About Hamburg Authorities
Learn about Hamburg's city, state and port authorities (Behörden), as well as their services, opening hours and locations.
Authorities in Hamburg
Bezirksamt — District Office
Hamburg has seven districts or, as the Germans say, Bezirke: Altona, Hamburg Nord, Eimsbüttel, Hamburg-Mitte, Wandsbek, Bergedorf and Harburg, each of which is governed from their respective district offices.
Kundenzentrum — Registration Office
The city’s registration offices provide a range of services for residents. This is where you register your residency when you move to or within Hamburg, where you register a pet dog, or apply for fishing licenses and parking permits. Locate your nearest office and schedule an appointment (in German).
The Hamburg Welcome Center, located near City Hall, is specialised in providing services to newly-arrived international residents with an income over EUR 41,808 per year.
Depending on your current location and status, there are several authorities responsible for handling immigration queries. Within Hamburg, the Central Foreigners’ Office (Zentrale Ausländerbehörde) is the main point of contact for foreign nationals without a secure residence status, e.g. international students with a preliminary residence permit, people with a so-called 'tolerated' residency status or asylum seekers.
Foreign nationals with a secure residence status, e.g. a residence permit, settlement permit, a visa or an EU Blue Card, who wish to renew or change their permits should contact the foreigners’ department in their local district office (Bezirksamt).
Finanzamt — Tax Office
The 15 different tax offices (Finanzamt) spread around Hamburg are responsible for handling the city’s taxes. In case you’re self-employed, these institutions are where you apply for a tax number and to which you pay income taxes and value-added taxes.
Amtsgericht — Court of Justice
Civil and penal law is handled by the central court of Hamburg-Mitte, as well as the seven district courts located in Altona, Barmbek, Bergedorf, Blankenese, Harburg, Wandsbek and St. Georg. More information here (in German).
Soziales Dienstleistungszentrum — Social Service Centre
The social service centres in and around Hamburg are responsible for handling support services such as welfare, housing subsidies and child care assistance for residents. Find your nearest location (in German).
For more information about Hamburg's city authorities, visit the Hamburg Welcome Portal.