Abmeldung in Germany: How to deregister?

Abmeldung - Regsitering - just the opposite - Derigistering
Abmeldung – Regsitering – just the opposite – Derigistering

So, you’re finally ready to say ‘Tschüss’ to Germany? After all those years of living here, you’re ready to move on to bigger and better things. But before you go, there’s one important thing you need to do: Abmeldung.

What is Abmeldung? 

Abmeldung is the German word for “deregistration.” It’s the process of officially notifying the government that you no longer live in Germany. And it’s something that you absolutely must do, or you could have some serious issues popping up in the future. This process is the absolute opposite of the Anmeldung you had done when you first arrived in Germany.

Related Article: What is Anmeldung and why is it important?

For example, if you don’t deregister, you could still be liable for German taxes. You could also have trouble getting a visa to come back to Germany in the future. And if you ever need to prove that you lived in Germany, you’ll be out of luck if you don’t have your Abmeldebescheinigung (deregistration certificate). 

So, how do you go about deregistering in Germany? It’s actually pretty simple. You can do it in person at a Bürgeramt (town hall), by post, or by email. But do keep in mind, that the process might vary a bit from city to city. This is only a general guideline. 

Now, let’s talk about the timing. You can start the de-registration process as early as 7 days before your planned escape and, to keep the paperwork police at bay, make sure to complete it within 14 days after you’ve officially moved out of your German home. Tick-tock, my friend, let the bureaucratic games begin! 

How to Perform Abmeldung or Deregistering in Germany 

Performing Abmeldung in Germany involves several steps and requires certain documents. 

Step 1: Notify Your Landlord 

Before initiating the official Abmeldung process, inform your landlord or property management company about your departure. This allows them to prepare necessary documentation and handle any outstanding matters related to your tenancy agreement. 

Step 2: Gather Required Documents 

Collect the necessary documents for the Abmeldung process, including: 

  • Your valid identification document (passport, national ID card, or residence permit) 
  • Proof of residence (Meldebescheinigung) obtained during your registration in Germany or Anmeldung 
  • Completed Abmeldung form (Abmeldeformular), available at the local registration office or online 

Step 3: Visit the Local Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) 

Visit the local registration office in your city or town to complete the Abmeldung process. Present your identification document, proof of residence, and the filled Abmeldung form to the registration officer. They will update your residential status in the system. 

Step 4: Receive Confirmation and Deregistration Certificate 

After submitting the necessary documents, you will receive a confirmation of deregistration (Abmeldebestätigung) and a deregistration certificate (Abmeldebescheinigung). These documents serve as proof of your departure and should be kept safe for future reference. 

The best part? You won’t need to break the piggy bank for this bureaucratic adventure. There are no fees involved in the de-registration process! 

Here are some real-life experiences, of some people, with Abmeldung: 

  • One person told me that they tried to deregister in person, but the Bürgeramt staff didn’t speak English. So, they had to try to communicate with them using Google Translate. It was a hilarious scene, but they eventually got their Abmeldung done  
  • Another person told me that they tried to deregister by post but forgot to include their Meldebescheinigung. So, the Bürgeramt sent them a letter asking for it. They had to wait a few weeks for the letter to arrive, and then they had to send it back. It was a bit of a hassle, but they eventually got their Abmeldung done. 
  • And one person told me that they tried to deregister by email, but they didn’t get a response. So, they had to call the Bürgeramt and ask them what was going on. It turned out that their email had gotten lost in the spam folder. Once they sorted that out, they were able to get their Abmeldung done. 
  • So as always, be prepared for anything  


The Abmeldung process should be completed within two weeks of leaving Germany

Yes, you can perform the Abmeldung process before leaving Germany if you are certain about your departure date. However, make sure to provide accurate information to the authorities and update it if there are any changes.

No, Abmeldung is not required if you are moving to a new address within Germany. The process is only for notifying the authorities about your departure from the country.

Failing to perform Abmeldung within the required timeframe can result in administrative penalties, difficulties with future bureaucratic procedures, and potential fines. It is important to fulfil this obligation to avoid any legal consequences.

Generally, Abmeldung can only be performed by the individual who is leaving Germany. However, in certain circumstances, such as medical incapacitation, a legal representative or family member may be allowed to complete the process on behalf of the person leaving.

If you have already left Germany without completing the Abmeldung process, it is recommended to contact the local registration office as soon as possible. They will guide you on the necessary steps to rectify the situation.


I hope these tips and stories helped you understand the importance of deregistering in Germany. But seriously, don’t forget to deregister. It’s not worth the hassle and best of luck in your future adventures. 


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