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Meldezettel: Everything you need to know about Austria’s compulsory address registration

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Daniel Wighton - [email protected]
Meldezettel: Everything you need to know about Austria’s compulsory address registration
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Need to get a Meldezettel or somehow have one but don’t know what it is? Here’s what you need to know.

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Obtaining a Meldezettel - loosely translated as an address registration certificate - is compulsory for anyone living in Austria. 

Here’s a guide to what the requirement is and how to do it. 

What is a Meldezettel?

Known by most Austrians and foreigners as a Meldezettel, the document is correctly called a Meldebestätigung

Otherwise known as an Anmeldung eines neuen Hauptwohnsitzes oder "Nebenwohnsitzes" or simply an Anmeldung, this is a curiosity to many new arrivals, particularly those from English-speaking countries. 

While registration of your address in other countries might take place via the electoral roll or the motor transport authority, in Austria - as with neighbouring Germany - when you move into a new house or apartment, you are required to register your address with the local authorities. 

Prior to 2002, the document was known as a Bestätigung der Meldung

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Who needs to get a Meldezettel?

It may have come as a shock to some, but completing your Anmeldung process is a legal requirement for anyone living in Austria. 

Everyone is required to obtain a Meldezettel under the 1991 Registration Act. And everyone who arrives in Austria with the intention to live here is required to register within three days of moving in.

Tourists generally don’t intend to live in Austria and are an exception.  

But even if you’ll only be here temporarily - for instance if you're a student - you’re still required to register. 

Whenever you move house, you're required to re-register your new address - regardless if you move across the country or just down the street.

I don’t want the government snooping around my place. Why do I need to get this done? 

Not only is registration a legal requirement of living in Austria, but it also allows you to complete a range of other tasks. 

The document will be a requirement for accessing welfare, getting registered to vote, registering your car, even getting a job.

Many banks will also require you to have completed your registration in order to open an account. 

What do I need? 

To complete your registration, you need an official document like a passport (compulsory for all non-Austrians) and a birth certificate.

The official document will need to state your family name, first name, maiden name (if applicable), date and place of birth and your nationality. 

You’ll also need some evidence of your new address, for instance a rental contract. 

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Where can I get it done? 

Officially, registration is the responsibility of the mayor of your respective district. But considering he or she is likely to have bigger fish to fry, you can complete your registration at your local council office. 

You can also do it via post, or have someone do it on your behalf. 

The registration form itself is available at the registration offices, or at some tobacconists. 

It is also available online here (in German). 

While it is in German, the University of Graz has a translated version in English which can be used as a guide - although only the German version is likely to be officially accepted. 

English version here.

What if my landlord won’t let me register? 

Some landlords - particularly if you are sub-renting - will not let you register. 

If your landlord won’t let you do this, you can still register it as a secondary residence, a “Nebenwohnsitz”, but you should endeavour to find a more permanent place as soon as you can. 

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Can I register in a hotel? 

As Austrians would say “Jein” (yes and no). 

If you are staying in a hotel temporarily at first they will do a registration for you as a guest. But when you move to a flat or house you must re-register. 

What about when I move house? 

When you move house, you need to complete what is known as an Ummeldung, or change of registration. 

This is the same form as that above - simply fill it out with the new address, and the authorities will find and move your registration from from the previous address. 

Unlike the initial registration, you can complete the change of registration online. This can be done here (German). 

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What if I leave Austria? 

Perhaps the most common mistake made in the registration process - other than not registering at all - is failing to de-register when you leave.

Legally you need to cancel your registration within three days of leaving your residence. As this can get a bit tight, you are allowed to cancel before you leave. 

This can also be done online

What about babies? 

Babies also need to be registered. 

A registration of a new baby can be done using the following form along with the notification of its birth document

More information about the registration process is available here. 

Editor's note: Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice.

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