Can I have my German mail be redirected to my new address?
Book mail redirection service online!
I have recently left Germany. I am now back in London. In this blog I would like to share an extremely useful insight with you.
Namely….How to redirect your German mail!!
Once I left Berlin, I still had mail that was sent to my German address.
What to do about it, I wondered?!
What will happen to my German mail once I move out of my apartment?
Where does it go? Will the letters just be returned to the sender?
And finally, is there any way to redirect my letters to my new address in London?
As a matter of fact, yes, that is possible.
There is a postal service called “Nachsendeauftrag”. It means redirection service.
You pay the post office, and they will forward all the letters to your new address.
This new address can be in Germany. The new address can also be abroad. I was so relieved when I found out about this.
How awesome is that?
So let me explain a few things here.
There are a few different scenarious. Just read whatever applies to you.
Scenario 1. You are still in Germany. You are planning to move to another address within Germany
For example, you are moving from Munich to Stuttgart. Or just around the corner. It does not matter.
The Problem: Once you move out of your old place, you are obliged to remove your name from the letter box.
What happens when the post man has your letters but does not find your name on the letter box?
The German post man will not deliver the letters. But he will return them back to the sender.
How to solve the problem?
- You make a list with all the companies, providers, bank etc. who send you information via letters. Then you contact them, ideally in written form with your signature and the date. You inform them about your move date and the new address.
- If you have not done step number 1, then you can also do something else. You can go to the post office and ask for a mail redirection service (Nachsendeauftrag). You can also fill out an online form for this. It only exists in German though. Just google “Nachsendeantrag”. For more information on how this works exactly, read on.
If you are leaving Germany, you must deregister and you should redirect your mail to your new address.
If you are planning on moving abroad then you must do a couple of tasks. Preferably you do them before you leave.
However if you have forgotten to do them, no worries.
You can also do them later. However, it makes life easier, if you do them as soon as possible.
Step 1. When you leave Germany, you must deregister. For this, you must simply fill out a deregistration form. You can do this online. Put down the correct move-out date on this form (this can also be in the past!). This is really important. Because the move-out date (i.e. when you leave your apartment and the country) determines when you can cancel your contracts.
For example, even if you have a contract that is 2 years long, you can still end it by showing your deregistration confirmation. The contract will then finish on the date when you leave the country.
Step 2. Make a list of all the companies in Germany to which you are bound by contract. For example, mobile phone providers, internet providers, electricity providers, gym,…
Send a cancellation of contract (Kuendigungsschreiben) to all of the providers. To be on the safe side, you should do this in written form by letter. You must also attach a copy of the deregistration confirmation. This is very important. You should then get a cancellation confirmation from all these companies. The reregistration confirmation serves as a kind of guarantee that you will be set free from the contracts (normally!).
Problem: Sometimes it is not possible to do all of these steps before you leave Germany.
Perhaps you move out before you got a letter that you were waiting for? Sometimes you may be lucky and your landlord allows you to keep your name on the letter box a little bit longer. And perhaps he will even forward the letters to you. But this is not always the case. And also, these letters may hold confidential information. So better be on the safe side and…
Step 3. If you are moving away, simply book a mail redirection service.
You can directly do this at any German post office. Deutsche Post. This is the best way, the safest way.
And it is surprisingly cheap in my opinion (a couple of Euros a month!)
Also I have never heard of such a thing in another country before. I think it’s a pretty cool idea.
So here is how you book a mail redirection service in Germany
- Go to the post office in person. Pay in person.
Or go to the official website of the post, www.nachsendeauftrag.de. Book it online. Pay by credit card.
How expensive is the German mail redirection service?
This depends on
- the duration, i.e. how long you want your mail to be redirected
- whether you want your mail to be redirected to a German address, or to an address outside of Germany
For example, if you want your letters to be redirected to a German address for 6 months, then this costs you a total of about 20 Euros. I think that’s pretty cheap!
It is more expensive, if you want a redirection to a foreign address.
What happens to very large and bulky letters or packages?
Normally the redirection service only applies to letters. However, you can also choose a redirection service that includes packages. This is more expensive though. And it is only possible for deliveries within Germany, i.e. you cannot choose this option, if you want your mail to be redelivered to an address abroad.
Ok. Does that make sense?
In a nutshell. How to have your German letters be sent to your new address.
If you leave Germany.
You should go to the post office.
Or go on nachsendeauftrag.de.
Enter your old German address. Enter your new address.
It then takes about 5 working days processing time.
From then on. All your mail that would have been sent to your old German address will get redelivered to your new address.
If you don’t do this. And you get a letter to your old German address. And your name is not on the German letter box. Then your mail will get returned to sender.
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