How This British Guy Finally Became A Resident In Germany

Today I finally became an official resident of Germany.

Basically I now have a piece of paper that says, “You live here!” and means I can official add, “James Johnson, Expat” to my email signature.


But it’s also an important part of getting your life set up in Germany. If you’ve moved here from the UK, it’s something you’re going to have to do eventually.

And in this article I want to show you how you can also complete an Anmeldung and make sure you have all of your paperwork in order to live here.

What Is An Anmeldung?

An Anmeldung is registering where you live with the local government.

It’s something everybody who lives in Germany – even Germans – need to do when they move to a new property.

It might sound a little trivial but it’s the foundation for all other government processes you’ll go through when you live in Germany.

It also opens up the possibility to take part in lots of fun German activities like:

  • Opening a Bank Account
  • Paying taxes
  • Receiving post
  • Talking about German Politics as someone who lives here

I mean, the opportunities really are endless.

If you’re moving to German from the UK you’ll have 90 days to declare where you live. That means you’ll be able to put yourself up in temporary accommodation before finding yourself a permanent place to live or rent (You can read my guide on that here) without any stress.

Where Do You Complete Your Anmeldung?

I personally completed my Anmeldung at the local Kundenzentrum here in my local area of Cologne.

You’ll be able to find yours by searching Kundenzentrum followed by the name of your area in Germany. Or, by looking up your local Rathaus (Town hall) if you’re in a smaller area or town.

kundenzentrum search

I recommend you book an appointment on their website a week in advance.

If you go to one of these government buildings, much like back in the UK, you can expect to wait for between one and three hours.

But by booking an appointment (Termin) online, I was able to turn up at 10:50 for an 11:00 appointment and be seen at 11:01. Not bad considering there were other people who had been waiting since 09:00 and hadn’t been seen yet.

Otherwise you’ll end up just sat looking at a big screen full of ticket numbers like this:


So yeah, make sure you book an appointment online and print out your appointment slip.

What Do You Need To Complete It?

All in all my Anmeldung took me about 10 minutes to complete, mostly because I brought the right documents with me. Here’s a little checklist for you to tick and make sure you’ve got everything with you.

  1. Your passport: This needs to be valid, and you should bring a passport for every person you’re registering.
  2. Proof of rent or purchase: You’ll need to bring a document that proves you’re paying rent at (or have bought) the place you’re living. If you’re subletting from someone and your name isn’t on the documentation, you should bring them with you.
  3. Your appointment letter: You’ll be asked to print your appointment document so you can prove you’re the right person. So make sure you do this!
  4. A German speaker:  I’m fortunate my German is good enough that I can muddle my way through an appointment. But if you don’t speak German it helps to bring a German with you to help you. Especially in more rural areas. (You can learn German here)

With all of that you should be set and ready to go.

P.S: Can I Send You An Email?

A couple of times a week I like to send out an email that helps you get the most out of Germany. Whether you’re just moving here, learning the language or are a long-serving Expat.

You can join 100+ other smart expats right here.