Italy’s Codice fiscale is a tax code, similar to a Social Security Number in the US or the National Insurance Number issued in the UK. The tax code in Italy is an alphanumeric code of 16 characters. The card serves to identify unambiguously individuals residing in Italy irrespective of residency status. Designed by and for the Italian tax office, it is now used for several other purposes, e.g. uniquely identifying individuals in the health system, or natural persons who act as parties in private contracts. You’ll need a obtain a codice fiscale for various tasks in Italy. It’s best to try to get this as soon as possible, possibly even before arriving in Italy. Anyone can get one.

The number is issued by the Italian tax office, Agenzia delle Entrate. The fiscal code is combined with your Italian health insurance card (Tessera Sanitaria ) for qualifying residents which shows an expiration date. It’s important to hold onto the piece of paper you obtain from the tax office until you get your Tessera Sanitaria card which is a separate process. Take a picture of the document with your phone. You will need this piece of paper for several different things so keep it safe.

Visit the Agenzia delle Entrate office on Via Larga, 35, 40138 Bologna BO. Generally the line is not long but it’s best to arrive at the time of opening to avoid any issues. The whole process will take only a few minutes.

Bring as many documents as possible to be safe. This includes:

  • Passports
  • Copy of birth certificates which you may need for kids underage.
  • You’ll be handed a document to fill out at the office while you’re waiting for your number to be called.

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