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How to Move within Germany

After living in Germany for a while, some expats may face their first move within the country. While logistics are not that important in this case, there are some formalities you will need to take care of. In this article, we provide you with an informal to-do list for your move within Germany.
A move within Germany can be almost as stressful as a move from abroad.

How to Move within Germany: What to Do Before Moving

Before planning your move within Germany, you start by checking what the period of notice (Kündigungsfrist) for your current lease is. In most cases, this may be three months, but could be extended depending on your tenancy period. If your landlord is cooperative, he may agree to release you from the rental agreement sooner if you find someone who is willing to take over your lease. That way, you do not have to abide by the notice period and your landlord is saved from the effort of finding a new tenant. Despite this, you should not forget to inform your landlord personally or in writing before actually starting to plan your move within Germany.

As a next step for a successful move within Germany, you need to cancel the various contracts related to your apartment. While all payments included in your rent are taken care of by your landlord, you may have to cancel electricity, gas and heating. Contact your utilities company for the details.

Contracts with telecommunication providers are entirely your responsibility as well. This means that, as you move house within Germany, you have to either cancel or transfer your telephone and internet access all by yourself. Despite all the hassle, it is a good opportunity to check whether competitors offer better deals for your phone or internet connection.

How to Move Within Germany: Who to Notify

You can make a mail forwarding request with the German postal service Deutsche Post online. As of October 2012, it costs 15.20€ to have your mail forwarded to your new address for up to six months. One year costs 25.20€.

Here is a list of other organizations, institutions and individuals, whom you should inform of your change of address:

  • your friends
  • your employer
  • the tax office
  • your bank
  • your newspaper (if you have any subscriptions)
  • your health insurance providers
  • your mobile phone service provider
  • all mail-order businesses from which you regularly purchase  home deliveries

This list is by no means complete, and we recommend you to update and edit it regularly.

How to Move Within Germany: Things to Keep in Mind

As far as your household insurance is concerned, you should get in touch with your insurance company, because they might have to issue an updated policy for your new flat or house. For the required formal change of address, you have to visit the registry office. The procedure is quite similar to the registration process you went through when you first arrived.

If you have children attending school, things may get a little more complicated. Generally speaking, you always have to deregister your kids at their old school and register them at the new school in the town or city you have moved to. However, due to the decentralized character of Germany’s school system, changing secondary schools between federal states may require additional formalities, such as placement tests for instance. It’s best to ask the principal or administrative staff at both schools – old and new – for advice in your particular case.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.