Signing off from germany – the right way to do it!

What you should think about when you deregister from Germany.

Signing off from Germany is pretty simple. But are you homeless now?
A question we get often when we mention that we don’t have an apartment in Germany anymore. Yes, what am I now? Some call it homeless, others ask us directly if we are still Germans. And that this is possible at all.. simply deregister… is that allowed??

There are many questions around the deregistration in the net and also one or the other fairy tale is under the answers. What do I have to pay attention to when I want to deregister?? Is it necessary at all in my situation? Are there alternatives? Tax office, health insurance, family insurance, school office – what do they have to do with it??

So that you do not make the same "mistakes", which unfortunately already one or the other family had to make on journeys and which forced them even temporarily to return to Germany, we would like to call here the institutions most important for us, which concerns your deregistration something and which it to consider gives, if one plans a world journey.

The list is neither complete nor correct, as laws, regulations and contract conditions can change daily. But it should serve you as a clue. Take away what fits your situation and do further research, ask questions or share what worked or didn’t work for you down here in the comments column.

How does the deregistration from Germany work?

This is very quick. You go to your registration office and say that you want to deregister from Germany, more precisely from your apartment or your house.
Because nothing else is a deregistration. You deregister from your registered address and say something like:

"I have no longer moved into this apartment and I will not move into a new apartment in Germany".

The nice lady or the nice gentleman can then stick a new sticker on your identity card after a few clicks, on which it says "no residence in Germany" (sometimes formulated differently), where otherwise your address was. Ready.
But this is just the beginning of the fun and it is advisable to do this step only as the very last one and to dedicate yourself to the other offices and institutions first.

By the way, you can also deregister online, by mail or e-mail, or in person. Seven days before you move out and up to 14 days after you move out, the official deregistration should take place.

A good time..

…to take care of everything else are the months before you move out of Germany and thus your official deregistration. So you have sent the notice of termination for your apartment or you have looked for tenants or buyers for your own home.
Yes yes, you laugh. Some people do it the other way around.

Without a registration address the world is upside down

We had to make this experience every day in this phase. What people need are addresses. After deregistration nothing works without an address. Feels. And please official. For most people a life without a registration address is unimaginable anyway, so that hardly any department is prepared for your case. It is worthwhile in almost every case to look into the terms and conditions, laws and other conditions.

Be aware that it is only a registration address, which does not necessarily have to do with your "domicile" or "habitual residence.

Public health insurance and health insurance abroad

Whether employed or self-employed: In most cases, your regular health insurance company will want to have a registration address on file. In fact, there is no obligation to have a permanent residence with a registration address, so that a missing registration address can make your life more difficult, but does not exclude you from the benefits of your health insurance in every case. Depending on your status in Germany after your deregistration, you can continue to claim benefits in Germany (e.g., if you are homeless).B. if you are employed in Germany for a German company and thus subject to social security contributions) or are released from the obligation to pay contributions.

If you deregister from Germany and do not have an employment relationship that is subject to social security contributions, you also have the option of dropping out of the German health insurance completely. You can’t really cancel it, because the health insurance is obligatory in Germany for all persons who live in Germany or who are obliged to pay social security. If you do not belong to this group of persons anymore, there is no insurance obligation for you anymore. Basically, a notification that you have deregistered and emigrated and a copy of your deregistration is sufficient.

Still be employed and insured despite deregistration?

Yes, it is even possible to continue in a Employment relationship to stay in Germany and still be deregistered. In this constellation, however, you should keep in mind that you are still subject to social security contributions and that you are therefore subject to compulsory insurance.

However, you have the possibility to cancel the statutory health insurance and to present a proof of a follow-up insurance, which also insures you abroad. Here is then also a notice period. I don’t know of any private insurance that covers all social insurances, so that you are also considered to be socially insured abroad.

Also Self-employed can deregister and leave their company in Germany. Since here often not all social insurances are necessary (unemployment insurance, pension insurance, accident insurance can be omitted) as with employment, a private health insurance abroad as a follow-up insurance is often sufficient to get out of the statutory health insurance.

Pay attention to the insurance conditions

So if you are looking for a Health insurance abroad or international insurance um, always check the insurance conditions first.

ExampleWe ourselves are insured by HanseMerkur Auslandskrankenversicherung (no payment for mentioning). The conditions state that a residence in Germany is necessary. In fact, this is also true, but it only applies to the time of the conclusion of the insurance. In this case, the insurance company only wants to make sure that its offer is not available worldwide, but is only accessible to a certain group of people.

They will also gladly confirm in writing that you should comply with the registration laws when you leave Germany for a long time and that deregistration will not stand in the way of the agreed benefits.

Not every insurance fits you!
During my research, I found the BDAE international health insurance z. B. found the passage that only treatments are refunded, which would not have been avoidable by one of the recommended inoculations. Of course, this applies not only to your children, but also to yourself.

Example: If you are over 60 years old and do not want to vaccinate yourself annually against flu (or Covid), you will be left with the treatment costs that arise if you want to seek medical help for flu. Or your children have been lying flat for an unusually long time with a gastrointestinal illness and you want to have a check-up to be on the safe side, where rotaviruses are detected and you are stuck with the treatment costs, if the children have not been vaccinated against rotaviruses.

