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BUREAUCRACY

EXPLAINED: How to change your registered address in Italy

Once you're resident in Italy, you should inform the local authorities each time you move. Here's a guide to the process.

A house in Venice, Italy.
Do the Italian authorities know where you live? Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Under Italian law, anyone who plans to stay permanently should register as a resident within three months of moving here. (If you haven’t done it yet, find a guide here.)

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between Italian residency and citizenship?

That involves informing your municipality of your official address in Italy, and if you move, you’ll need to let them know.

Thankfully, changing your registered residence within Italy isn’t too complicated – and you may even be able to do it online.

Here’s how the process works.

Why do you have to register a change of address?

Where you’re registered as living determines where you can access various services in Italy. Notably, if you sign up for national healthcare you’ll be assigned to the local health authority nearest your address and registered with a GP in the same district. 

You’ll also have to deal with whichever civil registry office, tax office, department of motor vehicles – and so on and so on – is closest to your official residence.

So registering your new address makes the biggest difference if you’re moving from one municipality or region to another, but even if you’re moving within the same city, it can still save you a trip across town.

READ ALSO: Beat the queues: 19 bits of Italian bureaucracy you can do online

You might not be allowed to park your car for free or drive in certain areas unless you’re a registered resident of your town. And there are also tax implications depending on what kind of property you’re registered as living in, and with whom.

Not to mention that, especially if you’re a foreign national in Italy dealing with immigration procedures, you’ll want to be sure that all your paperwork is in order and official correspondence goes to the correct address.

How do you change your registered address in Italy?

First, the good news: if you’ve already been through the process of transferring your residency to Italy from overseas, it gets a lot easier from here on out. You won’t have to prove you have the means to support yourself or access to healthcare all over again.

Instead, you just need to show that you really do live at your new address.

That involves registering with the anagrafe (civil registry office) of the comune (municipality) you’re moving to. 

What documents do you need?

You’ll have to fill in a declaration of residency (‘dichiarazione di residenza‘), which you should be able to find on your comune‘s website. 

It may be the same form as the one you filled in the first time you registered your residency in Italy, but this time you’ll tick the option ‘Dichiarazione di residenza con provenienza da altro comune‘ (“transfer of residency from a different municipality”) or ‘Dichiarazione di cambiamento di abitazione nell’ambito dello stesso comune‘ (“change of address within the same municipality”).

As proof of address you’ll need one of the following:

  • Deeds in your name showing you own the property.
  • Tenancy agreement showing you’re renting the property.
  • Written consent from the owner stating that you have their permission to live there, signed and accompanied by a copy of their ID (search for ‘dichiarazione di consenso del proprietario dell’immobile‘ to find an example).

On top of that, you’ll need these documents to prove your identity:

  • For EU nationals: passport or Italian ID card.
  • For non-EU nationals: passport and permesso di soggiorno (residence permit).
  • Certificate or card showing your codice fiscale (tax code).

If you own a vehicle, you should also show your driver’s licence and vehicle registration documents – but only if they were issued in Italy.

If you’re moving with family members, you can switch everyone’s address at the same time. Complete one application for the whole household, making sure to list each member and include copies of their ID and codice fiscale.

Or if you’re moving in with someone else already registered at your new address, they’ll need to give written consent (search for ‘atto di assenso al trasferimento di residenza‘ to see an example). You should also make a copy of their ID.

Where do you send the request?

Send your declaration form and all your supporting documents to the anagrafe in your new comune.

Many municipalities allow you to do so via email, with your documents as scanned attachments. Check your comune‘s website for the right email address (look for one specifically for residency requests, if possible).

Some municipalities even have web portals allowing you to complete the whole process online. They might require a digital ID (SPID) or electronic ID card (CIE) to register.

Alternatively, you may be able to submit your request by fax or registered post.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic many registry offices are currently closed to the public or open by appointment only, so if you really can’t avoid going in person, call ahead or use a booking service like TuPassi to make an appointment online.

What happens next?

Your change of registered address is supposed to take effect within two working days of your anagrafe receiving the request. After this point you should be able to request a new certificate of residence showing that you have requested a change of address.

But the change isn’t officially confirmed until your documents have been verified and local police have come to your new address to check you’re living there (so make sure you put your name on the doorbell and/or mailbox).

They are supposed to do so within 45 days of your request. If you haven’t heard anything after that, you can assume that your registration has been accepted.

These timelines are subject to delays, however, especially at the moment. Municipal offices may have reduced hours and considerable backlogs after panemic-related closures, so expect bureaucratic procedures to take even longer than usual.

