Guide to Abmeldung : How to Deregister in Germany

Deregistration in Germany

Are you preparing to relocate to a new city inside Germany or out of it? If so, you have to take care of deregistering, also known as “Abmeldung.” This formal process, which avoids needless fees and obligations back in Germany, is how you notify the local authorities that you’re moving. Many say Abmeldung is quite a quick process. So, to help you get through this quick process real quick, we’ve curated a step-by-step guide that’ll aid you at every stage. Let’s get started!

What is Abmeldung?

“Abmeldung” or deregistration is the official process of formally confirming that you no longer reside at a certain address in Germany. This is an important process that you need to complete while relocating within Germany or leaving the country. The process officially updates your residency status with the government. It is super important for both expats and residents.

“Abmeldung” is the process, and “Abmeldebescheinigung” is the deregistration certificate. 

What is the difference between Anmeldung and Abmeldung?

Anmeldung and Abmeldung are terms from the German registration system concerning residency, but they serve different purposes.

Anmeldung refers to the registration process you need to complete when you move to a new place within Germany or when you first arrive in the country. It’s how you inform the local authorities of your current residence. This registration is crucial for administrative matters like opening a bank account, receiving mail, accessing healthcare, etc.

Conversely, Abmeldung is the process of removing your address from the German registry when you move or depart from the nation. It’s a formal process of informing the government that you no longer are responsible for local taxes or services at your old address.

For example, if Maria moves from Munich to Berlin, she must first deregister her Munich address (Abmeldung) and then register her new address in Berlin (Anmeldung).

What is the difference between Anmeldung and Abmeldung?

Why you need to Deregister (Abmeldung):

When someone is leaving or relocating out of Germany, they must file an “Abmeldung,” or deregistration, which formally informs the local authority that they are no longer resident at their previous home. Through this procedure, it is guaranteed that there will be no charges for local taxes, services, or obligations related to the prior residence. It’s also required by law, and not finishing an Abmeldung might have negative legal and financial repercussions because the person would still be listed and accountable for debts at a place they no longer call home.

What happens when you deregister:

When you complete the deregistration (Abmeldung) process in Germany, several important things happen:

  • Status Update: The local registration office updates that you no longer reside at the old address.
  • End of Local Obligations: Your responsibility for local taxes and utility bills related to the prior address is terminated.
  • Mail Handling: You can set up a mail forwarding service to handle any mail that is still being delivered to the old address.
  • Contract Termination: Contracts for internet and power are stopped or transferred as needed.
  • Visa Implications: If a visa is tied to a dwelling address, its status will be altered.

When is an Abmeldung required?

When do you deregister in Germany?

Deregistration, or “Abmeldung,” is usually required in the below scenarios:

  • Leaving Germany permanently: If you are leaving Germany permanently, you must deregister. This avoids being held accountable for future taxes and civic duties.
  • Moving to another country: Similar to leaving permanently, moving to a new country requires prompt deregistration (Abmeldung).
  • Relocating within Germany: If you are moving from one city to another within Germany, then you must deregister from your present address and register again at your new location. 

When you don’t need an Abmeldung:

You don’t need to do your Abmeldung if:

  • You take a short break from Germany and will be back at the same address in the future. For instance, you are spending a semester studying abroad.
  • You move to another address (in the same city) in Germany. The previous address is immediately deregistered when you register a new one.
  • You haven’t registered your address.

What are the consequences of not Deregistering in Germany?

Not completing the Abmeldung can result in a number of legal and financial problems:

  • Continuous Tax Liability: Since the German government still regards you as a resident, you can still be responsible for paying taxes in your old residence.
  • Legal Penalties: Since updating your resident status is required by law, there may be fines or penalties for neglecting to do so.
  • Difficulties with Future Registrations: Failing to deregister may make it more difficult or take longer to re-register in Germany in the future. This may affect procedures such as obtaining a residence permit or a visa.

How to do Your Abmeldung in Germany?

Okay, let’s break down how to get through your Abmeldung or deregistration:

How to Prepare for Deregistration:

To begin with, you need some documents:

  • Identity Card/Passport
  • Completed Deregistration Form: You can get this form from your local registration office or simply download it from the website
  • Proof of Address (sometimes)

Tips for getting your documents right:

  • Double-check the form. Check that you’ve filled out every field accurately. A small error can bring you back to the beginning.
  • Take copies of the originals in case the officers need to keep any.

The Deregistration Process

Here’s the step-by-step guide to Deregister (Abmeldung) in Germany:

1) Decide how you’ll deregister

Most offices allow you to deregister in person, but many also offer the option of doing so by mail or online. It is free. 