In §6 2.You will find this paragraph in the insurance documents.

Do I have to report the deregistration to the tax office?

The tax office also wants to know whether you are still registered in Germany. However, this is only relevant if you receive income from Germany through an employment relationship, self-employed business registered in Germany, renting o.a. For this purpose, the tax office then needs a person determined by you who is resident in Germany and who is registered as a Authorized recipient receive your mail.

Reliable relatives or really good friends are very suitable for this. The mail is then considered officially delivered to you.

If you are married or in a registered partnership and only one part wants to deregister, then the tax office is also interested in this. Depending on your previous tax situation, if only one of your partners deregisters from Germany, your tax class may change to your disadvantage. So before any of you deregister, you should contact your tax office to find out what documentation they need from you.

How to get child benefit if you are deregistered?

Child benefit abroad is one of the issues that you most likely won’t be able to resolve completely before your world trip or even emigration. In any case, it did not work for us, because the family fund works very slowly. &

This topic is probably one of the most important for most families, so I dedicated a whole separate article to it, where you can learn more: Child support abroad and traveling.

Banks, accounts and credit cards

Also here many banks require a registration address in Germany. So far, however, no reconciliations with the registration offices seem to be carried out, since banks are private companies, so that most families can simply continue to use their accounts as they are. In spite of everything, there are also banks that do not require a registration address. Since this can change quickly, I may not recommend a specific bank at this point.

So, keep in mind that the best way to open new accounts is to from your deregistration opens. Especially if you want to take one or two credit cards with you and you don’t have one yet. Direct banks can be the way to go here, if you still need an account from abroad.

What about compulsory education after deregistration from Germany??

Children subject to compulsory school attendance are interested in the School office and the School, where they last went or. where they are registered. Normally the copy of the deregistration of the child from Germany is sufficient as a proof to be released from compulsory education.

Some school offices or schools, however, want to receive school certificates from the next school, which is of course not necessary as long as you really leave Germany and all deregister together. These demands can be safely ignored or responded to in a firm but friendly manner. In some cases, however, these demands are unfortunately legal, namely when the school obligation still applies, even if you think that it can no longer be.

But when are your children really no longer required to attend school??

Exactly when, according to the school law of your federal state, compulsory schooling can no longer be justified. Depending on what the law says, you can stay registered or you have to deregister, sell your house, rent it long term or just leave it as it is. If you are planning to return to the house? This intention also plays into. In the individual case, there must not be any of the children’s belongings in the home, they must have moved out completely. It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

Some families just want to deregister their children from Germany and stay registered in Germany themselves. Some registration offices do this. Online it should be even easier. There are some families where it works like this. But if you want it to be legally correct, it is best to look at the laws on this:

§11 BGB : "A minor child shares the residence of the parents;…"

If you want to know exactly, hop over to deregistering children and find out how it works.

These laws also have their justification. They should u.a. This is for the protection of the child, who can therefore not simply be deregistered to z. B. to cover up a crime. However, deregistration of the child alone can be successful, especially if it is z.B. is registered with relatives abroad.

Get out of compulsory education! Find out how to get your kids out of schools.

And now good luck with the deregistration and little stress with the authorities!

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You have further questions on the topics of deregistration and family?

Now there are various variants of how families travel or emigrate. If you are and stay registered in Germany, you are deregistered? If one parent remains registered in Germany? If you are sent by your employer? Do you have an official residence? Are you homeless? Are you on parental leave? If the children are of school age? Are they exempt to travel or must be deregistered? Deregistering the children only? Are you moving to another country altogether, i.e. emigrating?? Where does your income come from? What does the tax office say?

Deregistering from Germany not only changes quite a bit for you, but also for the state. This deregistration is a real rat’s tail and not all changes are on your radar or play into your cards.

To explore your options, a discussion of the legal and tax side is unfortunately unavoidable. This side looks totally individual for each of you, which is why I have summarized the legal and fiscal basics for you in the best possible way and in an easily understandable way in my eBooks, explained and proven with the help of valid legal texts. With the information contained you can find the best way for you and also learn which screws you can still turn to make the supposedly impossible possible.

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I am not a lawyer, tax advisor or give any other legal or tax advice. Over the years, through my own research, my own experiences of course, and the experiences of many other families, I have gained an understanding of the regulatory issues of emigration, long term and world travel that I would like to share with you. In case of doubt, please always consult a lawyer or tax advisor.

At no time do my statements claim to be up to date, complete or correct regarding the information provided. Laws; regulations and contract conditions can change daily. Also, you may come across people who do not know the law as well as you do, but who have more decision-making power in certain areas.
Freely after the slogan "Being right and getting right are (famously) two different things." I can’t tell you the perfect and with absolute certainty the most promising way. What I want to give you is insight, new possibilities for action and, of course, the last pinch of courage to take that leap. Every path and every family is different and what works for you may not be an option for us.

Please keep in mind that this can never be a legal advice and I do not take any liability for the decisions you make.

The responsibility for all your actions, as always in life, lies with yourself.

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Hanna is a mom of two and has been traveling the world in a camper van with her family since 2019. In her publications on her website and eBook, she shares her own experiences and approaches and thus provides assistance to those who also dream of a free life. She is especially interested in finding solutions for contact with authorities, a life without school and independence.

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