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Reader question: What do I do if I lose my Italian tax number or health card?

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Reader question: What do I do if I lose my Italian tax number or health card?
Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

Your Italian tax code will be needed for all sorts of things if you live in Italy - so what should you do if you lose the card?


Question: "When I first moved to Italy I got my codice fiscale (tax code), but I have since lost the card with the number written on. Can I get it replaced and, if so, how?"

Your codice fiscale is one of the first things you’ll need to apply for when you move to Italy, and one of the most important - it will be needed for all sorts of aspects of life here. (See a guide to getting it here.)

When you register, you may or may not be issued a handy wallet-sized plastic card featuring your Italian tax code. Many local authorities only issue these on request.

Most Italians instead use their health card (tessera sanitaria) as a record of their tax code, as it's also prominently featured on there.

As a foreign national living in Italy, you'll be issued with a health card if you’re registered with the Italian National Health Service (SSN, or Servizio Sanitario Nazionale).

Not all of Italy's foreign residents are eligible for SSN registration, and if that's your situation you may want to request the tax code card (tesserino di codice fiscale) instead.

READ ALSO: Who can register for national healthcare in Italy?

Whichever card you get, your Italian tax code is needed so often in everyday life that being able to carry it around with you in some form will be helpful.

If either one of these cards is lost, damaged or stolen, the good news is that it’s easy and free to apply for a replacement.

You can order a new copy of either card online through the Italian tax agency (Agenzie delle Entrate) website here.


You will need to provide some personal details - including your tax number, so hopefully you'll have it written down elsewhere.

The card should be sent out automatically to your registered address.

If you've made that request but nothing happened, the official FAQ advises that if you don’t receive the card "within a reasonable period of time" - although what sort of timeframe the agency considers reasonable is not specified - you should contact your local tax office, which issues the cards, to check that the registered address they have for you is correct.


If you’re requesting a new tessera sanitaria, you can check the status of the application by entering your codice fiscale in the online portal here. You’ll need an electronic ID (such as a SPID) to access this portal.

You can also request a new copy of your tessera sanitaria in person by visiting your ASL, or Agenzia Sanitaria Locale (local health authority) office. Find the details of your ASL here.

A duplicate card can only be requested once per calendar year .


What if my health card is about to expire?

If you have ‘mandatory’ (free) SSN registration, you're in luck: you don’t have to do anything to renew your tessera sanitaria. The local health authority should send the new card to you automatically when your current one expires, normally after six years.

If the new card doesn’t turn up however, there’s no way to request a renewal online. You will then need to go to your local ASL (health authority office) in person to request it.

If instead you don’t have free SSN registration, but need to pay an annual fee, your card is valid for a year and it won’t be automatically renewed.

In this case, you’ll have to apply for the renewal each year, a process which unfortunately can’t be carried out online.

For more information, check the official tessera sanitaria FAQ website here.


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