Note: You can deregister 7 days before you move out. And you only have 14 days to deregister after you move out.

2) To deregister in person:

  • Schedule an appointment for Abmeldung. Sometimes, no appointments are needed. 
  • Head to the “Bürgeramt” or “Einwohnermeldeamt” with a filled Abmeldung Form.
  • During your appointment, you will receive an Abmeldebescheinigung (deregistration certification).

3) To deregister via mail: 

  • Send the documents along with the filled Abmeldung form by registered mail to a Bürgeramt. If you deregister late, provide documentation of your move-out date.
  • And on the form, write your new address. In the event that you utilise a German address and your name is not displayed in the mailbox, make sure to input “c/o” or “bei” on the envelope. 
  • You will receive an Abmeldebescheinigung to your new address around 4 to 12 weeks later. Please note that the certificate will be sent via standard post, not registered mail. 
  • Please note that some Bürgeramt locations will not mail Abmeldebescheinigungs to addresses in other countries. So, if you need this paper, you may want to deregister in person.

3) To deregister via Email: 

  • Send a polite mail requesting deregistration with a clear subject line like “Abmeldung einer Wohnung.” Attach the filled-out and signed deregistration form (Abmeldung), and other documents along with proof of your move-out date. 
  • And right on the form, provide your new address. In case your name is not on the mailbox and the address is in German, you can use “c/o” or “bei.”
  • Remember to email to the relevant office for your locality. After processing, you will receive a postal deregistration confirmation, which may take up to four weeks. 
  • If you need the document sooner, you should deregister in person instead.

What to do after Deregistration?

After you deregister, you may want to look into the following to ensure your services are redirected or terminated.

Health Insurance

Your coverage may require an update or termination. Contact your provider to confirm your current status and avoid lapses or needless charges.

Social Security

Update your records with the Social Security office to accurately represent your contributions or manage claims.

Bank Account

Determine whether you will close or maintain your account from abroad. To keep your account secure, update your contact information with the bank.

Residence Permit

If your permit is tied to your residence in Germany, check to see if any changes may affect its validity. Inform the immigration office about your move.


If you have a car registered in your name, update the registration at the local transportation office or deregister it if you leave Germany.


You might also need to deregister any businesses you possess in Germany. or give it to another person.

Other Services

Update your address information for any subscriptions or memberships to avoid service interruptions or unexpected payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to do abmeldung in Germany?

You can do “abmeldung” or deregister by filling out a deregistration form and submitting it at the local registration office (Bürgeramt). You can get this form at the registration office or download it from the website for your city’s official website. You need to fill out the form with your personal information, the place you are leaving, and the date you are leaving. You can turn this form in in person, by mail, or online in some places. If you want to submit in person, you may need to make an appointment first.

2. How long does it take to deregister in Germany?

If you go to the registration office in person, the deregistration process usually happens immediately. If you send the form by mail, the process might take a few days to finish, based on how long the office needs to process things.

3. What happens if you do not deregister in Germany?

Not removing your name can cause a number of problems. Legally, you may still be a resident, which means you may have to pay taxes, health insurance, licensing fees, and other administrative work. You might also have trouble getting residency in another country or when you try to return to Germany if you don’t deregister.

4. Can I keep my German bank account after leaving Germany?

Yes, you can keep your German bank account open even after leaving the country. Many people choose to do this, especially if they have regular transactions or financial ties within Germany. However, it is important to notify your bank and provide them with your new address to ensure compliance with their policies.

5. What does a de-registration form look like?

A de-registration form, or ‘Abmeldeformular,’ generally includes sections for personal information like your name, birth date, ID/passport number, the address you are deregistering, the planned departure date, and a forwarding address. Some forms may also require extra documentation, such as your registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung).

6. How to deregister in Germany online?

Some municipalities offer an online deregistration service through their public websites. This process includes filling out a digital deregistration form similar to the paper version and submitting it electronically. You might need to scan and attach important documents, such as your ID or passport. Not all towns provide this service, so please check the specific requirements and availability with your local registration office.

7. How long can I stay in Germany after deregistration?

After deregistration, you can technically stay in Germany until the move-out date you specified on the deregistration form. If you plan to leave Germany before the specified date, it’s allowed, but your official deregistration date will still be what you announced on the form. If you need to stay longer than planned, you should notify the registration office to avoid possible legal issues or misunderstandings regarding your residency status.


As discussed, “Abmeldung” or deregistration is crucial when leaving a residence in Germany. From internet connection to the business, deregistration plays a dominant role. To guarantee a smooth transition, plan ahead of time, understand what documents are required, and comply with all legal duties. Make sure to save copies of all deregistration confirmations for your own records and peace of mind.

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