Berlin - A new Bürgeramt opened Thursday in Mitte with officials hoping it will help relieve the backlog of appointments for resident services. The new office at Klosterstraße 71 can help residents get ID cards or passports, exchange driver's licenses or register a new address, as well as other services. The office will initially be staffed by 10 with that number slated to expand to about two dozen.

Interior minister Andreas Geisel (SPD) announced the new office in June after politicians met to find solutions to the inability of residents to get appointments with Berlin bureaucrats. Geisel had said the city had a backlog of 250,000 appointments. The politicians and officials from various boroughs have since met and also agreed to extend the hours of other Bürgerämter.

The new, central office is just one of the building blocks official shope will reduce the backlog, Mitte councilor Ramona Reiser (Die Linke). Appointments are mandatory at the new location and can be made online or by calling 0115.

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