Address Basics and Anmeldung

by Anurag Bhattacharjee

Germany is notorious for its neverending bureaucracy – any international student going through the visa procedures knows that struggle by heart. The German bureaucracy mainly relies on letters and if it’s a letter from the Ausländerbehörde or the tax office you don’t want to miss it, do you? So let’s go over some basics surrounding your residential address and the registration (Anmeldung). 

1. Address Format

Every country uses a different format for addresses. Therefore, I’ll lay out Germany’s format for you. This way your letters arrive at the intended recipient. 

Name of Recipient

If the letter is adressed to a specific person (e.g. Maxine Mustermann) you can write it in the second line

Streetname and -number (make sure to adhere to this order)

Zip Code and City Name


z. Hdn. Maxine Mustermann 

Examplealley 44

12345 Examplecity

Should you write a letter to someone outside of Germany, add state and country underneath the zip code and city name. 

The addresses should be written on the letters like this: 

Orjan Menschli

Examplestreet 13

67890 Exampleton



z. Hdn. Maxine Mustermann 

Examplealley 44

12345 Examplecity

2. Anmeldung

So you signed your rental contract, you know how to format letters and now comes the city registration (Anmeldung). After you’ve received your rental contract, your landlord will issue a proof of residence certificate (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung / Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung). With this document you can go to the citizen’s centre (Bürgeramt). 

All residents in Germany, including German nationals, must register (“Anmeldung”) their address within two weeks of moving into an apartment at Bürgeramt. Without it you won’t be able to get an internet or phone contract, a bank account, your tax ID, or your residence permit.

Next to the Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung from your landlord you will need the following documents for your Anmeldung: 

  • Your Passport
  • Completed and Signed Registration Form (check with Bürgeramt)
  • Temporary Visa or Residence Permit (if applicable)
  • Marriage Certificates and Documents of Spouse (if applicable)

The mandatory radio fee (Rundfunkgebühr) is also linked to your residential address, so you will likely receive a letter from the Deutschlandradio/ARD/ZDF office about a month or two after your city registration date.

For more information around the Anmeldung you can also check the DEGIS Starterpack. 

Anurag Bhattacharjee (he/him) is a Master’s student at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg. He was the City Chapter president at DEGIS Magdeburg and is a DEGIS alumnus. 

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