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Bürgeramt: Berlin plans to open four new citizens' offices

James Jackson
James Jackson - [email protected]
Bürgeramt: Berlin plans to open four new citizens' offices
A sign for a Bürgeramt in Berlin. Residents will no longer have to visit one to register a new address. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Wolfgang Kumm

It is notoriously difficult to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt - citizens' office - in Berlin. Now there are plans to open more offices over the next two years to ease congestion.

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If you’ve lived in Germany for any length of time at all, you’ve certainly run into the Bürgeramt. No, it isn’t a trendy hamburger takeaway. It’s the local government’s office for citizens where you need to go to register your address, change your driver’s licence or register your new passport.

You may also know that appointments at these offices are massively oversubscribed, with the primitive white red and black screen that shows “no appointments available” until some time next year a regular source of stress for internationals in Germany.

READ ALSO: Public offices in Germany should speak English, says FDP

Things are even worse in Berlin, with the capital frequently mocked by people living in other parts of Germany for the terrible state of their public offices.

But the state government says it is trying to address the issues and has already opened a new citizen’s offices in Kloßterstraße in Mitte. Berlin has also announced plans to build four new citizen’s offices in the poorly served outer-borough districts of Spandau, Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Pankow and Treptow-Köpenick.

The first two are due to be opened in Spandau and Marzahn-Hellersdorf in 2024, where locations have already been found, while in Pankow an opening date of 2025 is more realistic, the city administration said. 

In Treptow-Köpenick, the citizen’s office was moved to Adlershof while renovations of the legendary Köpenick town hall – home to Germany’s greatest ever heist, where a man in Captain’s uniform occupied the Rathaus – but the Adlershof centre is now set to remain open when Köpenick town hall is reopened.

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New public offices mean new public jobs – and Berlin will be hiring 100 new bureaucrats (or civil servants). This should help to reduce some of the pressure on the much-maligned capital’s public services. But with the opening dates not until next year and the coming year don’t hold your breathe about getting a new Anmeldung appointment any time soon.

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