What you must know about Carta d’Identità as a non-Italian resident in Italy

By Go! Go! Italia staff
02 May 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Photo of carta d'identità

The Carta d’Identità is Italy’s national identity card (ID). It’s an official document that proves the identity of its holder. The process and requirements for obtaining one, its uses, and the steps to take if it’s lost can vary depending on whether the applicant is an Italian citizen or a foreign resident in Italy. 

In this article, we’re focusing on the Carta d’Identità for foreigners living in Italy. We’ll explore why it’s a helpful document to have, the steps to obtain one, important tips for traveling with it, and what actions to take if it ever goes missing. 

Photo of carta d'identità

What is Carta d’Identità

The Carta d’Identità is a personal identification document that Italian citizens and foreign residents can use to prove their identity within Italy and for travel within most of Europe. For Italian citizens, it contains personal data such as name, surname, place and date of birth, residence, and it also has security features for authenticity verification. For foreigners living in Italy, it serves a similar purpose but is marked to indicate that it’s issued to a foreign citizen and normally has a shorter duration of validity.

How to obtain Carta d’Identità for foreigners


  • Application submission: The application for the Carta d’Identità for foreigners is typically submitted at the Anagrafe (Registry Office) of the municipality where the applicant resides. Some municipalities may allow or require appointments or online submissions.
  • Required documents: While the specific documents may vary slightly by municipality, generally, foreigners will need to provide:
    • Valid passport or other equivalent travel document.
    • Documentation proving legal residence in Italy, such as a permesso di soggiorno (residence permit) or evidence of the application for one.
    • A passport-sized photograph.
    • Proof of residence.
  • Costs: The Carta d’identità has a cost of 22,21 euro for the standard version and 16,79 euro or 21,95 euro for the electronic one, depending on the local municipality.

Additional steps for foreigners:

  • Non-EU citizens typically need to show a valid permesso di soggiorno (residence permit) or receipt of application as mentioned above and register with the Anagrafe office to obtain a certificate of residence.
  • EU citizens from outside of Italy need to register with the Anagrafe office and obtain a certificate of residence.

Electronic Carta d’Identità

The Italian government has initiated the rollout of the electronic version of the Italian ID, which serves as a digital identity employing advanced electronic technologies. Through downloading the dedicated app on your smartphone, you can utilize this digital version in place of the physical card.

Photo of Italy for carta d'identità article

Why it’s useful

The Carta d’Identità is a versatile document, used for:

  • Personal identification: In daily activities where identification is required (e.g., picking up a parcel, domestic banking).
  • Public administration: It’s often required for various administrative procedures in Italy, from registering at the Anagrafe to accessing healthcare services.

Travel use of Carta d’Identità for Italian citizens vs. foreigners

  • Italian citizens: The Carta d’Identità allows Italian citizens to travel within the European Union (EU) and other countries that recognize it as a valid travel document, without the need for a passport. This makes it a highly convenient option for European travel.
  • Foreign residents in Italy: For foreigners residing in Italy who are issued a Carta d’Identità, the situation is different. The Carta d’Identità issued to foreigners is valid only within Italy for identification purposes. When traveling abroad, even within the EU, foreign citizens must carry their passport and, depending on their nationality and the regulations of the destination country, possibly also their permesso di soggiorno (residence permit). This ensures they have the necessary documentation for international travel and re-entry into Italy.

What to do when you lose it

If you lose your Carta d’Identità, you should take the following steps:

  • Report the loss: Go to the nearest Questura or Carabinieri station (police station) to report the loss or theft. You will receive a denuncia di smarrimento (loss report) which is important for the next steps.
  • Application for a new card: With the loss report, go to the Anagrafe of your municipality to apply for a new Carta d’Identità. You will need to bring identification (if available), photographs, and possibly repeat some of the initial application steps, including paying the fee for issuing a new card.

In this article, we’re focusing on the Carta d’Identità for foreigners living in Italy. We’ll explore why it’s a helpful document to have, the steps to obtain one, important tips for traveling with it,

Obtaining the Carta d’Identità in Italy offers numerous advantages, providing access to deeper layers of Italian bureaucracy. While it doesn’t grant the same rights as Italian citizenship, it remains a valuable tool for navigating administrative procedures and establishing your presence in the country.

For more insightful information about living in Italy, be sure to follow Go! Go! Italia’s blog and social media channels.

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