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Italian ID card and local residency registration

Find out how to apply for an Italian identity card and register your residency address in Italy.

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The release of the identity card in Italy and the enrolment into the municipality registers are very related topics. In fact, the latter is mandatory in order to obtain the former.

How to enter Italy from abroad

Depending on whether you are EU or non-EU national, the necessary steps to enter Italy may differ:

  • EU citizens only need their passport or their national identity card to enter Italy;
  • Non-EU citizens, on the other hand, will need an Italian Visa to enter the Country. Furthermore, after getting the Visa and within 8 days from entering the Country, they shall also register at the Immigration Office of the place where you wish to stay in order to obtain the residence permit.

There are many types of Italian Visas depending on the activity you plan to carry out in Italy: have a look at our full list of Italian Visas available here.

Italian local residency registration

Both EU and Extra-EU citizens who are planning to live permanently in Italy and hold a residence permit valid for more than 3 months need to enrol to the “Ufficio Anagrafe” of the Town Hall of the city where they wish to reside.

In case of EU citizens, the residency registration formally constitutes a stay permit and gives them the right to legally stay in Italy.

Process, timeline and required documents to register the residency in Italy

Only those people who have moved to Italy and have a proper accommodation can apply for enrolment into the municipality register.

Italian municipalities grant the possibility to submit the application online.

For a successful application, it is important to provide properly filled out forms. Furthermore, applicants must attach the correct documents to the application. The set of documents required for the residency registration vary according to the nationality, work conditions and specific circumstance for the applicants. In all cases, it will be necessary to present proof of an accommodation available for the long term, be it a registered rental contract or a deed of purchase of a house or a long-term accommodation booking.

If you still don’t have a proper accommodation, you might be interesting in getting our support to swiftly secure one by availing of our relocation services.

In case of dependent family members joining the main applicant, it will be necessary to submit the relevant civil status certificate as a proof of the family relations. If such certificates are issued in foreign countries, they will have to be legalized and translated before they can be accepted by the local municipality.

If you are looking for further information, have a look at how we can support you in legalizing your documents for use in Italy.

Soon after the residency application submission, the competent office issues a formal receipt called “Comunicazione di avvio del procedimento anagrafico”: please note that this document does not confirm the conclusion of the process, but that the verification process is just starting.

In fact, in 45 days after the process start, the local police will do a random visit at the applicant home address to check if the person actually lives at the declared address. Following a successful check, the process will be finalized through a so-called “tacit consent procedure”.

Benefits of registering the local residency in Italy

While being a mandatory requirement, foreigners with registered residency in Italy also offers several benefits:

  • Access to more advantagueous rates when opening a bank account;
  • Apply for a long-term enrolment into the Italian Health System;
  • Possibility to buy a car and/or to convert a foreign driving license into a local one;
  • Dedicated permits to drive into traffic restricted areas (ZTL – Limited Traffic Zone)
  • Dedicated offers for utility bills.

These are only some of the few advantages that will allow foreigners to actively take part in the Italian day to day life.

Accumulating years spent as an Italian resident will contribute to the right to avail further immigration procedures, such as the long-term resident permits or Italian citizenship.

Mind the deadlines

Each time non-EU citizens renew their residence permit, they must also go to Ufficio Anagrafe to renew the declaration of habitual residence within 60 days from said renewal. In default of this, the Anagrafe will delete the residency registration.

Tax consequences from being an Italian resident

Residency registration in Italy implies relevant tax obligations and benefits. If you are looking for further information, have a look at how we can support you in filing an Italian Tax Declaration and in many other tax services.

The Italian Identity card

Those who have a local residency registration can get the Italian Identity card: an identification document that can be used within the country.

Can I travel with Italian ID card?

The Italian Identity Card cannot be used abroad as an identification document by foreign nationals. It is advisable to always bring a passport with travelling internationally, along with their own national alternative ID.

On the contrary, Italian ID cards released to Italian citizens are valid to travel abroad too.

How to apply for Italian ID card?

Applicants must apply for the Italian ID card in person at the Town Hall of the registered residency. Applicants must:

  • Submit their biometrics at the time of application;
  • Provide supporting documents, like an Italian tax code, passport or national identification document;
  • [For non-EU citizens] submit the residence permit or the receipt of application for the Italian residence permit.

How long does it take to issue the Italian Identity Card?

The Town Hall does not automatically issue the Identity Card: they take approximately 6 days to release it.

Validity of the Italian ID Card

The validity of the identity card depends on the age of the applicant:

  • 10 years for people of age,
  • 5 years for minors from 3 to 18 years old,
  • 3 years for minors who are less than 3 years old.

Please note that, as far as non-EU citizens are concerned, if they don’t renew their residence permit, the Italian Identity card might lose its validity even before its standard expiration.

Are paper Italian ID cards still valid?

Italian ID cards are now released only in the electronic, plastic version. Paper ID cards can still be used, if not yet expired. However, once they are renewed before their expiry, they will be issued in the new plastic version.

How do I renew my Italian ID card?

The renewal process can be started 6 months before the expiry of the current ID card.

The renewal application must be submitted at the Town Hall where the applicant currently resides, providing the expired card, one’s biometrics including a picture and the stamp duty to be paid at the Town Hall office.

Local residency cancellation and enrolment into the AIRE register

In case you move from a city to another one within the Italian territory, the residency registration must be updated. Similarly, if you permanently move out of Italy, you must de-register from the local municipality registers. Furthermore, for Italian citizens, the de-registration procedure entails also the enrolment into the AIRE register – register of Italians living abroad.

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