Italian Electronic Identity Card


Italian Electronic Identity Card

The Carta di Identità Elettronica (Electronic Identity Card, CIE) is an Italian personal identification document issued to Italian citizens and resident aliens, that has been progressively replacing the paper-based identity card since the latest version (3.0) has been released on 4 July 2016.

The CIE is intended for both online and offline identification.

The information is both printed on an ID-1 card and stored in a contactless chip.

After about 15 years of trials, finally as per decree of 25 May 2016 every classic identity card with expired validity must be replaced by the electronic version.

On 18 July 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is allowing Italians who reside abroad to request an electronic identity card. Tests are going to be done at some European consulates beginning 20 September 2019 then rolled out to the rest of the European Union and to all those countries where Italians have the right to reside without needing a passport.


Italian citizens are entitled to request an identity card and it is a valid document to leave the country when travelling to another EU country or to those countries with which Italy has signed specific agreements.

It is not compulsory to carry the card itself, as the authorities may ask for only the identity of a person, not a specific document. However, if public-security officers are not convinced of the claimed identity, like from a verbally-provided identity claim, they may keep the claimant in custody until the identity is ascertained.
All foreigners in Italy are required by law to have identification with them at all times. Citizens of EU member countries must be ready to display an identity document that is legally government-issued in their country. Non-EU residents must have their passport with customs entrance stamp or a residence permit issued by Italian authorities; while all the resident/immigrant aliens must have a residence permit (otherwise they are illegal and face deportation), foreigners from certain non-EU countries staying in Italy for a limited amount of time (typically for tourism) may be required only to have their passport with proper customs stamp.

The ID card is only for Italian citizens, nonetheless, permanent resident aliens with a valid Permesso di soggiorno may ask to be issued a CIE, but in this case the document is valid only and exclusively in Italy for identification purposes and the sentence “NON VALIDA PER L’ESPATRIO” (not valid abroad) is printed on the front side of the card.
Issuing system

The CIE can be requested at the Italian municipality of residence 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. Finally, the card is sent to an address chosen by the applicant or else to the municipality of residence within 6 business days.

Starting from 20 September 2019 the request can be submitted even at the Italian embassies/consulates just by Italian citizens residing abroad. After a short test time at the consular offices in Vienna, Athens and Nice, the service is extended to all the European Union and to those countries where Italians have the right of free movement (Andorra, Vatican City, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland).


Like European biometric passports, the CIE has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip that stores the following items:

Place and date of birth
Holder’s picture
Two fingerprints (one of each hand), only if the applicant is aged 12 or over

The information can be read with NFC tools, but anyway fingerprints are accessible just by police forces.


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, etc…), over which the information is printed by using the laser engraving technology.


Card number (for example CA00000AA)
Municipality of residence (or, if living abroad, embassy/consulate of residence)
Place and date of birth
Date of issue
Date of expiry
Holder’s signature
Card Access Number – CAN
This field is located under the CAN and it doesn’t exist if the document is valid to travel abroad. On the contrary, the sentence “NON VALIDA PER L’ESPATRIO” is printed if it’s not valid to travel abroad