Press release no. 12/21 of June 30, 2021

2021 Bundestag Election: Germans living abroad must file an application

WIESBADEN – Germans living abroad will be permitted to vote in the Bundestag election on 26 September 2021 provided that they meet the legal requirements and submit in advance an application for entry in a voters’ register. Germans who still have a registered place of residence in Germany only have to apply for postal voting documents. Both kinds of applications can even now be submitted to the municipal authorities.

1. Germans permanently living abroad

Germans permanently living abroad who no longer have a place of residence in Germany and wish to vote in the 2021 Bundestag election must apply in writing to be entered in the voters’ register of their last home municipality in Germany. For Germans living abroad, the Federal Returning Officer provides important information and the application form for download from the website (

The application must be received by the municipal authority on 5 September 2021 at the latest. Due to longer mail delivery times during the pandemic, Germans living in non-European countries are urgently recommended to see to it that their application is received by the municipal authority by early August. If the application is granted, the municipal authority can send the postal voting documents at the earliest possible time (about mid-August).

The completed postal voting documents must have been returned to the authority indicated on the official return envelope on election day, 26 September 2021, by the end of the voting hours at 6 p.m. at the latest. Mail delivery times for returning the voting documents must therefore be well considered as a total time frame of only about six weeks will be available for sending and returning the documents. Ballot letters received later will not be considered.

Germans living abroad may contact the German missions listed on the website of the Federal Returning Officer for information on using the official courier service.

2. Germans residing in Germany and staying abroad temporarily

Germans who stay abroad temporarily but continue to be registered in Germany will ex officio be entered in the voters’ register of their municipality and may vote by post in the 2021 Bundestag election. They do not have to wait for the voter’s notification, but may even now request a polling card from the municipal authority. Information on the application and on postal voting is compiled on the website of the Federal Returning Officer (


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