Place of residence - notification of change of principal abode
If you have several residences in the Federal Republic of Germany, then you have to declare to the registration authorities (Meldebehörde) which residence is your principle residence.
The main residence is the residence which is predominantly used, i.e. the residence in which you actually live the most frequently in proportion to one or several other residences. In the case of a married resident, who does not live in permanent separation from his/her family, it is the predominantly used residence of the family. The same applies in the case of registered partners. The place of the principle residence is also the place at which the voting right is exercised.
The secondary residence is every additional residence of the resident. A person can thus have one principle residence and several secondary residences.
You have to report each change in the main residence to the relevant registration authorities.
the registration authority (Meldebehörde):
- the municipal administration/city council of your place of residence or
- the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft (Association of Administrations) or the municipality, who perform the tasks of the registration authorities for the municipality in which you live.
If one of your secondary residences becomes your principle residence due to a change in your personal circumstances (e.g. due to a change in job), then you have to notify the responsible registration authority of the change. For this purpose, the form "Mitteilung über den Wechsel der Hauptwohnung" (Notification of a change in principal residence) is displayed at the registration authorities or is available as a download in certain municipalities.
Note: Every time you register and deregister you also have to specify - regardless whether you change your principle residence or not - which residences you have and which is regarded as your principle residence.
In addition to the completed form "Mitteilung über den Wechsel der Hauptwohnung" (Notification of a change in principle residence), you can also present documents to the registration authority which prove your identity (e.g. passport or identity card).
Please note that when changing the principle residence, you also have to change the address or the place of residence in your documents. In the aspects of daily life "Moving House" you can find out how to proceed and the corresponding procedure descriptions.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 02.11.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.