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

You'll need your Italian health card and tax code for all sorts of things if you live in Italy. Here's what to do if you lose the card.

Reader question: What do I do if I lose my Italian tax number or health card?
Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP

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.)

If you’ve also signed up for the Italian National Health Service (SSN – Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) you’ll be issued with a health card (tessera sanitaria) which will include your tax code.

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

If not, you can instead get a tax code card (tesserino di codice fiscale).

As these cards are needed so ofen it’s likely you’ll want to carry it around with you.

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

You can order a new copy of either card online through the Italian tax agency website here.

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” you should contact your local tax office (agenzie delle entrate), which is the office that issues the cards, to check that the registered address is correct.

READ ALSO: Italian bureaucracy: What is a SPID and how do you get one?

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 don’t have to do anything to renew your tessera sanitaria. The agenzie delle entrate will send the new card to you automatically when your current one expires.

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 office in person.

And if you don’t have free registration, but need to pay a contribution, this means your card probably expires after one year instead of six and it won’t be automatically renewed.

In this case, you’ll have to apply for the renewal, 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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