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This page deals with registering your place of residence, i.e., letting the city know where you live, how many people live with you etc.  Everyone has to do this — Germans and expats alike.

After you have done this, if need be you can proceed to obtain your residence permit, which determines if you may legally live in Germany and for how long. These terms can be a bit confusing.

Registering at the Town Hall (Rathaus)

One of the first things you must do is register your address at the Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt). This must be done within two weeks of moving into your new home.  Everyone in Germany must do this. During registration your registration form (Anmeldeformular) will be approved.  This document is needed to set up bank accounts and to get your tax number as well as to deal with visas.  Don't delay registration — it is an important part of getting set up.

Exceptions: if you are registered somewhere else in Germany and are staying less than 6 months in Karlsruhe or if you are from outside of Germany and only planning on living in Karlsruhe for less than 3 months.

If you haven't found a place to live and are still camping in a hotel but find you need your tax number and a bank account, you could ask your hotel if they will act as a temporary address. You'll need a letter of confirmation from the hotel to take to the Rathaus so it's best to get this organized in advance.

If you have a car registered in Germany, you can re-register your vehicle for Karlsruhe at the same time as registering your place of residence. If your car is not registered in Germany, please see Cars.

The basic steps for registration are:

1.  Make an appointment at your local Town Hall (Rathaus) or Citizen's Office (Bürgerbüro) or Ortsverwaltung (Regional Management Office), to avoid unnecessary waiting.

Find your nearest Karlsruhe office.  Most offices now have an on-line appointment service (under DIENTSTSTELLEN, click on Online-Terminvereinbarung for the office closest to you).

  • Bürgerbüro Durlach - Pfinztalstr.33
  • Bürgerbüro K8 - Kaiserallee 8 (main office)
  • Bürgerbüro Mitte - Marktplatz in the Rathaus, Karl-Friedrich-Str. 10
  • Bürgerbüro Ost - Beuthener Str. 42
  • Ortsverwaltung Grötzingen - Rathausplatz 1
  • Ortsverwaltung Hohenwettersbach - Kirchplatz 4
  • Ortsverwaltung Neureut - Neureuter Haupstr. 256
  • Ortsverwaltung Stupferich - Kleinsteinbacher Str. 16
  • Ortsverwaltung Wettersbach - Am Wetterbach 40
  • Ortsverwaltung Wolfartsweier - Rathausstr. 2

Alternatively you can just drop in during scheduled office hours. There may be a queue and you might need to take a number to be seen in order of arrival, so look out for a ticket machine.

There are no fees for this service.

2. Click here to access the registration form (look under Formulare - Anmeldung bei der Meldebehörde). Fill out and print the form and bring it to your registration appointment. You must come in person — or provide a written authorization that a third party can take care of this for you.

3. Be sure to bring your passport (and eAT if you already have one) and a letter from your landlord confirming that you are, indeed, renting at this residence. (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)

If you are married, you must provide your original marriage certificate and a certified German translation when registering — even if your spouse is not moving with you.

4. Things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your registration document secure — it is very important.
  • Don't forget that both halves of a couple must sign the form.
  • If you are here as a married single, you will have to complete the information to show the names and birth dates of your spouse and children, even if they are not moving with you.
  • Each time you move house you will need to register at the registration office closest to your new home; they will inform your former registration office.  If you leave Germany, you must formally de-register.

5. Starting January 1, 2017, a tax will be levied if your Karlsruhe place of residence is not considered your main address (Hauptwohnung), rather a secondary address (Nebenwohnung or Zwietwohnung). For example, up to now, many students maintained their parents' address as the main address and the flat at the university (even as a shared flat or in a dormitory) as the second address. The tax amount is 10% of the yearly net rent. If you have registered your place of residence as a Zweitwohnung, then the city will send you information about this in the mail. If you do not receive this information and have a Zweitwohnung in Karlsruhe, you must inform the city (Meldeamt) of this status and pay the tax.