More Important Things to Consider


Deregistration of your place of residence (Abmeldung bei Wegzug)

If you are moving within Germany, you can re-register at your new City Hall (Rathaus). The new City Hall will contact the old City Hall for you.

If you are leaving Germany, you will need to let the City Hall know. You can fill out an on-line form (look under Onlineantrag and then Abmeldung bei der Meldebehörde), print it out, sign it and either send it per mail with a copy of the identification you used in Germany or bring it to the place where you took care of your registration (see Residence Registration). A copy of this form may be necessary to cancel your utilities and other contracts. There is no fee if you do this in a timely manner. Be aware that by de-registering you may also change your legal residency (visa) status, so leave this as one of your last steps. It's a bit of a Catch-22.

Starting November 1, 2015, you must also provide a letter from your landlord (Bescheinigung) stating that you are no longer in the residence.

If you are already in your new home and have forgotten to deregister, you can still do so online. Fill out the form (see link above), print it out, sign it and mail it by regular post along with a copy of the identification you used in Germany. Theoretically, this should be done within two weeks of leaving. Late fees may apply - and these are enforced.

Postal service

The German postal service provides an online form for address changes (Adressänderung) within Germany. This service is free.


Give schools a reasonable amount of notice of a child's departure. There may be outstanding bills for school fees, transport or meals to be settled.

Sometimes schools have an “exit interview” with the parents. On registration at a new school in the new country, a parent may be asked for a certificate stating the latest grade passed by the child. Request this from the school when giving notice of departure. Schools will normally be happy to provide a summary of a child's progress and up-to-date test results. You may need to order transcripts.

Leave a forwarding address for any correspondence.

Try to find the appropriate school in your new location well ahead of time so that you and your child are aware or any documents you will need.


Dogs need to be registered. When you depart, you will need to deregister your dog.

Depending on your destination, your pet may need special immunization shots or need to be placed under quarantine for a specific time. Check with your veterinarian for details.

Cars/Drivers license

If you are moving within Germany, you will need to re-register your car in your new town.

If you are leaving Germany with your car, you will need to inform the local Vehicle Registration Office (Kraftfahrzeugzulassungsstelle) and your insurance company. You will also need to inform the Customs Office so that the yearly car tax is no longer taken from your account.

If you exchanged your non-EU driving license for a German one, please remember to arrange for the return of your home country license at the office where it was surrendered.

Be prepared for "re-entry" shock — readjusting to "home"

This can sometimes be just as difficult as moving somewhere new.