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When do I have to re-register my dog?

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I have finally moved to a better apartment in Germany! What about my dog? Do you have to re-register my dog?

What are the reasons why I have to re-register my dog?

  • You move within your community
  • I have just bought the dog from someone else. The re-registration itself is very easy.

Do I have to re-register my dog ​​if I move? Below you will find important tips if you own a dog and are moving to a new place

Moving: Report the new address to the dog tax

With very few exceptions, almost all municipalities in Germany levy a dog tax. As a dog owner, you must therefore register your dog at your place of residence and pay dog ​​tax there. The tax is due annually for every dog ​​you keep. As proof that you have paid the tax, you will receive, among other things, a small tin dog tax stamp that you attach to your dog’s collar.

re-register my dog

DO I have to re-register my dog if I stay in the same area? If you stay in the same community after moving, you can easily re-register your dog. Essentially, it is about the competent authority being aware of your change of address. Otherwise, the dog tax bills may come to nothing.

Attention: If you move your dog to another municipality , you must first de-register the dog at the old place of residence and then register it again in the new place of residence. For four-legged friends, dealing with the authorities when moving is a bit more time-consuming than for masters at the residents’ registration office.

TIP: You have to report yourself to authorities, but you can reach many of your contractual partners with the free notification of your move! And with the forwarding service, you can even get mail that was still sent to the old address.

What if I am moving back home? Do I still have to re-register my dog? If you give your dog away or give it away, you must also re-register it – at least if the new owner lives in the same municipality. This means that you have to inform the public order office in writing of the name and address of the new owner .

If the change of ownership takes place between two different municipalities , you have to de-register your dog and the new owner has to register him again in his municipality.

This is how the change of registration of the dog tax works

On your previous dog tax assessment you can see which authority is responsible for your dog tax matters – as a rule, it is the municipal public order office or the local city treasury.

It looks different if you change the city or location. If you move to another municipality or city, you will have to re-register yourself and everyone involved in the household – including your dog. 

Important: The change of registration should take place within two weeks after the move date.

What are the steps involved when I need to re-register my dog? There are two steps to re-registering your dog: deregistering at the previous place of residence and registering at the new place of residence.

This is how the re-registration works:

  • To unsubscribe, simply inform the previously responsible authority of your new address by email or letter.
  • Then register your dog in the new city. You can usually do this online, by telephone or in writing (letter or email). From this point on you will pay dog ​​tax at your new place of residence.

If you are unsure whether you have done everything correctly, simply give the competent authority a brief call. The dog laws are a matter of the federal states and can vary from municipality to municipality.

What happens to overpaid dog tax?

Any dog ​​tax that you have already paid at your previous place of residence will be reimbursed on a pro-rata basis. If you have deregistered your dog, this happens automatically. You will get back the amount that was set from the date of your move up to the end of the year. In individual cases, however, it can take a few weeks for the money to reach your account.

Is there a checklist I should be aware of when I re-register my dog?

1. Don’t forget: your dog’s insurance

You must also provide your new address to insurance companies with which you have concluded contracts. For example, if you have dog liability insurance or health insurance for your dog, please inform the company of your new address. The same applies here: You can informally notify the change of address by email or letter.

2. Change your address for the dog food subscription if you use any

Do you order the food for your dog online and have it delivered to your home? More and more dog owners have been using this service, especially since the corona pandemic. When moving, it is therefore important to make sure that the new address is stored so that the delivery arrives at the right place. You should therefore also enter the new address for subscriptions for which you will automatically receive a delivery at set intervals.

3. Check the regulations for dogs in your new place of residence

Laws and ordinances that affect dog ownership are a matter for the respective municipality. Therefore, they can vary depending on where you live. Therefore, when you move, pay attention to what changes for you and your dog. For example, different corona regulations apply depending on the federal state. The rules for wearing a muzzle are also handled differently. 

4. Also inform the dog register of your new address 

Is your dog registered in a dog registry such as Tasso ? You should also think about this change of address. A current address is important so that the dog can be brought back to its owner.

Below is a useful checklist to always use when re-registering your dog:

  • Log off at your old place of residence 
  • Register at your new place of residence 
  • Notify insurance companies of the new address
  • Enter a new address for the dog food subscription
  • Notify dog registry

Fortunately, you can do all of these transfers from the comfort of your own home. An informal e-mail is usually sufficient so that the relevant departments know that you and your dog can now be reached at a new address. And then you can finally explore your new surroundings together.

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Tim Gumbert
Tim is the go-to guy when it comes to finding all the gems regarding life as an Expat in Germany. His whole motto is discover Germany on your own and without a roadmap, explore new routes while climbing or mountain biking.
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