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How to: Quit the Church

You need:

  • Identity card or passport with registration certificate
  • Possibly family register, birth certificates of your children or marriage/civil partnership certificate
  • Up to 60 euros for the fees

Step 1: Find the right contact point

The agency responsible for leaving the Church depends on where you live. Contact the local district court in Berlin, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia – in all other federal states contact the registry office.

Step 2: Personally declare your departure from the church

You must appear in person to leave the Church. You cannot leave the church online. Go to the competent authority and bring your valid identity card or passport with you. You do not have to justify your withdrawal. If you are married or in a registered civil partnership, you can have your withdrawal noted in the marriage or civil partnership register. This has no effect on the church tax exemption, for example for the Catholic or Protestant church. In order to also declare the withdrawal for your underage child, you also need their birth certificate. You can also write a declaration of resignation and submit it to a notary.

The resignation only becomes effective when the declaration reaches the processing authority. Websites like Kirchenaustritt24.de promise to do the bureaucratic act for customers for a fee, but that’s a rip-off. As mentioned, it is not possible to withdraw online.

See also
Model processes 2022: Benefit from current tax processes

Step 3: Pay the fee

The applicable fee depends on the federal state and is between 0 and 60 euros, in most cases around 30 euros. You pay in the authority – not for the exit itself, but for the official administrative work.

Step 4: Keep the certificate of leaving the church

You will receive a form from the authority responsible for the exit, the transcript of the declaration of exit. You should keep this certificate in a safe place. It can be used to avert any demands for church tax from the tax office.

At the end of the day you sign the minutes of your resignation, you are no longer a member of the Church. The exemption from church tax liability, which saves you church tax from then on, then comes into effect at the end of the current month of your departure. The residents’ registration and tax office will inform the responsible office, which will also inform your employer of your departure.

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