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I have a question regarding the ESTA form, specifically about step 3 "Personal Information", section "YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION": Should I insert the city district in address line 2, while address line 1 contains the street name and the city itself is specified in another field? Or should I insert it somewhere else or not at all?

The background is the following:

  • My German passport has in the field "Residence" two lines: The first line is the city name and the second line is the name of the district of the city. Moreover on my German identity card my full address is listed in the three-line scheme "postcode | city\ city district\ street | number". Because the city district is listed such prominently on my ID card and on my passport, I am wondering if I should mention it in my ESTA application in order to avoid problems at the immigration.
  • If one hovers over address line 2 in the ESTA form the following text is displayed: "In the address line 2 field enter floor, building, or other, as appropriate. Do not include the city or the state in this field. Address line 2 is optional to complete the application." (Bold print was inserted here by me.)

Therefore, I am wondering if and where I should insert the city district's name.

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    What does the German post office say about how to address a piece of mail for delivery to your residence? Is the district required or optional?
    – phoog
    May 23 at 11:35
  • @phoog With the postal code, the city district is not needed since 1961/3. May 23 at 11:56

1 Answer 1

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You probably should not.

From a postal standpoint, there are no reason to include district name, especially if it isn't official.
If there is an official district name, that part of the city will likely be reflected as a different zipcode (like in some French cities where the zipcode is 75xxx (for Paris) with the last 2 xx being the district arrondissement number). Or, actually in the city name (Dublin sectors comes to mind here)

And this is not what Address Line 2 is for, it is, a non-standard way, to write, like the form explains, PO Box, apartment number, company name...

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    I wouldn't use US address formatting guidelines to decide how to enter a non-US address. Also, it's hard to see how one might conclude that the district name isn't official in light of its being included in both the passport and the identity card.
    – phoog
    May 23 at 11:34
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    The districts in larger German cities are very much official and administrative sub-divisions of the city. They are however never used in the postal address. The district of residence is in German id cards sometimes included and sometimes not, it seems just to depend on what the issuing local authority thinks is right. It might be a remnant from a not so distant past, where it used to be required for official matters to contact or visit the relevant authority in the district you were living. Now, I believe that all cities allow you to visit an arbitrary office for any matter. May 23 at 14:19
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    In the past in Berlin, before computerization, you had to go to a specific registration office that was mostly inside a local police station. Since that was the only place where your data was stored (in the form of a registration card), you had to go there. None of my passports, issued in these offices, contain anything other than the city and only the last ID (issued 2010) contains the postal code. May 23 at 21:31

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