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LIVING IN ITALY

Why the tabaccheria is essential to life in Italy – even if you don’t smoke

A cornerstone of Italian culture, the tabaccheria is used for much more than just buying cigarettes. From paying bills to purchasing bus tickets, here are just some of the services offered at the tobacconist's.

Why the tabaccheria is essential to life in Italy – even if you don’t smoke

Italy’s tabaccherie, or as they’re more informally known, tabaccai (tobacco shops) have long been a place for more than just purchasing cigarettes.

Their iconic emblem of a large T on a small rectangle, found in any Italian city, town and village, is associated with a place for locals to buy bus and metro tickets, pay their bills, or play the lottery.

READ ALSO: Beat the queues: 19 bits of Italian bureaucracy you can do online

With the number of smokers gradually falling in Italy (despite the pandemic reportedly acting as a setback for many former smokers), these non-tobacco related sides of the tabaccaio have become even more important to tabaccai owners’ incomes. 

So what exactly can you do in a tabaccheria in Italy? 

Buy bus and metro tickets

Outside of a metro station, the tabaccaio is one of the few places where you can buy tickets for local public transport in Italy.

The vast majority of tabaccai sell these tickets, and you’ll pay no more than you would at the metro station – just ask the cashier for biglietti per i mezzi (public transport tickets).

Pay bills

If you’re daunted by the prospect of navigating your way around an Italian phone or utility company’s website and don’t fancy waiting in a long queue at the post office (the other in-person alternative) during its limited hours of operation to pay your bills, then the tabaccheria is for you.

Most utility bills, including gas, electricity, water, can be paid at a tabaccaio, as can phone bills. For larger sums, you’ll typically pay a surcharge of €1 or €2 that goes to the tobacconist for handling the payment – which many find is well worth the added convenience.

READ ALSO: Rising energy prices: How to save money on your bills in Italy

Just bring your bill with you and the tobacconist will handle the rest. Most tabaccai accept either cash or card for these payments.

The display counter at a tabaccheria in Rome.

The display counter at a tabaccheria in Rome. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP.

Pay fines and taxes

Much like bills, fines for things such as traffic violations and parking tickets can be paid at tabaccai. Social security (INPS) contributions, and some other government charges such as waste tax (tassa sui rifiuti) can also be paid here.

You can buy a marca da bollo, or tax stamp at many (but not all) tabaccai. As a foreigner in Italy applying for things like residency permits and work visas, you’ll quickly become familiar with this term, as a marca da bollo is required for most official government applications.

READ ALSO: Living in Italy: Six essential articles to read

Top up your phone credit

If you’re on a pay-as-you-go Italian phone contract, you can easily top up your credit at a tabaccheria by purchasing a scratch card. The cards come in values of €5, €10, €15, or €20.

If you’re on a fixed rate month-to-month contract of any amount, you can also top up your credit by telling the cashier your phone number and the sum you need to pay.

Play the lottery and place bets

Playing the lottery is a popular pastime in Italy, and if you want to try your luck by buying a lottery ticket, the tabaccaio is the place to head.

Some tabaccai also have slot machines, and some let you place sports bets. Betting in the totocalcio, the Italian football pools, is a particular favourite of Italian football fans.

A man casts his lottery ticket at a shop in Naples.

A man casts his lottery ticket at a shop in Naples. Photo by ROBERTA BASILE / AFP.

Buy tickets for sports games and concerts

If you want a ticket for the next Roma-Lazio derby, look no further than your local tabaccheria.

Tobacconists in Italy are licensed to sell tickets for football matches, as well as for certain concerts and other large-scale stadium events.

READ ALSO: 15 things you’ll probably never get used to about living in Italy

…Buy cigarettes and tobacco

It’s no secret that you can buy cigarettes and other tobacco products at a tabaccheria. In fact, it’s one of the only places in Italy where you can buy them, as (along with lottery tickets, stamps and tax stamps) these are state-controlled goods that require a special license to sell.

Oddly enough, salt also used to fall under this restricted category – which is while you’ll sometimes still see old signs outside tobacco shops advertising sali e tabacchi: salt and tobacco.

Buy other odds and ends

Of course, cigarettes and lotto cards aren’t the only items on offer at your average tabaccheria.

The range of products sold at an Italian tobacconist usually includes postage stamps, postcards, and greetings cards; stationery, magazines, tissues and playing cards; and chewing gum, crisps, chocolate, and other snacks and bottled drinks.

You’ll also often find small trinkets and souvenirs, such as keychains, jewellery, and children’s toys.

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