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

Need to get a Meldezettel or somehow have one but don’t know what it is? Here’s what you need to know.

Meldezettel: Everything you need to know about Austria’s compulsory address registration
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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. 

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. 

Accessing welfare, getting registered to vote, registering your car, getting a gun permit 

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. 

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. 

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). 

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. 

https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/themen/familie_und_partnerschaft/geburt/3/1/Seite.080200.html

More information about the registration process is available here. 

https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/themen/dokumente_und_recht/an__abmeldung_des_wohnsitzes/Seite.1180200.html

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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WEATHER

Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

With violent storms becoming increasingly common in Austria, here’s how to protect yourself (and your home) this summer.

Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

Storms are a regular occurrence in Austria during the summer months, but the strength and frequency seems to be increasing.

Overnight on Tuesday, June 28th, both the Pöllinger and the Treffner rivers in Carinthia burst their banks causing widespread flooding, mudslides and damage across the region.

Reports on Wednesday morning said the villages of Treffen am Ossiacher See and Arriach (Villach-Land district) were still metres under water and several people had been rescued from the deluge.

READ ALSO: Who to call and what to say in an emergency in Austria

According to ORF, emergency services were still struggling to reach some areas and there were unconfirmed reports of missing people.

A Tweet from Unwetter-Freaks said: “Bad pictures from #Arriach in #Kärnten , which was hit by several storm cells last night. According to ORF, the place is currently cut off from the outside world and cannot be reached by the emergency services.”

Earlier this week, rural areas in Upper Austria were also hit by storms (overnight, June 27th) bringing torrential rain and hail the size of golf balls, which caused extensive damage to crops and grassland in the key agricultural state.

READ ALSO: 23 essential articles to help you navigate life in Austria

The Klaus reservoir had to be drained of 200 cubic metres of water to avoid flooding and trees were brought down across the province by wind gusts – some up to 91 km/h.

The Kronen Zeitung reports the storm caused damage to around 16,000 hectares of agriculture land, with insurers estimating the cost to be up to €6.5 million.

One Tweet showed the size of the hail on Monday night and read: “In the night we had ‘light’ hail.”

Storms then hit the region again on Tuesday night leading to a lightning strike on a hay barn in the Mühlviertel and the flooding of an underground car park in Linz.

With the summer season far from over and the possibility of more wild weather in the coming months, here’s how to stay safe during storms in Austria.

FOR MEMBERS: When and where to avoid driving in Austria this summer

Check the weather report

It might sound obvious, but checking the weather forecast should be at the top of the list of summer storm preparations.

Unlike in the past, weather reports are now typically reliable, and apps like Bergfex and Accuweather are well-known for providing detailed forecasts and weather warnings.

However, long-range forecasts can change quickly, so if you’re planning a camping or hiking trip, be sure to check the weather between 24 and 48 hours before to avoid being caught out.

Additionally, the Österreichischen Unwetterzentrale (Austrian Severe Weather Centre) has regular updates about storms and weather forecasts for Austria and users can sign up for email and SMS notifications.

Stay indoors

According to the organisation, Die Helfer Wiens (The Helpers of Vienna) one of the biggest risks during a storm is being hit by a fallen tree or flying debris.

For this reason, they advise people (and pets) to stay indoors during a storm and close all windows and doors. 

If staying in a tent or campervan, it’s also a good idea to seek shelter in a building (if possible) until the storm has passed.

However, if you are outside during lightning, the Austrian Red Cross says the best approach is to crouch down into a ball to reduce the amount of contact you have with the floor.

READ MORE: How to keep your apartment cool in Austria this summer amid rising energy prices

Stay away from the cellar

Cellars and underground car parks can quickly become flooded during heavy rain – as seen in recent storms in Upper Austria and Carinthia, and last year during violent storms across Austria.

Flash flooding can happen quickly (the clue is in the name), so stay away from cellars and underground spaces during a storm and call the emergency services if you suspect a flood in your home.

Remove plants and furniture from balconies

Having plants and flowers on a balcony is a lovely way to brighten up an outside space, but they risk being damaged during a storm.

To safeguard your pots and lovingly-planted flora, move them inside – especially during a thunderstorm with strong wind gusts and lightning.

The same applies to any outdoor furniture that could be damaged by wind or hail, like cushions, decorative objects and sun umbrellas.

Park cars under shelter

Hail is one of the leading causes of dents to bodywork on cars and damage to windscreens, both of which can be costly to repair.

If hail is forecast during a storm, park a car in a garage or under shelter, if possible. 

If strong wind is expected, then avoid parking a car under trees as debris, or even the tree itself, could end up landing on the vehicle.

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: How Austria banned everyone from the forest for 123 years

Don’t go into the forest

Whether walking or driving, the best advice is to stay from the forest or areas with lots of trees during a storm.

While sheltering under a tree can protect from rain or hail, lightning or strong wind can bring down trees. This makes the forest a dangerous place to be in a storm.

But if you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of being in a forest when a thunderstorm hits, stay away from low branches and tree trunks and crouch down low. Place any walking sticks or metal poles away from you and stay away from metal fences.

Avoid risky activities

Certain outdoor activities are especially hazardous if there’s a lightning storm. 

Any activity in an open area or that puts you into contact with water or metal is strongly advised against. So that means fishing, swimming, boating, cycling and golfing are out until the storm is over. 

Keep torches and candles ready

Power cuts are common during storms, so keep a stock of candles and torches ready in case you end up without electricity for several hours.

It’s also a good idea to have a portable USB charger to make sure your phone doesn’t run out of battery during an emergency.

Who to call in an emergency

These are the numbers to call if you need help from the Austrian emergency services during a storm.

122 – fire service (Feuerwehr).

133 – police (Polizei).

144 – ambulance (Krankenwagen or Rettungswagen).

120 – ÖAMTC emergency breakdown service.

123 – ARBÖ emergency breakdown service.

140 – mountain rescue.

Finally, 112 is the single European emergency number, whose operators will direct you to the relevant services. This number can even be called on a locked mobile phone without needing the pin.

Find out more with The Local’s guide on who to call and what to say in an emergency.

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