Italian identity card and local residence registration

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The issue of the identity card in Italy and the registration in the register of people living in the municipality are strictly linked subjects since the latter is compulsory to obtain the former.


  1. How to enter Italy from abroad
  2. Italian local residency registration
  3. Advantages of registering local residence in Italy
  4. Italian identity card
  5. Cancellation of local residence and registration in the AIRE registry
  6. How can we help you
  7. Book a call
  8. Get a quote

1. How to enter Italy from abroad

Depending on whether you are an EU national or not, the preliminary steps to enter Italy may differ:

  • EU citizens only need their passport or national identity card to enter Italy;
  • Non-EU citizens, on the other hand, will need an Italian visa to enter the country. After obtaining the visa and within 8 days of entering the country, they must 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: see our complete list of Italian visas available here.

2. Registration of local Italian residence

EU and extra-EU citizens who plan to live permanently in Italy and hold a residence permit valid for more than 3 months must register at the “Ufficio Anclip” of the town hall of the city where they wish to to reside.

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

2.1. Process, timeline and documents required to register residency in Italy

Registration in the municipal register can only be requested once the applicant has settled in Italy and found accommodation.

The application can usually be submitted online through the websites of Italian municipalities.

For a successful application, it is important that the forms are completed correctly and that the correct documents are attached to the application. The set of documents to be presented for residence registration varies according to the nationality, working conditions and specific circumstances of the applicants. In all cases, proof of available long-term accommodation will be required, whether it is a registered rental agreement or a deed of purchase of a house or a reservation of long-term housing.

If you still don’t have suitable accommodation, you may be interested in our help to find one quickly by using our relocation services.

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

If you are looking for more information, find out how we can help you legalize your documents for use in Italy.

Shortly after submitting the application for residence, the competent office issues an official receipt called “Communicazione di avvio del procedimento anagrafico”: Please note that this document does not confirm the conclusion of the process, but that the verification process has just started.

In fact, within 45 days of starting the process, the local police will make a random visit to the applicant’s home address to verify if the person actually lives at the declared address. If the verification is successful, only then the process is considered finalized, and it will be through a so-called “tacit consent procedure”.

3. Benefits of registering local residence in Italy

While being a mandatory requirement, foreigners with registered residence in Italy also offer several advantages:

  • Access to more advantageous rates when opening a bank account;
  • Apply for long-term registration in the Italian health system;
  • Possibility of buying a car and/or converting a foreign driving license into a local one;
  • Dedicated permits to drive in restricted traffic areas (ZTL – Restricted Traffic Zone)
  • Dedicated offers for utility bills.

These are just some of the few advantages that will allow foreigners to actively participate in the Italian lifestyle.

The accumulation of years spent as an Italian resident will contribute to the right to benefit from other immigration procedures, such as long-term residence permits or Italian citizenship.

3.1. Pay attention to deadlines

Each time a residence permit is renewed, non-EU citizens must also go to Ufficio Anagraf to renew the declaration of habitual residence within 60 days of said renewal. Failing this, Anclip will delete the registration of the residence.

3.2. Tax implications of being an Italian resident

Registering residence in Italy obviously involves relevant tax accomplishments and benefits. If you are looking for more information, find out how we can help you file an Italian tax return and many other tax services.

4. The Italian identity card

The Italian identity card is an identification document that can be used to travel within Italian territory and can be requested together with a local residence registration.

The Italian identity card cannot be used abroad as an identity document by foreign nationals. It is advisable to always bring a passport to travel abroad, as well as your own national alternative identity document.

4.1. Italian Identity Card Application Procedure

The Italian identity card must be requested in person at the town hall of the registered residence. Applicants are required to:

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

4.1.1. How long does it take to issue the Italian identity card?

The identity card is not issued automatically by the Town Hall on the day of the request: it takes about 6 days to be issued.

4.2. Validity of the Italian identity card

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

  • 10 years for adults,
  • 5 years for minors from 3 to 18 years old,
  • 3 years for minors under 3 years old.

Please note that for non-EU citizens, if the residence permit is not renewed and/or no longer granted, the document may lose its validity even before its normal expiration.

5. Cancellation of local residence and registration in the AIRE register

If you move from one city to another within Italian territory, the residence registration must be updated accordingly.

If you leave Italy permanently, you must deregister from the local municipal registers.

For Italian citizens, the deregistration procedure also involves registration in the AIRE register – register of Italians living abroad.

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