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The time has come; you are leaving Berlin to move back to the US. Assuming you are sad like I was, this process of moving from Berlin can be like pouring salt into a wound. When you leave Germany, you don’t just get on a plane and cancel your contracts online. That would be too simple. This is a guide on how to deregister from Berlin & cancel your contracts.
A popular stereotype of the “German way” is that it’s super-efficient. While this can be true in many ways, it is NOT true in a million others. Let me start with the fact that everything you need to do involves a pen, paper, and snail mail. Sound like an efficient way to do things in 2021? I didn’t think so!
When I moved to Germany in 2017, I was surprised by the lack of online ability to do many necessities. I can happily report that the pandemic has sped up the Germans to create online systems much faster than otherwise would have.
How to Deregister From Berlin & Everything You Need To Do
I will get right to the point as, personally, I had no time to read fluff about how annoying this process can be. I aim to give it to you straight and hope you have a smooth transition out of the country.
Deregisteration Form For Berlin
You can only deregister one week before your departure. If you are thinking, what the hell, that is ridiculous. You would be right; it is ridiculous. In addition to physically moving internationally, I had to make sure I did my deregistration within the week of my move.
You can either MAIL in the form that you download from the Bürgeramt/ Einwohnermeldebörde and wait for them to send the letter that you have been deregistered .. OR you can make an appointment and do it in person.
I opted to make the appointment, but listen up, you can only deregister within one week from your departure date. I am not repeating myself by mistake. Annoyingly I read misinformation on the internet that you could reregister within two weeks of your departure date.
It was not fun to waste a precious half day in the government office only to leave without my deregistration form. I was lucky enough that the woman behind the desk promised to EMAIL, in addition to mailing me my deregistration form. And luckily, she did, as I never received the original in the mail before I left.
Deregister From Berlin to Cancel Your Contracts
Without this deregistration form, you can not cancel any contracts such as:
- Cell Phone
- Health Insurance
- Tax Obligations
- Tv Tax
Essentially this document is your golden ticket to freedom from obligations in Germany. I highly recommend you make it your priority to get this document.
Preparing To Deregister From Berlin & Everything You Need To Do
Filling out the form has gotten easier since the government created an English version. Though some questions weren’t as direct as I would have liked.
Before I had my actual deregistration document, I prepared all the necessary letters to cancel my current contracts.
Moving From Berlin, I Canceled The Contracts Below :
- HanseMerkur (Health Insurance)
- Vodafone (Internet)
- Mobilcom debitel (Cell Phone)
- Dialog (Renters / Home Insurance)
- ARD ZDF ( Tv Tax in Berlin)
Canceling Contract With HanseMerkur
Speak perfect German yet? Yeah, me neither. I had to have a German-speaking friend help me figure out what I needed to do exactly. You won’t find information easily online!
To cancel your health insurance with HanseMerkur, you must write a letter stating your desire to cancel, with your policy number and address. Be sure to provide a forwarding address and SIGN this letter. A copy of the deregistration must also be included. For the address and example of this letter, click here.
I sent my letter in on January 20th, 2021. Hanse Merkur confirmed my cancelation on April 4th. In between these dates, I received letters from them demanding I pay my premium. I had to have my friend call and get assurance from the company that my cancelation was still processing and not to worry.
Canceling Contract with Vodafone Internet
I will tell it to you straight. These companies are thieves. If you are canceling with this company before your contract is up, you will be charged for the next 90 days.
Yes, even after you send them the documentation that you can no longer not use their service, you will be charged for three months. I don’t see how it can be done any differently since you need your deregistration to cancel, but you can’t deregister from Berlin until one week from your move.
Follow the same procedure for canceling your contract with HanseMerkur. Send the letter with your policy number, address, and forwarding address, and be sure to sign it. You will also need to return your modem. Otherwise, you will be charged. I received an email from them on where to send this.
Canceling Contract with Mobilcom debitel
Re-read the paragraph above for instructions on how to cancel. You will retake the punch on paying for 3 months after canceling. How is this legal?
Canceling Contract with Dialog Home Insurance
I am not sure how many of you have renters or home insurance, but if you do, canceling with Dialog was pretty painless. You will follow the same drill when canceling – Deregister from Berlin using the same letter template. This company actually prorated my premium.
Canceling Contract with TV Tax in Berlin
I was prepared for an annoying process to follow ARD ZDF, but surprisingly it was easy! This might be the first time when you deregister from Berlin & everything you need to do is easy!
You might not believe what I have to say, but it is true… You can deregister from your Berlin TV tax ONLINE! WooHoo! Finally! Be advised, you will be charged prorated tax. I received that lovely little side note in snail mail to my German forwarding address.
How to Stop Voluntarily Payments to Social Security in Germany
I had big plans to stay in Germany for the rest of my life. As it turns out, my life had other plans for me. Here I am back in the United States, contributing to social security in Germany.
I was prepared that canceling my social security payments was going to be incredibly difficult. To my surprise and delight, it was very simple. This information wasn’t easily found online, but my German-speaking friend agreed to call them for me.
The Deutsche Rentenversichrung Bund website is where you need to start. You simply search for the form V2610, complete it, and send it in. The deregister Berlin form isn’t needed to stop voluntarily paying.
I mailed this form in, and I received confirmation of its cancellation within days.
Deregister From Berlin & Everything You Need To Do | Forget Me Nots
There is such a long list of things to do when moving, a few things to not forget are:
- Email your tax accountant when you preparing to move. If you are self-employed, they will need to close your business.
- Ask a friend if you can forward your mail to their house. You never know what could come in the mail you weren’t expecting. You can do this online at Deutsche Post. It will cost you around 29 euros for the year of forwarding. It is worth the peace of mind.
- Turn all your heaters off completely when leaving your unit. Take pictures of ALL your meters. Better to have that proof even if you never need it.