town Hall
    • For all other relocations: Registration office for motor vehicles ("KFZ-Zulassungsstelle") - further information at the Town Hall
  • Garbage collection /garbage can: Further information at the Town Hall or at the city homepage (click on the keyword "Abfallwirtschaft" (waste management) / "Entsorgung" (disposal or waste disposal))
  • Television / Radio: You must register your television or radio: Registration or any changes are to be addressed to the - further information at the Town Hall
  • Energy supply: Electricity, water and gas.
    Where? Normally at the city energy utility ("Stadtwerke") - further information at the Town Hall
  • Telephone (fixed-line network) / Internet: Deutsche Telekom or other telecommunication companies such as O2, Kabeldeutschland, Vodaphone, Acor...
  • Businesses: Registration at the "Gewerbeamt" / "Amt für Wirtschaft" (business registration office) in the Town Hall
  • Dogs: At the tax office ("Steuerabteilung") in the Town Hall
  • Newspapers: In order to be well informed about current local and national events, we recommend that you subscribe to a local newspaper. Generally you can get a free subscription ("Probeabonnement") for two weeks. There are also several small free newspapers distributed in every building. However, there is not much information beyond advertising in these publications.
  • Note: Don't forget to provide your new address to banks, insurance companies and others if you should move and then reregister your telephone, newspaper, postal service subscriptions etc.

Details regarding all of these points, and other valuable information concerning a relocation to Germany (e.g. events, associations, organisations) are generally available in the city Town Hall or at the official homepage of the town in question. It might be a good idea to take some time (maybe a morning or afternoon) to get informed. You should also note that government offices in Germany often open very early (e.g. 7:30-8:30 a.m.) and also close early (around 4:00 p.m.).

Link collection regarding "relocation"*:

* most of them only in German language

Other websites of interest

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Last update: 2024-06-03
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