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Italian electronic identity card

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Italian electronic identity card
(Carta di identità elettronica)
CIE 3.0 (2022)
TypeOptional identity document
Issued by Italy
First issued
  • 1931 (first ID card)
  • 2001 (first CIE)
  • 29 September 2022 (current)
PurposeIdentification, travel
Valid in European Union
 United Kingdom (EU Settlement Scheme) [1]
Rest of Europe (except Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine)
 Montserrat (max. 14 days)
France Overseas France
 Tunisia (organized tours)
EligibilityItalian citizenship, or else any citizenship if legally residing in Italy
  • 10 years (age >18)
  • 5 years (age 3–18)
  • 3 years (age <3)
  • Residence permit duration (for non-EEA foreigners)[2]
  • €16.79+fees
  • €21.95–€27.11 (abroad)

The Italian electronic identity card (Italian: carta di identità elettronica, CIE), or simply carta d'identità (lit.'identity card'),[3] is an identification document issued to any Italian citizen and to legal aliens, that has been progressively replacing the paper-based identity card [it] since version 3.0 was first released on 4 July 2016. The CIE is intended for both digital and physical identification.[4][5] The biometric information is printed on an ID-1 card and stored in a contactless chip.[6]


The Italian identity card is an optional identity document that may be issued to anyone who is resident in Italy and to Italian citizens living abroad. A card issued to an Italian citizen is accepted in lieu of a passport to exercise the right of free movement in the European Economic Area and Switzerland or to travel to those countries with which Italy has signed specific agreements.[7][8]

Although any government-issued document (such as a passport or driving licence) can be shown for identification,[9] identity cards are very widespread in Italy; so much so that it is the first document asked and the most widely accepted in both the public and private sectors. For an Italian citizen, it is not compulsory to carry the card itself unless expressly ordered by public security authorities which usually ask for only the identity of a person, not a specific document. However, if public-security officers are not convinced of the claimed identity, such as a verbal claim of identity, they may hold the claimant in custody until the identity is ascertained.[10][11]

All foreigners in Italy are required by law to have identification with them at all times. Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland must be ready to display a national identity card or a passport. NonEEA citizens must have their passport with the proper entry stamp.[12][13] Permanent resident foreigners with a valid permesso di soggiorno (residence permit) may request an Italian identity card, but in this case the document is valid only in Italy for identification purposes.[14]


In 1931, during the Fascist regime, the Kingdom of Italy adopted the identity card for reasons of public security, based on the article 3 of the Law 773/1931.[15][16] From then on, the identity card has been in service without interruption according to this old law, to which many other laws have been added over time.[16]

The classic paper-based identity card was issued for nearly 87 years until 2018 in Italy, and can still be issued abroad or in case of emergency.[17]

The project of an electronic identity card began in 1997,[18] but the first phase started only in 2001 with a very first experimental model in 83 municipalities[19] in order to identify any technical problem related to software, hardware, manufacture and use of the card.[20] In 2004 a second experimental model was introduced, that was the CIE 2.0,[21] working as a pilot version for future use on a national scale. In 2006 the service was extended to 153 municipalities, but at the end of 2009 just a total of 1.8 million cards was issued.[22] The production turned out to be complex and inefficient due to the materials and mainly to the transfer printing machines which any municipality had to install to make the card.[23] Therefore, on 23 December 2015 the government decided to use a single centralized manufacturing site, which is the IPZS in Rome (where Italian passports are made), and set the specifications of the next model.[24]

Finally, after about 15 years of trials, as per decree of 25 May 2016 every classic identity card with expired validity has to be replaced by the electronic version.[25] The issue of the CIE 3.0[26] began on 4 July 2016, initially in 199 municipalities[27] and was extended to the whole country until 2018, as the issue of the classic identity card was definitively being suppressed inside the national territory.[17]

According to the Regulation (EU) 2019/1157 of 20 June 2019,[28] the phasing-out of every classic identity card shall be completed by 3 August 2026, because it does not meet the minimum security standards and does not include a functional MRZ.[29]

On 18 July 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs signed a decree allowing Italians who reside abroad to request an electronic identity card.[30][31] The service was tested at the consular offices in Vienna, Athens and Nice,[30] before being extended throughout the European Union, to some countries where Italians have the right of free movement (Norway, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City), to the United Kingdom[32] and the United States.[33]

As per decree of 21 July 2022[34] which complies with the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2019/1157,[28] on 29 September 2022 the design was slightly changed,[35] with the addition of the two-letter country code "IT" inside an EU flag (in the top left corner) as well as inside a square with optically variable ink (in the bottom right corner) and with a different position of the warning if it is not valid abroad.

Contactless chip [edit]

Like European biometric passports, the CIE has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which complies with the international ICAO 9303 recommendations governing the characteristics of electronic travel documents[36] and stores the following items:[6]

  • Name
  • Surname
  • Place and date of birth
  • Residency
  • Holder's picture
  • Two fingerprints (one of each hand), only if the applicant is aged 12 or over[37]

The information can be read by means of NFC tools, but anyway fingerprints are accessible just by police forces.[6][37][36]

Physical appearance[edit]

The card has an ID-1 standard size and it is made of polycarbonate with many security features (such as holograms, security backgrounds, micro-texts, guilloches, optically variable ink), over which the information is printed by using laser engraving technology.[6]

The front side bears the emblem of the Italian Republic and the background of the reverse side is derived from the geometric design of the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti.[6]

The descriptions of the fields are printed in Italian and English.


