Italy's digital identity system: What is SPID and how do I get it?

Italy is known for its red tape but SPID makes life a lot easier, swapping office queues for online services. Here are the main things you need to know about SPID, how it works and how to get it.

So what exactly is SPID?

The Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale  - SPID for short - is Italy's public digital identity system which offers access to online services for all types of Italian public administration.

Equipped with a username and a password, users can access SPID from computers, tablets or smartphones by selecting the "Enter with SPID" option on all related websites or service apps.

What documents do I need to get SPID?

You need a valid Italian identification document (identity card, passport, driving licence) along with your health card (tessera sanitaria) or codice fiscale tax code card (or the respective certificates of attribution), as well as supplying your e-mail address and personal mobile phone number.

What do I need to do to get SPID?

You can contact one of the accredited digital identity providers, available on the Request SPID page, choosing from the following options

  • in person at the offices of one of the digital identity providers
  • via webcam with an operator assigned by the provider 
  • with an Electronic Identity Card (CIE) or an electronic passport, by identifying oneself through the provider's apps available to download from app stores
  • with CIE, Carta Nazionale dei Servizi (CNS) - the health card can also be used - with a digital signature using a reader (eg smart card) and corresponding pin

It is worth noting that some providers charge a fee to activate your SPID while others, such as the post office, are free. However once you have SPID it is free to use and there will be no costs or fees.

Who should I contact to get SPID?

To obtain your SPID credentials, contact one of the accredited identity providers (Aruba, Infocert, Intesa, Namirial, Poste, Register, Sielte, Tim or Lepida).

Each one offers different ways to request and obtain SPID, with full details on the Request SPID page.

Who is eligible to request SPID?

Any adult living in Italy, in possession of the Italian documents listed above, can activate SPID by contacting one of the recognised digital identity providers.

I am a non-Italian citizen living in Italy, how can I get SPID?

You must possess a valid Italian identification document (such as your ID card) and your tax identification card, an e-mail and a mobile phone for your personal use.

If you have a residence permit, you can apply for an Italian identity card and present it during the SPID activation request phase. The procedure involved in obtaining a tax code is documented on the Agenzia delle Entrate website.

For full details, available in Italian, English and German, check the SPID website.