Registering Your Address and Other Visits to Authorities
Registering in Aachen
As soon as you stay in Aachen for more than three months, you must register your address. Please note that hotels or holiday apartments are not recognized as fixed addresses. You must register with the local Residents' Registration Office within two weeks of moving into your new home. Bring identity documents such as ID cards, passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates for all family members who are to be registered.
Please note that registering with the Residents' Registration Office does not automatically lead to a residence permit. Therefore, always check whether you also need to apply for a residence permit.
You must bring the following documents with when you go to register:
- Identification card or passport; child's passport or child's identity card
- Note: if your children do not yet have a passport, you must provide their birth certificate. If they were born abroad, you must provide an international birth certificate or original certificate with translation.
- More information on foreign official documents for use in Germany can be obtained from the Federal Foreign Office.
- Wohnungsgeberbestätigung: the landlord must confirm the tenant’s residence in writing
- Married couples must provide an international marriage certificate or original certificate with an official German translation
Do you need a certified translation of your documents, such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, diplomas, etc.? On the website of the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators and on the database of translators and interpreters you can use the search engine to find suitable translators and interpreters in North Rhine-Westphalia and elsewhere.
After registering your address, you will receive a registration certificate, which you will need, for example, to apply for a residence permit or to open a bank account.
Please note that it is very important to be registered without interruption in Germany. You may not cancel the registration if you are leaving Germany for a short time, for example for a short-term study or research stay in a foreign country or for a short-term return home. Such an interruption automatically implicates the expiration of the residence permit.
Certificate of Good Conduct
If you are hired as a research assistant at RWTH, you must apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct: Führungszeugnis Beleg-0 at the Residents' Registration Office. Please indicate which human resources department the certificate should be forwarded to.
Tax Identification Number
Every person who registers their address in Germany for the first time is automatically assigned a personal tax identification number. This number will be sent to you in the mail approximately two weeks after you have registered your address. In order to be able to present the human resources department with your ID number as soon as possible, you can personally go to the Residents' Registration Office approximately two working days after you have registered and ask them to issue your ID number then.
In Germany the public broadcasting stations ARD, ZDF, and Deutschlandradio charge a broadcasting fee, which is used to finance their programs. This is generally obligatory for all residents in Germany. The Residents' Registration Office forwards your address to the fee service and then you receive a registration form. Find out if you can possibly be exempted from the fee.
Change of Address
If you move during your stay in Aachen, you must re-register your address with the Residents' Registration Office. Please make sure you also indicate your new address elsewhere, for example:
- Health insurance provider
- RWTHonline, if you are enrolled
- Department of Human Resources, if you work at RWTH
When you finish your stay, please do not forget to de-register with the Residents' Registration Office before you leave.