  1. ICAO symbol for contactless chip
  2. EU flag with "IT" country code
  3. Card number (for example CA00000AA)
  4. Issuing municipality (or, if living abroad, issuing embassy/consulate)
  5. Surname
  6. Name
  7. Place and date of birth
  8. Sex
  9. Height
  10. Nationality
  11. Date of issue
  12. Date of expiry
  13. Holder's signature
  14. "IT" country code with optically variable ink
  15. Card Access Number – CAN
  16. (Optional) The sentence "NON VALIDA PER L'ESPATRIO" is printed only if the card is not valid for travel abroad


  1. Surname and name of parents or legal guardian (for applicants aged 0–14, only if the card is valid abroad)[38]
  2. Italian tax code
  3. Italian birth code
  4. Residence address
  5. (Optional) The field "COMUNE DI ISCRIZIONE AIRE" is added in case of an Italian applicant residing abroad
  6. Secondary (ghost) facial image
  7. Italian tax code in the form of barcode
  8. Machine Readable Zone – MRZ

Trilingual versions[edit]

In some parts of Italy where a minority language is recognized as official, the identity card could be issued with a third additional language:

Issue, price and validity[edit]

The CIE may be requested at the Italian municipality of residence[39] by Italian citizens and resident aliens. The request is digitally processed and transmitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs which issues the card in collaboration with the IPZS in Rome. The card is sent to the address specified by the applicant (or else to the municipality) and it should arrive within 6 working days.[39] The costs are: €16.79 for the card issuing and €5.42 for fees charged by the municipality, which may vary (usually doubled) if the previous card was lost, stolen or deteriorated.[39]

Italian citizens residing outside Italy may submit an application for the electronic identity card at an Italian embassy or consulate in European Union, Norway, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City and United Kingdom. The issuing process is the same as in Italy and the card should arrive within 15 days. The costs are: €21.95 in case of renewal or first issue, otherwise €27.11 if the previous card was lost or stolen.[32][40]


According to the Law 106/2011 the card lasts:[3]

  • 10 years for adults aged 18 and above
  • 5 years for minors aged 3–18
  • 3 years for children aged up to 3

According to the Law 35/2012, validity expires on the applicant's birthday.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Visiting the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen". GOV.UK. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2023.
  2. ^ d'Italia, Stranieri (7 June 2022). "Carta di identità 2022 per stranieri - Guida completa!". Stranieri d'Italia (in Italian). Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Electronic Identity Card (CIE)". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 10 December 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  4. ^ "Digital identification". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 15 January 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Physical identification". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 11 December 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e "CIE Features". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 10 December 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Travel". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 1 September 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  8. ^ "I documenti per viaggiare". www.poliziadistato.it. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  9. ^ "D.P.R. 445/2000". www.parlamento.it. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Download di: Regio Decreto 18 giugno 1931, n. 773 T.U.L.P.S. (testo unico delle leggi di pubblica sicurezza)". Il portale delle Prefetture-UTG (in Italian). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Che si rischia a camminare senza documenti d'identità?". La Legge per Tutti (in Italian). 15 December 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Foreign nationals". Polizia di Stato (in Italian). Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Identificazione di persone – Sicurezza Pubblica". sicurezzapubblica.wikidot.com. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Gazzetta Ufficiale". www.gazzettaufficiale.it. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Law 775 of 18 June 1931".
  16. ^ a b "Notiziario Giuridico Telematico diretto da Andrea Sirotti Gaudenzi". www.notiziariogiuridico.it. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Circolare N. 08/2017 del Ministero dell'Interno" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Law 191/1998".
  19. ^ "Council of the European Union - PRADO - ITA-BO-04002". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  20. ^ "La nuova C.I.E. Finalmente un documento veramente sicuro". asaps.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Council of the European Union - PRADO - ITA-BO-04003". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  22. ^ "La Cie raddoppia. E ingloba la tessera sanitaria".
  23. ^ "Carta d'identità elettronica: la rivoluzione non decolla, ce l'hanno solo in 300mila". la Repubblica (in Italian). 16 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Modalita' tecniche di emissione della Carta d'identita' elettronica. (15A09809) (GU Serie Generale n.302 del 30-12-2015)".
  25. ^ Gazzetta Ufficiale. "DECRETO 25 maggio 2016". Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Council of the European Union - PRADO - ITA-BO-04004".
  27. ^ "» Avvio del servizio di rilascio della CIE nei primi Comuni". www.cartaidentita.interno.gov.it. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  28. ^ a b "EUR-Lex - 32019R1157 - EN - EUR-Lex". eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  29. ^ "EUR-Lex - 32019R1157 - EN - EUR-Lex". eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  30. ^ a b "Electronic ID cards for Italians abroad". www.esteri.it. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  31. ^ ""Carta d'identità elettronica": firmato il Decreto contenente le modalità di emissione per i cittadini italiani residenti all'Estero". Enti Locali Online (in Italian). 5 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Carta d'identità – Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale". www.esteri.it. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  33. ^ "Carta d'identità – Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale". conssanfrancisco.esteri.it. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  34. ^ "Decreto 21 luglio 2022" (PDF). Dipartimento per gli affari interni e territoriali (in Italian). 25 July 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  35. ^ "Caratteristiche della CIE". Carta di Identità Elettronica (CIE) (in Italian). 10 December 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  36. ^ a b "Microprocessor technical specifications". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 17 September 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  37. ^ a b "Citizens finger printing". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 30 August 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  38. ^ "Law 24/2012, art. 40".
  39. ^ a b c "Release and renew in Italy". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 9 December 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  40. ^ "Release and renew abroad". The Electronic Identity Card (CIE). 31 August 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  41. ^ "Circolare n. 7/2012 – Scadenza dei documenti di identità e di riconoscimento". Ministro per la Pubblica Amministrazione (in Italian). 20 July 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2019.

External links[edit]