Registering german SIM from Lidl as a foreigner (in 2021)

We went for an RV trip across Europe and our Polish sim cards had only 3.17GB of data roaming per month, so we bought the german SIM to be sure we will be connected. The card is working fine, but the registration process was a little troublesome. So I’m documenting it here for future generations:

  • Lidl Connect is a virtual operator of Vodafone Germany.
  • You get to use the Vodafone network and cross-European roaming without limits (within the EU).
  • You can buy the Sim Card in any Lidl – the starter packs are near the counters.
  • I recommend the DATA XL prepaid plan, which works for 4 weeks and offers 10 Gigabytes for 14.99 EUR. Much more than in Poland, but apparently in Germany it is reasonable.

Registering Lidl Connect

European Union requires all SIM cards to be tied to a valid ID, so the vendor must check your passport / ID card, etc. Since I was purchasing the starter package at the Lidl store, I counted on them checking my credentials there. Unfortunately, that process was outsourced to the mighty online system™️.

I got a link to http://www.lidl-connect.de and a phone number where they only speak German. I don’t speak enough to convey the problem I was seeing.

There were a few hiccups you have to watch out for:

  1. The proper website to register your sim card is https://registrierung.lidl-connect.de . On the receipt tell you to visit lidl-connect.de and search for a button, but it’s not there. Just go to https://registrierung.lidl-connect.de
  2. In the address field, put only a German address. I tried my Polish one, because the system didn’t specify it had to be a german one and got a cryptic error.
  3. The ID verification is outsourced to German Post and worked perfectly. They tell you to:
    • Install an app on your phone
    • Take photos of your ID
    • And initiate video call with a representative. You can choose English if you don’t speak German.
  4. The account login ( https://kundenkonto.lidl-connect.de ) did not work for a few hours after the registration
    • The login is the phone number, including the country routing number for Germany (49), without the leading 0 of your phone number. So if your number starts 0172…, your login will start 49172…
  5. If you want to top up your starter (I chose the 14.99 EUR having only 10 EUR starter), you may have to use Paypal. The online credit card form didn’t update for cross-origin iframes updates in modern browsers and will not load the online payment confirmation process (3DSecure). If you have an American card, it won’t be a problem, but most European cards won’t work.

After registering, you get a ton of emails when stuff gets activated, and you also get a link to the video identification process if you didn’t start it during registration. Your card should work soon.