Italian electronic identity card

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Italian electronic identity card
(Carta d'Identità Elettronica)
Issued by  Italy
Valid in  Italy
 Europe (except Russia, Belarus and Ukraine)
 Morocco (organized tours only)
 Tunisia (organized tours only)
Type of document Compulsory identity document

Carta d'Identità Elettronica (Electronic identity card, CIE) is a personal identification document replacing the paper-based ID card in Italy. The first Italian electronic ID cards were issued in 2001.

The Italian EIC was intended for both online and offline identification. Therefore, apart from the printed information, data for identification are stored on a microchip as well as a laser band. Specifically, the microchip contains a digital certificate for online authentication and (optionally) a certificate for digital signatures. The Italian EIC is explicitly designed to give access to e-government services and will become the standard for access to online services offered to Italian citizens by public authorities. The technical specifications for the Italian identity card have been developed by the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

After more than 10 years of trials, the use of the electronic card is still limited to relatively few municipalities and the "online features" are not yet implemented as of 2011.[1]


According to provisions of the Italian constitution only the Italian municipalities can supply identity cards to citizens. Therefore the EIC issuing system is distributed locally. The Ministry of Internal Affairs supplies the required network infrastructure, software updates and security architecture. As a consequence the required issuing system is more complex than centralized ones used by other countries or for other electronic cards. However, the system allows smaller municipalities to collaborate with nearby larger ones in order to reduce printing costs.

Card Description[edit]

The Italian EIC contains the following fields:

  1. Issuing municipality
  2. Last name
  3. Given name
  4. Place of birth
  5. Date of birth
  6. Sex
  7. Number of birth registration
  8. Height
  9. Municipality of residence
  10. Address
  11. Issuing date
  12. Expiration date
  13. Nationality
  14. Fiscal code
  15. Signature
  16. Validity to travel

The card also contains the following items:

  • Emblem of the Italian Republic;
  • Unique identification number of the card
  • Photo of cardholder
  • Security hologram
  • Laser strip
  • The microchip

The chip contains the information in all the fields printed on the card, a digital version of the photo, and can hold X.509 digital certificates issued by the Certification Authority of Ministry of Internal Affairs. On the chip there are also optional fingerprint templates and the infrastructure required for digital signatures. The card complies with the ISO/IEC 7816 standard.


According to the Law 133/2008, the validity of Italian Identity Cards has retroactively been extended from 5 to 10 years.

EIC and CNS[edit]

There are two cards Italian citizens can use to gain online access to public services, the EIC and CNS (Carta Nazionale dei Servizi). The CNS is not an identity card and can only be used for online authentication and optionally digital signatures. Furthermore there still exists the option of gaining access by other means of authentication like username and password. The latter option was supposed to be abolished as of 31 December 2007 but still remains active and will likely be extended.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Che fine ha fatto la carta d'identità elettronica?". Wired. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  • IDABC programme report, eID Interoperability for PEGS: Update of Country Profiles study, Italian country profile, 2009

External links[edit]