You need to apply by yourself only if you have private health insurance. If you choose a public health insurance provider, they will apply on your behalf.
You will need a rental agreement or confirmation letter from your hotel/Airbnb host as well as:
- Registration form, called Meldeschein or Anmeldung form, available ONLY in German at your local Bürgeramt.
- Valid passport (non-EU citizens) or ID card (EU/EEA citizens).
- Visa if required for entry into Germany.
After you bring those documents to your local Burgeramt and your address gets registered, you can apply for a social security number following the below steps:
- Make an appointment at your local German pension office (Rentenversicherung). As most of their website in German, it would be best to call their English hotline for assistance: 0800 1000 480 70. The hotline is free of charge, if you call from a German landline phone number.
- Go to the German pension office (Rentenversicherung) together with your passport and visa (if you have one).
- The German pension office will be able to issue your social security card on the spot.